Isn't this a beautiful flower? It belongs to Kevin. (Yes, Kevin!) The other day I had to run to Michael's for some supplies and while there, Kevin and I always get lost amongst the silk flower section. Dozens upon dozens of realistic looking flowers of every shape, form, color and texture imaginable. Needless to say, some are quite expensive. Others, however, are cheap in comparison, like this gerbera daisy. It was a whopping $.99 and of course, being pink, was Kevin's favorite.
So I told him he could get it and he carried it around the store, proudly waving it as if it were his magic wand. He would tap it on things and say his magic words (whatever they were, I can't remember now what he said). He had so much fun with it. It was the best $.99 I ever spent. :)
Well, from Michael's we went to Petco to get Barney's dog cookies (another place in which we get lost looking at all the different critters). He carried his flower into the store proudly, parading it in front of the aquariums and in front of the gerbils and snakes. Then we got to the rabbits (I suppose they were stocking up for Easter, poor things) and they seemed a bit interested in his flower. I thought it was funny. Kevin enjoyed it. When the bunnies realized they couldn't even smell it through the glass they became disinterested.
So off through the store we went to look for any kitties. There are usually some adoptable cats in the back of the store waiting for new homes. One particular calico cat had so much fun chasing Kevin's flower. Being the playful kitty it was, it would swat at the glass and jump up at the flower, trying to get at it and attack it. Kevin had fun playing with it through the glass. Almost as fun as the kitty did! And then it was time to go.
Well, on our way to the checkout, we happened to pass by the exotic birds. There were the parakeets and budgies, love birds and cockatiels. There was a cockatoo and a macaw. But then there was this one bird in particular call a Lori, and when it saw Kevin's flower it began to talk and jabber and became excited! It climbed down from its perch and walked over to the glass to investigate further. (This was a huge cage this bird was in. About 10 feet tall and about 4 feet wide at least, and it was right up next to the glass.) This bird was smart. It knew what Kevin had. It knew this was a flower. And it knew it wanted it!
The Lori followed that flower wherever Kevin moved it. It climbed up the cage if he raised it up. It would climb back down to the bottom if he lowered it down. It tried its dang best to get to the flower through the glass, pecking on the glass and cocking its head in confusion trying to discern why it couldn't get to it. Kevin played with this bird for a good 10-15 minutes at least, letting the bird try to grab it and showing it the end of its stem. When Kevin would talk to the bird through the glass, the bird would mutter something in response! When Kevin would walk away or put the flower down, or even just hide it behind his back, the bird would start squawking at him to come back or bring it back! It was the funniest thing! Then the bird turned to Kevin and looked him right squarely in the eye with its head cocked as if saying "can I have your flower, pleeeease?" When it did that, Kevin looked at me and said "can I give it my flower?"... Whoa! Kevin was willing to give up his prized possession for this bird caged bird. That was just incredibly generous and caring for such a young kid to do, in my opinion. Especially when it involved his newly purchased and prized flower he loved so much.
I told him I didn't know if the bird could have it or not, so I went off to ask the attendant if my son could give his silk flower to the bird. Unfortunately she said no, it was not allowed. The birds could tear them apart and possibly choke on things like that. So I had to go back and break the news to him.
"The bird can't have your flower, sweetpea. It's against their rules. I'm sorry. They might tear them up and choke on them." He turned around facing the glass with his back to me and just stood there, the bird reaching for the flower the entire time. It was pitiful. Then Kevin sunk to his knees in front of the bird. They were eye to eye. I walked over to him and knelt down next to him and that's when I saw he was crying.
He wanted to give his flower to this bird so badly because it was having so much fun with it and because it was in a cage by itself. "It will be all right, sweetpea. The bird has its own toys, see?" "But it wants my flower and it's all alone with no friends." (long pause while I thought of what in the world to say and fight back the tears....) Then he said, "Maybe we could buy the bird and take it home with us. Then he could have the flower." Yeah... well, this bird cost $549.99. There was no way we could buy this bird even if we wanted to. I explained that we couldn't have it and that it was too expensive. Then he just sobbed!
I finally hugged him, then told him we had to go and to tell the bird goodbye. I told him that the bird would find a good home. The attendant said that the bird was smart and very 'soft spoken' at times. She said that the reason it probably wanted the flower was because in the wild these birds would eat the nectar out of flowers, and it probably just came naturally to this bird to want to get at it. She again told Kevin why it was not a good idea to give the flower to the bird, that it wasn't real and the bird might choke on it. Kevin nodded his head that he understood, but he still cried to have to leave the bird. And I cried too!
Kevin is such a sweet, sensitive, caring young boy. I'm astonished sometimes by his compassion and depth of heart. He has such a good soul. This incident proved to me that I must be doing something right for him to want to give his prized possession brand new flower to this lonely caged bird. I felt proud and so touched. :)
Until next time....
(It's thundering outside.....)