Maxine and her husband
lived in an upstair's apartment. The woman who owned the house was the
most pleasant person they could have encountered. She was thoroughly happy
to have the young couple living above her. She was as proud of them as
their own parents would have been.
Of course, when the
landlady asked for one small favor it was with willingness Maxine agreed.
Petey was the little parakeet that couldn't go along on a trip by car, of
course. Petey's owner gave all the instructions needed for his care.
“He has one sentence.” The
owner told Maxine. “He says, 'Petey loves you.”
Maxine established the
Parakeet cage securely in the kitchen where she was working a lot of the
time. The bird was like a guest who was feeling very uncomfortable. He
would watch his caretaker but never made any attempt to even chirp for her
although Maxine talked to the bird often. She tried to make the little
thing more comfortable.
When the times came to
clean the cage, put in fresh water and add birdseed to the feeder Petey
was very reserved. He would side step on his perch until he was as far to
one end of the cage away from Maxine as possible. She had seen him hop on
his owner's finger but he would not make a move in this direction.
“You know, that little bird
is not happy. He doesn't sing let alone talk. I sure hope he doesn't get
sick on me.” Maxine was complaining to her husband. “I don't know how I
would explain anything to our landlady if something does happen.”
“Oh don't worry about it.
He'll be all right. He's eating and drinking water isn't he?”
“Well, yes, he is eating
and drinking water. He's like a bashful kid though. When I do have to put
my hand in his cage he very quickly hop away from me.”
Maxine didn't worry any
more about it. She was reassured by her husband's calling attention to the
fact that the bird was eating and did look well. The days went along with
not any change in the tiny bird's behavior. The woman still talked to him
when she was near his cage. He in turn would tilt his head one way and
then the other as if he was trying to decide what she was talking about.
Finally there were only two
days left before the parakeet's owner was to return. Maxine was washing
dishes at the sink when she turned to the bird and said, “Well, Petey,
your mommy will be home day after tomorrow. Now how will I tell her how
sad you have been? I mean you haven't said one word for me.” With the
one-sided conversation Maxine went on with her dishes. All at once the
words Petey spoke were as clear and concise as any could be.
“Petey loves you.”
Maxine was so excited she
ran to get her husband so he could hear the little Parakeet talk.
Petey calmly rested on his
perch looking at them with his dead eye stare. Not a word came out of
his beak. In fact this was the one and only time he said for her, “Petey
loves you.” It was so funny to Maxine. The little thing seemed to be
placating her while trying to help her, feel better, but only once.
When his owner came home he
was again in his place at her kitchen. That little bird was flitting
around and about his cage. He would come up to the front, getting off his
perch, hang on the rungs with feet and beak and then hop back and forth
from is swing to the perch. He was obviously very happy to be home.
“Petey loves you,” could be
heard over and over as his watched his owner.
“Hmm,” Maxine told her
landlady. “You wouldn't believe how much that little bird missed you while
you were gone.”
Later on Maxine told her
husband, “There is no way I would have believed something as small as a
little parakeet could have so much feelings about being left at home with