That's my Little Lavender Lucky Bird from Lucasville.
she was my move-in pal, the only female i ever had, and the only one with clipped wings. Pauley taught me early on what that does. but i loved her.
i drove almost all the way to the Ohio River to Lucasville, to buy a new one after the loss of Ray. the Southern Ohio Poultry Association is the most bizarre bazaar i have ever witnessed in swap-meet land. it is way into the Appalachian foothills, and the main is livestock. ya'll kin buy shotguns, too, rifles, and most of the menfolk walkin' around have a one or two cocked over their shoulders. i’ve seen it all, from hatchlings to horses. once, there was a braying mule. far cry from poultry. oh yeah.
it was as if helicopters had flown trailer homes in from nearby Hollers in mining country, and just belched the contents out, over acres and acres of tarps. it takes over not only the entire Fairgrounds of Shelby County, Ohio, home of Lucasville Penitentiary, where Brubaker was shot, but also all the surrounding State acreage in the parking fields that rise to the mountains. just below is the Portsmouth arrow-point end to Ohio. the floodwall to the Ohio there is miles long, at least 50 feet tall, and completely covered with trompe l'oeil panorama paintings.
i got unbelievable stuff there, in farmland. art deco arch-backed lady lamps. chippers and chainsaws. hand-painted rockabilly shirts. Breyer standing bull lamp with horn-honed longhorns. just sitting there, intermingled with all the farm animals that breeders trade in. sweet tiny fledglings, chicks, ducks, geese, piggies, goats, breedstock and farm sustenance animals .. and birds. exotic birds. parrots, macaws, peacocks, canaries. and Parakeets.
i always bought my birds there, because it was from the Breeder. lil’ babies, unclipped. it changes them forever if you clip them. .. but she was the one. i had never seen a lavender bird. her crown was yellow, and her cere was almost blue. she was aware, but perched. she had been clipped, so there was my heart. of course i took her.
i taught her how to fly. it was a great adventure, and healed my heart. i found a number of perches at varied heights to string out, and then a chair, turned round, so she had step-downs out of the koo-koo 50's elliptical cage i got for her. the door was a "drawbridge," held midway by chains, so it became a platform when the door opened. the slow, and deliberate working with her. to the hand. to the platform. to the back of the chair, then down and down, in succeeding steps, to give her the "vantage points" of her area of flight. she truly got it, and would stretch those little wingies out, trying. at each level, i would linger for a week or so, and get her on my finger a lot. she got bolder with me by trusting, and would always step.
then, from each vantage point, i would move her up and down on my finger, motion. when we got to the bottom perch, her wings were beginning. i showed her the way back up, hop-flying from the perch to perch, finally up to the back of the chair, and onto the platform, again, home. that was Ready.
so, i began to carry her to the stairwell, there at Summit House. i started on the wee landing at the entry. just standing there with her, and slowly moving her, up to the top of my reach, and slowly back down. get her eyes keen. finally, she started to flap a bit when i had her at my top-point. she would not let go my finger, but i knew it was Stage Two. i started talking to her,
and i would flip her a little off my finger, allowing her to flutter down to the safe floor. so sweet. from the bottom step at first for a while, while she got her bearings, then up a step, a little more thrust, and on. as the wings came back, it was so delightful to see her go. from the beginning of the flutter she extended, those tiny wings finally held her aloft. she could still only slowly glide, but as she grew, it made her stronger and stronger to try so. she was reaaally tiny when they clipped her, maybe 4 weeks? so, it was a real love for me.
she made the move with me, so alienated here, isolated by the sudden and horrid departure of everything i had heretofore known, and she was "home" to me. she was free to roam, was very affectionate and rode around on my shoulder most of the time. loved the tricks-for-treats training, but was very different in her water play and movements from all the many males i’d always kept, delicate. and flight. oh, how she would zoom around this place. she sang a bit, more cooing. sweet little thing.
i made the mistake of letting a young man in the neighborhood that i thought was a little - slow? retarted? mow. he turned out to just be a drunk, and he -- let her out.
i never had to see the end of her. i still think of her as being around here, coupled up with the Sparrows, and teaching the fledglings what i taught her.