Sunday, July 31, 2005

The budgie equivalent of Hamlet

I love budgies. They are fantastic pets and have huge personalities. As a child, I always had a pet budgie that was hand tamed. I used to have one that helped me with my homework and would put little puncture marks around the edges of my assignments because he would sit on the desk with me as I worked. Another one used to let himself out of the cage and taunt the cat from the curtain rail. Anyway, I just adore them and deeply regret not having spent enough time with my current budgies to have them tame (with three cats and two dogs, I really don't want the budgies to meet a sticky end).

Anyway, the whole point of this is that on Saturday we went to the Mt Gravatt Show which is like a small version of the Ekka (which is like a State Fair or Easter Show for you out of towners). They have the usual type of competitions that people can enter (vegetable growing, flower arranging, cake decorating etc) as well as a budgie competition. I don't know the ins and outs of budgie showing (ie. good markings etc) so I won't even try to explain how it works. I wandered into the pavilion (which was actually a medium sized garden shed) and was looking in the cages at all the budgies lined up in their small cages.

While I was talking to them (well, you have to - they love being talked to), a lady came over and interupted the guy who was answering questions. "Excuse me, I think that one the birds isn't well". I looked over about three cages, and sure enough there was a big, yellow bird lying on the floor of the cage with it's little legs up in the air. The guy looked up, swore under his breath and walked past me to the cage containing the bird in question. "Bloody bird", he said. "Oh God", I thought, "that's a bit harsh". And then he banged on the cage with his fist. The bird immediately jumps up and hops on it's perch looking around to see what's happening.

Apparently this particular bird does it for attention. It pretends to be dead because then everyone clusters around the cage looking at it. It waits until it thinks that no one is looking then it jumps down into the corner of the cage and lies down for about a minute. Then it does a neat little roll so that it's legs are up in the air. If no one notices, it then starts twitching like it is having a seizure.

The bird in the next cage, a lovely white one, has a similar act. It holds onto the bars with one foot and then twists its body upside down so that it looks stuck. Everyone stops to look and then they call the man to say that this poor, wee bird has its leg caught.

I stood there for another ten minutes and both birds tried their acts on twice more. No wonder the man just banged the cage and swore. These birds deserved an Oscar.


Blogger Craig said...

It's amazing what they'll do for a little attention.

On a budgie relate note, one of our local zoos has a new Australia exhibit which features the opportunity to "get up close with budgies." I guess they're trying to save people a trip to the pet store.

8:58 am  
Blogger Laziest Girl said...

It's weird when they have "pets" in a zoo. Can you imagine asking where the Springer Spaniel enclosure was?

Would they be in a cage do you think or in a paddock - the free range Springer Spaniel exhibit. It would be like how the live in the wild, running free across the fields, uncorrupted by humans and no longer being forced to beg at the dinner table.

9:37 am  
Blogger L said...

budgies are definitely very smart little birds :)

10:12 am  

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