When my daughter Melanie was preparing to move out, it occurred to my husband and I that not only were we losing a daughter, but that our little sun conure Francis was losing his cage buddy. Suns like to be in pairs, so my husband grudgingly agreed that I would have to get another bird, as Francis was the only bird we had. I'd seen a charming little sun at PetSmart who had played and played with me when I went to get bird food, so he told me to go there and get this other little bird. So, after work one day, I decided I would go and pick that little bird up.
But somehow, instead of heading due south to that store, I found myself driving due East, and I passed a little pet and craft store I'd never been in before, which had a huge, alluring sign on the marquee outside: "BIRD SALE". So I backtracked and turned in, and on the door, a sign announcing “Sun Conures”, with the old price slashed, and new price hand written in.
Well, this was looking better and better. I went back to the bird section, and there were five or six charming baby suns all frolicking around on a large playstand....and one green bird. I picked up the prettiest sun, all big eyes and gold and green feathers and was playing with him when plop! suddenly the green bird landed on my shoulder. I looked over, lifted him up and put him back. Plop! back on the shoulder again. To the playstand he went, for about two seconds, when plop! the green bird was back, just laughing up at me. He was a cute little bird with a black head, but not nearly as flashy as the suns, and besides, I was there to get a SUN conure, not whatever this green thing was, so I put him back AND the little sun, and took the little cart and went over several aisles away to look at some quilting fabric.
There was an earsplitting shriek, and as I looked around for the source, I suddenly heard the sound of little claws on tile. And down the aisle, lickety split, came that little green bird, just as fast as his stubby little legs could carry him! He ran right up to me, up my pants leg, up my shirt to my shoulder, where he sunk his sharp little black beak into my ear, shook his little butt and settled back down on my shoulder.
When I got home, my husband came out to the car to see the new bird and the first thing he noticed was the wire cage in the back seat.
"What did you get another cage for?" he asked suspiciously.
"For the new bird," I said.
"I thought he was going to go into the cage with Francis," he asked me.
"He is," I replied.
"Then why do you need another cage?" he pressed on, being well acquainted, after many years of marriage, that any time I am short, sweet, and to the point, there is more to the story than I am telling.
'For the OTHER new bird," I reluctantly replied.
"OTHER new bird?"
We went into the house and up to the bird room, where he assembled the cage and perches, hung the toys, and I opened the small pet store cardboard box. Out popped a gorgeous little sun, and right behind him, the crazy green bird.
"What in the world is THAT?” my husband asked.
The green bird, knowing he was being discussed, ran across the little table the cages were sitting on and hopped onto my husband's hand, looking up at him with a carefully calculated head tilt and cute expression. He allowed his head to be scratched thoroughly, obligingly ate every seed offered to him and in short, charmed the socks off my husband.
"Okay, he can stay", my husband said grudgingly, as we left the bird room, “but NO MORE BIRDS!" Gabriel spent one night in the cage with Francis, and cried and called for Pepito, who hung on the wire and cried and called for him, and they've never been parted since.
And that, my dears, is the story of how Pepito the Nanday and his yellow sidekick Gabriel the sun conure, came to live at our house.