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The Story of My 6 Kids – part I

Many people from many countries keep asking me how my kids are doing and like any other «parent» I don’t mind telling you all about the recent developments in our small, but very special family. I’m gonna give you the whole story about these guys, well basically the whole story, and you’ll probably be amazed at all the stuff that has happened during the years we’ve been responsible for these fantastic creatures. We’ve had them for so long now, that I cannot imagine my life without them. They’re just an important part of everyday life. Anyway, let’s get the ball rolling. The first thing that happened was that we bought Little Boy. Actually, at the time, one thing had been made clear to me by my partner: No pets’ policy at Oppsalveien. Since we are frequent travelers to far-away destinations, there ain’t a snowball’s chance in hell we’re gonna be able to find critter- sitters for weeks and weeks, and so any responsibility for animals would eventually mean less travelling. And, of course, that was one thing we were not ready to sacrifice. Then, Christmas 2002, one of the few Christmases spent in Norway, we were just on our way to get some tomatoes and passed one of these ugly pet stores at the local shopping mall. That’s what was gonna change our lives for good. Locked up in a small cage, double-secured with locks, a small greyish head managed to push itself through the bars, very clearly asking for me to pet him. A baby cockatiel, grey and yellow, and he would not let my finger go. Once I stopped petting him he screamed, whenever he felt my finger on the verge of withdrawing, he’d bite it in order to show his deep disagreement. Was it love at first sight? Yes of course it was. The only thing I had to do was to convince my partner that this little guy would be a great addition to our small family, and that I would be fully responsible for dealing with critter-sitters any time we wanted to travel. It didn’t take long before we were the proud parents of a grey cokatiel.

We got him the largest cage there was, the best bird gourmet food you can get, tropical fruits and any variety of bird toys and guide-books for proud bird owners. Raising a baby bird seemed easy enough, but it just seemed that way before I started reading the books about it. I swear, there are so many things that you have to consider – and the main thing is being patient. Of course, that one thing I never have been and cannot manage to be – whatsoever. We managed anyway. The Little Boy learned some tricks, turned out to be a gay bird – yes, I ‘m not kidding – the Little Boy is gay, and he was probably born that way. We figured as much when we got him a girlfriend. One bird, and we were in full agreement – the deal is one bird, nada más. But things change, and the subsequent year our living room was turned into a bird sanctuary – three birds.

What actually happened was that every time we left Little Boy we had a really bad conscience. His caretakers were always quality people who took great care og him, but most of the time he was in his cage, and that is not what he is used to when he is at home. Little Boy made it totally clear from the very beginning that he would not accept being forced into his cage, and he made a large “spetacholo” every time we tried to cage him. So, at the end of the day, we never put him in the cage, the guy roamed our house freely, and just made small pit-stops in his cage for food and water. The problems occurred when we had to cage him, because critter-sitters do not want free-roaming birds at their hotels or in their homes, so when we had our travel times, Little Boy had to spend more time than he appreciated in his cage, and of course – he was depressed. Something had to be done, and at a family meeting the problem was discussed, and concluded: The responsibility is almost the same whether we have one or two birds. Let’s get Little Boy a friend. So, in 2003 we started the search for a friend for Little Boy, and thanks to the Internet it was not a very difficult task. We had decided that we wanted to go for a hand-raised cockatiel, so that we didn’t have to worry about him/her not being fully domesticated and accustomed to humans. That meant we ordered one baby bird from a litter of five from a breeder in Central Norway, and the deal was that she was gonna bring us the five baby birds and let us choose the one we wanted to keep, or rather – we wanted Little Boy to make the choice. It meant waiting another 6 weeks before the baby birds were ready for delivery, i.e. being able to feed themselves. So we waited in suspense, preparing the cage, discussing names and so on. But of course, things don’t always turn out the way one plans them, and thus – the story of Little David and Little Girl making their entrance into our lives will follow in part II.