Lovebird-The story of me and my orange-faced peach faced lovebird-Mic.


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Heidi, in the middle of nowhere. Based in Hong Kong. fungheitingheidi@gmail.com  [+]

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It’s fate that I grow up with a lovebird, or perhaps God’s idea to teach me a lesson. I remember watching national geography introducing parrots when I was a kid. Not only do they have an adorable outlook, they are also wise. I can’t really recall the species name or how different species of parrots looked back then, but the name “Lovebird” just stabbed into my little head. That night, I secretly made a little prayer under my pillow: “Oh dear god, how wonderful it would be if I could keep a parrot... probably a lovebird!”, with the image of that big colourful bird covering in red fur and rainbow wings that frequently appeared in picture books under the label “parrots”. It wasn’t until Mic, the lovebird of the Fung’s family, arrived and I finally realized that the image used to be in my head was a macaw, but not a lovebird - Parrots are always mistaken for Macaws.
I encountered my lovebird when I was nine,little did I know she’s a lovebird. She was a stray from the street who was luckily rescued by my cousin. I remember it was a Friday afternoon when I first met her, two days after she was rescued. Not having the proper equipment to shelter her, she had been living in a newly bought rubbish bin with a basket on top: the poor little thing didn’t want get trapped in that tiny place that light only lit from the top! With all the windows closed, I carefully removed the basket on top and the tiny green creature hopped out in a second, staring at me with her bright black eyes. The next second she leapt down to the floor, I leaned backwards, unprepared for this sudden intimate distance. Then the most interesting thing happened: a parrot which is slightly larger than a kid’s palm chasing after a human kid who is more than 500 times bigger in size, and the kid is yelling with fluids coming out from all the possible places on the face. All my life I’ve only seen parrots from books and televisions or wild birds on the street that escape for their lives when I get 10 feet close to them. Meeting an avian that is only a few inches away is like dinosaurs jumping out from the picture books, as though I accidentally entered Jurassic Park and instantly got chased by a T-rex. I hid myself in a room, with the door half-closed, trying to observe this alien creature from a safe distance, until my relative came and put her back into a rubbish bin. I thought to myself: little one I like you, but perhaps not too close now.
A week later,we received a phone call saying that they can no longer kept her, she needed to be sent away. On a Saturday morning in November, Mic officially becomes a family member of the Fung’s family. Her name “Mic”, comes from the pronunciation of “Mystery” in Cantonese Chinese, her life before meeting us was a mystery.Her species is no longer a mystery for us: with a library visit, we assured that she is a lovebird, a peach faced lovebird, specifically an orange-faced peach faced lovebird, a special mutation that shows bright orange fur around her face. She is special not only about her colour nor about her mysterious life, but where her love for me comes from: how this 50-gram creature manages to send powerful messages of love that is much bigger than her size is also a mystery. But for love, love never fails.
Like all the relationships on Earth, the first few months are the honeymoon phase: I started getting used to this little guy and her coat got brighter and shinier, which is a good sign of being healthy.I imagined I was some Disney character, because I had a feathered friend. It turns out that my comparison of a parrot to a dinosaur was somehow an accurate one. All the fairytales diminish and draw me back to reality when she learns messing around and ─ biting. Whenever I place my finger into her cage, she rushes and bit. When I changed her food, she bit. Her biting seems inevitable that time. Physically we get closer but mentally, we were swaying apart. I wish I lived in fairytales, that everything and everyone around would match my imagination─ the reality is more cruel and complex. To fix our relationships, I started doing research on parrot behaviour, and learnt that nearly all parrots bite and I am actually lucky enough that mine is a gentle T-rex, my fingers are in pain but at least I have never been soak in blood nor have wounds. I figured out the pattern that she hated people invading her personal space, or misplacing the items in her cage. I didn’t understand her standards of neat and tidy, but I respected and she stop biting me. She, too, was actually adapting to our lifestyle. Wild Birds follow dusk and dawn, but she followed our sleeping patterns. On weekdays, I fed her before school and on weekends, I fed her when I woke, that was a few hours later. She stayed silent even when her wild friends are squeaking. She stays silent even food is running short and probably she is starving . She knew that I am still in my sweet dreams and don’t want to wake me up, but once once she figures out that I am awake which till now I still can’t figure out how could she tell, she make sure I get off my bed in the quickest manner by squeaking like hell is coming. She respects me unconditionally, and she taught me respect. But love, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
I met her as a kid, and we grew up together. Mic is my fur sibling, my best companion at home. As the only child at home, when my parents are gone the parrots are my only companion. Whenever there are kids screaming outside the window, she screamed together in annoyment: she hates noisy kids. Here comes the question: where did her patience come from to tolerate me when I was much younger? I never was those quiet kids, I screamed a lot. But I’m sure she has loved me since I was a child. My father said she managed to squeak to wake him without waking me up, whenever I kick my blanket off to the ground at night. Whenever I scream, she just walks away to her favourite spot and starts preening herself. She always makes sure I won’t feel lonely by climbing up my desk when I am working. She is the one who sent me warm welcomes going back home late after a long busy day. Perhaps it is love, despite the hate of kids, she accepted the noisy me, unconditionally. Perhaps it is love, that she can tell my needs. But for love, Love is patient, Love is kind.
Sometimes I stare into the little black prism of this little one like the first day we met. Won’t this little feel trapped in this little flat? Isn’t the outside world more wonderful? It’s a fact that she needs some human help as she doesn't have the ability to fly and she is never a wild species anyway, still did she sacrifice something more wonderful to stay in my family? But for love, it does not boast, it is not proud.
I can’t imagine what my life would be like without my lovebird, as siblings, soulmates, companions.Her love is simple, doesn’t come with terms and fill my love tank full. She truly knows how to love that comparatively human love is so limited. Lovebirds are one of the smallest and common types of parrots that are kept as pets. They don't cost much money, but they truly know how to love, and deserve to be loved, too!
Perhaps people named these little birds lovebirds because they are always cuddling in pairs. I called her a lovebird because love from a lovebird is unconditional, unlimited, and teaches me what is love: the greatest of all.
Hey Mic, I love you too.
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Wing Lam Li · ago
I can deeply feel the love between you and your lovebird!
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Kelsey Yuen · ago
Yayyyyyyy keep up the work!
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