Few can actually say they are in possession of a dead parrot. This is our beloved and late parakeet, Seamus.
His death was sudden and rather dramatic (and also cost $118 for a final attempt at reviving him with some sort of injected medical cocktail) and I found myself sadder than I would have thought at his passing. As I stood in the vet’s reception area, holding Seamus, who was neatly resting on a teal blue towel in a perfectly sized box, my thoughts turned to Elihu. Just as the woman behind the desk was handing me the brochure on how to talk to your children about the death of a beloved family pet, he spoke up. “Can we have him taxidermed?” he asked, without registering much emotion on his face. I recalled a little sign I’d once seen for a taxidermist’s shop up by the Greenfield hills and replied “Yes, I know a place.” I paused to consider the logistics. “We can go there now if you like”. He jumped up and clapped his hands in joy. With a disappointing audience of the somewhat humorless lady behind the counter, I threw the pamphlet over my shoulder in a ‘I give up’ sort of gesture, and we headed out the door with our ex-parrot in a box.
Note: Neither the mention of an ‘ex-parrot’ nor ‘how to put your budgie down’ is lost on my dearest Elihu. How much fun it is to have a child with that sort of twinkle in his eye, and that kind of material in his repertoire.