This is a true story of two of my best childhood friends. One was my dog, Blondie, and, the other was a little girl my age. Her name was Elmina and I loved them both very much.
My best friend, Elmina had a pet parakeet that her family let out of the cage all the time showing off how it did tricks to everyone who visited. I adored that parakeet.
One day I came over to visit my friend and as usual they let my dog come inside their house with me. While being so amused with their cute little parrot’s antics, I actually had forgotten that my dog was with me.
After doing some kind of trick on the kitchen table, low and behold the parakeet fell off the table and out of sight. Well, it took me a minute to figure out what had happened. When I saw the parakeet in my dog’s mouth, under the table, I totally froze for a few seconds. Then a few seconds later Elmina’s sister or mother realized that Blondie had the parakeet in her mouth. Blondie being a lab was capable of holding the parakeet without inflicting any injury. Labs have been known to be able to hold an egg in their mouth, carry it to their owner and not break it! At any rate, Blondie let go immediately and I was ordered out of the house and told never come back again.
I honestly didn’t know what to say or think. I was so embarrassed! I actually cannot remember precisely when but soon after that I am pretty sure the parakeet died from that frightening encounter even though I don’t believe my dog actually hurt the parakeet. I believe the bird died from being frightened because they are very fragile animals. However, instead of Elmina saying what we really felt she assumed that I didn’t care about her so our friend ship died along with the parakeet. We both said things that we really didn’t mean.
If I would have been brave enough to retrieve the parrot from my dogs mouth in the first place their parrot would have never died. As a child I just didn’t have the courage to act in time. I was always taught that if I ignore something it will simply go away and I was a very compliant child. So I thought that if I didn’t say anything the dog would just let the parakeet go and everything would turn out fine. I think the embarrassment factor played a big role in this too.
Funny but that childhood lesson sticks with me because when growing up I was taught that if we refuse to accept something it will go away automatically. I must have gotten that type of denial from my Mom because she had skin cancer on her back for 20 years before telling anyone, even my Dad. Then she refused to go the hospital when she thought she just had bronchitis for over 6 months thinking it would just plain go away. When she finally let my Dad take her to the hospital it was too late. It turned out she had lung cancer that my Dad and I think developed over time from cleaning ashes and burning paper in the wood burning stove while not wearing a mask. My Mom’s denial sent her to her grave. I wrote a few poems about missing my mom after her death. She was one of the kindest, most self sacrificing persons I ever met. I miss her immensely!
Getting back to when I was a child. I remember breaking my big toe after missing a soccer ball and hitting the wall instead, but I never told anyone because I thought that if I didn’t say anything it would just go away. My entire life I have had to buy shoes a size larger because of the way my toe grew after that.
At any rate, if I could ever locate my friend Elmina I would love to say how sorry I was that I didn’t take action right away concerning her beloved pet parakeet.
What made me think of this was when I started looking through an old photo album of family pictures to seek comfort at the recent loss of my sister.