How I failed a Parrot
Parrots are perceived to be really good and obedient pets. In case of Indian Ringnecks, they could be the most fun personalities to be around. They love to play with toys and they can get so talkative sometimes. My journey with them was nothing like it. I brought two Indian Ringnecks which quite belonged to the wild surroundings. They were babies when they came so we figured that it would be easy to tame them. They looked the prettiest with those long feathers of green that dwelt into dark green as they went inwards. Their chic red beaks would immediately catch anybody’s attention. I really loved to see them sneeze. They would open their mouth to make that sneezy Lil’ voice while their tiny tongues would stick out, it was the cutest! They also had these beautiful rings, a mixture of red and black, around their necks which developed later as they grew up.
Our mornings used to start with them constantly whistling. They really wouldn’t stop until they saw us standing before them. While it can sound really sweet now, it wasn’t. Although it was a good way to wake up on time, it often got irritating. They didn’t learn to talk but they could very well imitate the tone of our words. They would play around with everything. New things would fascinate them until they have successfully thrashed and torn them apart into pieces. They would eat anything you give to them, no complaints there!
The Ringnecks are intelligent birds, they understand your patterns and behavior and slowly start responding, but to tame them, one requires high patience. There were instances when I could understand how they are so smart. They would remember what time I fed them and as soon as the time arrived, they’d start jumping and fast-walking as if trying to come and take the food themselves. If someday, I don’t give them enough attention, they would scream their lungs out until I do. It was quite clear that they didn’t like being neglected even a bit. Though they considered me known, they still didn’t trust me. Whenever I tried to stroke them, they got scared and tried defending themselves by attempting to bite me.
I grew habitat of their mischief-filled nature despite the annoyance. Soon I realized that I had to put enough effort. But they had grown by then and to train them at that stage was a true challenge. I went on anyway, I used to occasionally bring them out of the cage to play around. I aimed to get them to trust me, I wanted them to feel safe beside me. As soon as I’d let them loose, they would try to fly hard and after a flight of 5 seconds, they would fall. It broke me to see them that way; I knew that they couldn’t do what they were meant to do, because of me. So I kept trying for days and they had started trusting me. They would sit on my shoulder and even eat chilies from my hand. I grew hopeful for turning their aggressiveness into tranquility.
One fine day, after having a play session outside the cage, I put them back in and went to sleep. When I woke up, they were gone. The cage wasn’t locked properly before I slept. Knowing how little practice they had of flying, I got devastated. Surviving out there would be a task for them and there was nothing I could do about it. I just wished I had seen them take their last flight, spreading wide those tender wings as they breathe the air of freedom.