4.24.04 Kindred Spirit
In this morning's mail, my AIR mentor writes: Do you have a dog, cat, or any other animal companions? ...or memories of any from the past? Any aspect of nature that might inspire a story (or series of stories) from you? If so, I'll "commission" you to work up a 2 - 4 minute piece for possible inclusion in the first 4 episodes of Kindred Spirits, which is what I'll be hope to be concentrating on for the next year or 8...
I do of course qualify for this challenge. Hermanita (a.k.a. "Ruby" in these pages) has dominated the household since 1983. I always hesitate to call her a "pet" or even "companion." She is a cruel mistress, a green bitch goddess.
Her sweet Spanish name means "little sister." But she got that name only because her given name -- Herman -- had to be adjusted when we found out she was a girl. (You can't tell just from looking at externals.).
There is this story, published here 8.22.99 but deleted along the way:
That's not bad. But what is the universality? What is the controlling idea or theme? What was changed by this incident? Did I learn anything except to lock her cage door?
I could also write about the challenge of switching my bon vivant darling over to "health food." Apparently sunflower seeds are the corn liquor of the parrot world. After 20 years of picking the sunflower seeds out of her seed mix, then demanding a share of whatever we had on our plates, her liver went bad. Her cholesterol skyrocketed and her kidneys were threatening to go. She was staggering around like a drunken sailor and slipping off her perch. The message from the vet was clear: go on the temperance wagon or die.
I tried picking the sunflower seeds out of her seed mix. After 5 minutes of that nonsense, I decided I'd give her a diet of rice and corn or rice and beans. Cold-weather bulky and nutritious. She liked it fine. But when we'd go away, it became a challenge to fix enough food to send with her to the vet's boarding house and not have it go sour mid-week. I decided we'd just have to switch her to pellets.
I should mention that for 20 years Hermanita has eaten anything, except parrot pellets. Pellets are the scientifically formulated chow that are supposed to provide perfect nutrition. Naturally the parrot bon vivant looks upon these like a human bon vivant would look upon compressed astronaut food.
Changing her diet has been a war of wills. Jim and I have had to put the pellets on our own plates and eat them with loud yummy noises. She just glares at us with an expression that says, "You guys are idiots if you eat that crap."
Maybe there's a story there. And some sort of allegory about the middle-age challenge of confronting the damage we've wreaked on our bodies.
AIR: Association of Independents in Radio
Vote for John Kerry. And don't forget to donate.
Check out MoveOn.Org & get materials & motivation to defeat Bush-Cheney.