I met a little cockatiel the other day. I suppose if I lived in Rio that wouldn't sound so strange but here in California where the birds come in the screeching blue varieties and the small brown varieties, we don't get many cockatiels. This one fluttered into my mother's garden. My mother, kind heart that she has, immediately ran the cats out of the garden and called for my help. I captured it carefully under a towel and we put it in two plastic baskets taped together. Animal services had a lovely droning message machine that listed all the terrible ways you could find an animal in trouble and somewhere in the labryinth of depressing information I found that there were two conveniently located centers in our county and one of them was open. Shock.
It was closed. It was open half an hour before but their staff all take lunch at the same time and had deigned that tidbit of information not worthy enough for their phone extravaganza. Luckily we were near the small airport where one of my sisters works and we could leave the bird with her, which she promised to take to the center once it had reopened.
I thought just for a moment as we were driving home that I should have let the center know that I wanted the cockatiel back if no one came to claim it. I didn't have any firm ideas about Animal Services and their euthanizing standards for birds and would have felt terrible if I had caught this little flying creature only to have someone kill it. But, as it turns out, I live in the real world where you don't even have to have animal services do the dirty work. I phoned the center up after the holiday weekend only to find the bird had died. The lady on the phone was very specific about her lack of knowledge in the bird department. Their vet hazarded it may have eaten something it shouldn't have. So that's it for freedom. I don't know where we get our tame birds from, but I know now that a cockatiel trying to fly for freedom and stopping on the way to eat a few poisonous plants doesn't have much of a chance.
What does this have to do with Calvin and Hobbes you may ask? Well, I was thinking about that little cockatiel this morning and it reminded me of a very sweet set of Calvin and Hobbes strips that I've listed below. Sometimes Calvin and Hobbes hits just a little too close to home. I hope you enjoy these and my upcoming vignette about some great (and un-cheesy) comics for kids (and adults who still act like kids).