‘such a pretty pretty boy!’

dear friends…a short story in three parts,
while i continue working on the 3 co write poems.
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‘such a pretty pretty boy!’
part 1
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I would soon find out as my back glued tight against the living room wall, right next to the tall bird cage where a too close crowd waited in narrow eyed but hushed anticipation, I had the best seat in the house.

‘Oh, you’re such a pretty boy. Pretty Boy… Pretty Boy…
you’re such a pretty pretty boy!’

In her familiar sing song melody, my mom chirped her song to our blue and white, precocious and quite talkative parakeet Pretty Boy. I’d heard him repeat the words plenty of times, his head bobbing and weaving as he scuttled from side to side along his wooden perch. That a bird could talk as clearly as Pretty Boy did, was an endless source of fascination to this 5 year old.

‘Pretty Boy..Pretty Boy…such a pretty pretty boy!’

On queue and just as mom had promised, Pretty Boy rattled off his happy monologue to the delight of everyone,

‘Ohhhh’
‘Isn’t that cute?’
‘I’ve never heard a bird talk like that!’

With all the oohs and ahhs from the crowd and staring at his little round mirror, Pretty Boy was very animated and quite taken with himself,

‘Pretty Boy..Pretty Boy…such a pretty pretty boy!’

“Does he say anything else?’

And mom who was beaming now,

“Oh sure, he says lots of things!’

This was no easy crowd to please. It was the first time all my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on my father’s Italian side of our family had en masse descended upon our suddenly smallish house,
and smiling seemed to be a foreign concept to them.

Leaning forward and stacked three deep in a semi circle around the cage…and me, I was suffocating and beginning to hyper ventilate. I needed to escape but there was simply no escaping this wall of largish, olive skinned humans with their dark eyes and darker hair. It was my first experience of a claustrophobia I still suffer from today.

Then suddenly, unprompted and as if on queue to save me, Pretty Boy still preening from the attention squawked an unmistakeable string of,

“God damn shit…God damn shit…God damn shit!’

I’d never seen so many people move simultaneously like this group did, as if the epicenter of an 8.2 earthquake shuddered just below our little dining room jolting everyone backwards and off the floor. And no one jumped higher than my wide hipped grandmother. She landed with such a thud, her low black heels left divots in the pine floor.

I caught my breath as there was instantly more air to breath, but I was certainly the only person experiencing any sense of relief in the sudden vacuum of silence, in that improbable, unforeseeable and unforgettable moment. And with the best seat in the house, I watched the ensuing family drama all unfold.

40 thoughts on “‘such a pretty pretty boy!’

  1. I am laughing right now, oh dear I can imagine poor Nan, how she would have felt..how embarrassment ..as they say. Sorry you felt claustrophobia though 😦 Bless pretty boy, obviously had more up his feathers… loved and wait for part 2, my friend.

    • glad to hear you laughed Jen, it was am incredible moment. heh..’how embarrassment’,
      without giving anything away embarrassment would be the least of anyone’s troubles.
      and yeah, Pretty Boy was quite the character.

      • I think that would be half the fun of owning a bird that you could teach, that’s why I don’t own one… He’d talk worse than a sailor 😦 it’s Sunday night and lazing on the couch, prepping for the week ahead. Hope you are having a lovely weekend Jack.

      • heh, they mimic what they hear, not always what you teach and that’s all
        i’ll say about that! lol. kinda’ of a busier than normal weekend, attended
        a dance, music, verse, video installment that Scout and her troupe have been
        working on this past year and this morning a condo meeting (blecchh).

        sorry to hear you’ve had to take on extra work, hope it leaves you some
        time and energy to write. i’m kinda’ liking my once a week posting, it’s
        really all my allotted time allows and i get to sit with ‘writes’ for a week,
        the time perspective allows for very selective editing during the week.

      • Dance, music verse thing huh sounds interesting especially if working on it for a year. Thank you my friend, yes it’s tough but I had to take on work that gave me flexibility for services, which I now have one on Wednesday morning. I do like slowing down a little, like you, gives us time to edit edit edit ~ smiles

      • edit edit edit…yup, a few months ago i swear i broke my WP template
        from so many edits. it just wore out, lol. i had to ask WP for a new one!
        as writers sometimes without planning it, we find what we need.
        T I M E to slow down the process. lol

        the performance was very moving, they all did a wonderful job. Scout sang.
        played electric viola and a slide show of photos she did of a friend of ours
        was projected on a corner wall while she performed. very cool!

      • The performance sounds amazing, I am sure Scout was stunning. Time…such a grand thing to have. Hugs Jack.

  2. Muddletation says:

    Great storytelling, it was like I was there. I laughed too and now must wait for the conclusion. As for the claustrophobia, I am with you there. It’s manageable but I can’t shake it. Looking forward to reading more about Pretty Boy 🙂

    • ty M, so glad it gave you a laugh this morning, it was the fun part of
      the story i wanted to write for some time now. got to exercise a few
      atrophied prose muscles lol and write something i’m unaccustomed to.

      yeah, i manage the claustrophobia by not putting myself in those positions,
      crowded elevators and rooms with lots of strangers {{{[ shudder }}}}] lol

  3. ritaroberts says:

    I just love this Pretty Boy because over many years I have always had a bird in my home and have trained them when out of their cage to come to me when called and bring small objects to me. It was only when I bought a Budgerigar here in Crete I was able to teach it to talk. Of course the first word was ” Pretty Boy,” then it went on to Watcha Doin,then Give us a kiss, then where’s John that’s my partner. I threatened any one to teach it bad language. however, from some where he one day suddenly said Bugger off.

    • that’s a great story Rita but that is the rub, isn’t it? that they don’t have to be taught,
      they just have to hear it a few times to mimic the words perfectly. ‘watch doin’, that’s sweet!
      ty for reading and leaving such a wonderful comment, there will be some drama next week, lol

  4. Tiny says:

    What a lovely story! So vividly told I can see the three deep circle around the bird and sense the dynamics in the room. In a small shopping center very close to my home, they have two parrots outside a shop. They talk, but they also whistle. First time when I left “their” shop few years ago, they both whistled after me and I turned around expecting to see humans 🙂

  5. rjl2727 says:

    three cheers for Pretty Boy. we all need that kind of savior.

    • heh, my little angel with blue wings.
      his timing was just impeccable Bob.
      good to see you and ty for being here brother.

      • rjl2727 says:

        hey my pleasure brother. life is short and crowded, so you have to choose what and who you attend to. you are on the short list of those i value enough to keep up with. peace.

  6. LOLOLOLOLOL Great story. Looking forward to the next installment. Yay for Pretty Boy. 🙂

  7. SirenaTales says:

    Ha! I’m loving the vivid tales of a colorful group, MW (although sorry for the claustrophobia…..). My great aunties had a parakeet–I was endlessly fascinated as a little girl. Looking forward to the next installment. xo

    • heh, the claustrophobia is just another item on the laundry list of my many imperfections Chloe..lol and ‘colorful’ is certainly more than appropriate to describe this group, at best i can say my childhood was never boring! more next week.

  8. Miranda Stone says:

    Oh my goodness, this made me laugh! You did a perfect job of building up to that earth-shattering moment when Pretty Boy reveals he has a potty mouth. And I can understand the relief you felt, knowing that a cyclone was stewing, but it had nothing to do with you.

    • oh ty Miranda, that you could laugh and appreciate the storytelling means a lot to me, i felt good to limber up those prose muscles after a long winter break. like the first time at the gym trying to satisfy a New Year’s, get in shape resolution. lol and yeah, he had quite the potty mouth, and not the only one apparently!

  9. You are a true weaver of words – in short stories as well as poetry, and with drawing/painting as well. What a talented man you are! 🙂

    • **blush** aww ty for saying that Shirley, you are a sweet soul. i love storytelling, it’s how i began and i almost gave it up after becoming obsessed with poetry. i’m glad i didn’t though. i’ve found that each discipline benefits the other.

      and i need to tell you that i’ve kept your last post in an open window this week, rereading it several times waiting on the right time and words to comment. you deserve a lot of credit for writing that, kudos to you!

      • Thank you for your very encouraging words. I do appreciate it very much. Means a lot coming from you.
        There is no doubt you are gifted with words, my dear friend. You are so right to say that each discipline benefits the other. I often find it brings out different facets of me too – each discipline, that is.
        As I have said earlier, I’ll be looking forward to that book of yours when it is out 🙂
        Happy writing!

  10. HA! Too funny. Can’t wait to see what else “Pretty Boy” has to say 🙂
    A cousin had a burdie with a potty mouth but it only said things like that at the most inconvenient times like when the preacher was visiting or a school teacher or somethig. LOL

    Claustrophobia too, eh… Another thing we unfortunately share.

    • ‘Claustrophobia too,’..heh, and add a dose of Social Anxiety and
      it’s safe to say me and crowds don’t get along too well..lol

      haha, those darn unpredictable birds, always tellin’ the truth!lol
      and ty Melanie, that you appreciate the storytelling means a lot!

  11. Mary says:

    What a funny story your vivid detail had me experiencing the wonder of a child, the questioning, the feeling of being small, and then the festive atmosphere of all the strange people until the dreadful words were spoken. . . looking forward to part 2.

    • ty dear Mary, i love telling stories, especially reconnecting with
      my ‘kid’ perspective. as adults it’s a view we often forget with time.

      this was a story i’ve wanted to tell for a while, so i’m so glad you
      enjoyed it. lots of drama in the next installment…lol

  12. lumar1298 says:

    Lol…Mao funny…

  13. emeraldwake says:

    HELP !!!
    Hello friend , today WordPress delete my pfofile, with no reason, please help me friend, what should i do,i dont know what is going on , BLESS

    • Emerald Lake, sorry but WP does a lot off odd things, i have the web address for them so you can send them a note and explain your problem, i will send it to you when i get home. I’m at wirk right now..

    • oh my goodness Emerald Lake, your whole blog has been suspended by WP,
      below is the notice that is posted when i try to connect to your site;

      emeraldwake.wordpress.com is no longer available.
      This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.
      For more information and to contact us please read this support document.

      here is the WordPress address you need to write to
      WordPress.com Support

      i’ve had pretty good luck getting issues resolved after
      writing letters to them. please keep me posted EL.

      • emeraldwake says:

        Hello friend. i send three messages to them but no one help me,i feel very bad ,i am sad and humiliated, this is first time in my life when i am treated in this manner , God Bless . maybe this is our last conversation , remember me ,EM

  14. stacilys says:

    Wonderful and very cute. You left me hanging, wanting to know more. I guess I’ll just have to wait eh? To see this family drama unfold.
    Looking forward to it.
    🙂

    • hi stacylys and ty for looking forward to next week’s installment.
      so many of us don’t have the time to read entire short stories
      so leaving you hanging was partly my intention, though it does
      increase the writing challenge to ‘deliver the goods’ lol

  15. can’t wait to read more! 🙂

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