Tribute to My Lucky Bird

Written by Dyami Millarson

My bird when she was younger.

When I was walking alone one day in 2010, I suddenly spotted something yellow. I looked closer and realised it was a non-native bird. I did not hesitate to approach it and catch it with my bare hands, since I knew it would die otherwise. I took the bird home. I did not ever plan on having a small bird and my father was totally surprised when I entered the house with a yellow bird in my hands. Since then, it has been my lucky bird, for which the Shire Frisian word is geloksfûgel.

Since my lucky bird is already very old, I intended to dedicate an article to my bird this year and tell her story of how she found a warm new home. In recent weeks, my bird’s health has rapidly deteriorated, which has come as a shock, and so I want to dedicate an article to my lucky bird, while she is still alive. My bird was never much of a singer, but she always danced whenever you made a tapping noise or when she heard music. I showed her an old video tonight of her dancing when she was still healthy, and she danced again tonight watching that video, while I was holding back the tears in my eyes: she can barely dance now. It is a very sad sight.

An old dance video of my bird, she was not dancing to her fullest since she was uncomfortable with the camera, which is why I seldom filmed her dancing.

For many years, my bird has been very energetic and I could always feel there was another soul in our house; for many years, she has contributed to our family with her lively presence. I am very saddened to see her health deteriorate slowly. There is nothing I can do anymore. I hear her fall at night sometimes, she has a bloodied head these days due to her various accidents. It is so tragic that a very lively bird with a happy personality is slowly saying goodbye in this way – she is holding on until her last breath, and she keeps on fighting. This suits her spirit, she is a very strong bird until the end.

I have nevertheless come to terms with the fact that she is slowly saying goodbye and that she is leaving our family. It is hard to watch. The only thing that can be done is making her as comfortable as possible every single day and to enjoy every single day she is still keeping us company. I will never forget how I found her on that day more than ten years ago and I am thankful she could be a part of our family for so long. I feel she brought luck to us in her way. A goodbye is always difficult, and I do not want her to leave, but I know she is very old and she has lived a good, healthy, long and happy life she would not have enjoyed if I had not caught her with my bare hands over ten years ago, which, in hindsight, I regard as a sign of incipient luck.

This is my lucky bird now, she is seriously ill.

I am still happy with my quick reaction at the time and my decision to take her home. I do not want to imagine she would have been killed by cats or other predators. So the bird has not only brought luck to me, but I have also brought luck to the bird by providing her with a safe home. The bird is a good spirit. While she is sick and struggling for prolonging her life now, it is clear that she wants to stay with us and enjoy every last day of her pleasant life with us. I interpret her final struggle as her saying thank you.

If she is not there anymore one day, another connection to the past will be lost; she has been with us during all the good and bad times. However, I can hold on to my memories of her and cherish the countless days we have spent together as a family; I will never forget. One reason I did not want pets anymore is because I do not want to watch them die. But she came into my life unexpectedly like a guardian angel, so I wanted to give her a pleasant life she could otherwise not have had. I am very glad our paths have crossed in this very unexpected way, and that we could contribute to each other’s lives. While she is saying thank you in her way to us these days, I am deeply thankful to her too.

10 comments

  1. It is heartbreaking to say goodbye to a beloved animal who has been a family member for many years. I do believe the two of you, bird and human, were meant to find each other and bring each other happiness and luck. You might take comfort in offering her palliative care—perhaps placing an old folded towel at the bottom of the cage to cushion her falls, playing her favorite music, talking to her in a soft voice and telling her how much you love her. Don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. Caring for a dying friend is hard but rewarding work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope your lucky bird has a good death.

    I love this post because we, too, have a lucky bird, also yellow, who came to us just this spring. The circumstances were very similar. He was fairly easy to catch and now we have an unplanned pet. (We call him “he,” but of course we don’t know.) It was quite a thrill for my son, who caught him both times (initially, and then once again after the bird escaped while we were transferring him). If our bird lives as long as yours has, my son will be thrilled.

    Regarding how sad it is that we outlive our pets, I saw a heartwarming post the other day about how, from the pets’ perspective, we are powerful, nearly immortal beings who for some reason still enjoy their company. They are nearing the end of their life, whereas we haven’t aged at all, yet we are ready to mourn their death.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely, albeit sad, post Dyami. Owning a pet is one of life’s most rewarding experiences, but also one of the most painful, as we must lose them eventually. Your bird gave you 10 years of joy and unconditional love, and those fond memories will be with you forever.

    Liked by 1 person

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