Saturday, July 25, 2015

For Those About To Squawk, We Salute You.

Nestled along their tiny perch in a cage three times too small sat a trio of parrots -- Humphrey, Bebo and Snot.

Yes, Snot had a tendency to sneeze a lot, but that's not the point of this story.

One afternoon, their altogether dreadful owner Barbara happened to leave their cage door unlocked. She'd normally come in the evening to leave a paltry dish of stale food, as well as spray a can of terrible mango-scented air freshener. Assuredly, the room was not tropical in any capacity. As the three parrots took turns eating from their dish, they seemed depressed. In their bird language, they exchanged exclamations of disgust and frustration, much like caged birds do. Bebo flapped his wings and accidentally knocked the unlocked cage door open. As if facing down a giant tiger, the three parrots stared blankly at their sudden bout of luck.

Snot was the first to swoop down. Pushing the door wide open, Humphrey and Bebo quickly followed suit. They marveled at how much room they had to float around their faux-jungle accommodations. Screeching and squawking like never before, they rejoiced fervently.

Of course, Barbara quickly heard the commotion and charged in, fly-swatter in hand. Swinging wildly at the birds, she smacked each of them like pesky house gnats. Yet, it would take more than a simple swatting to cage these maltreated birds today. They were finally free from their jail sentence and they weren't about to go back.

Humphrey ripped through Barbara's poor offense and latched onto her ponytail. Wafting his impressive wingspan back and forth, he dragged her every which way. As Barbara wobbled uncontrollably, she lost her balance. The rug underneath her feet gave way, leaving her to crash against the hardwood floor. Bebo and Snot dive-bombed their captor in rapid succession as Humphrey mounted a counter-strike on Barbara's neck. Make no mistake -- Humphrey was resolute in his intentions. For far too many years, they'd been trapped by this monstrous wench. Sinking his beak into her throat, he sliced a small gash in her skin. His eyes became dark; a pit of unbridled rage rested behind them.

While Barbara was tied up with Humphrey, Bebo and Snot glanced intently at their surroundings. There was a window -- Yes! Like a mighty cannon blast, they shot themselves at the window... once, twice, three times. Again and again, they slammed into the glass, trying to make their escape. Finally, Snot gave it his all and struck the window with a thunderous explosion. Success! The shards of shattered glass fell fourteen stories down to the bustling city street below. Bebo squealed in anticipation as their path was now clear.

Still gnawing at Barbara's neck, Humphrey immediately took note of Bebo's jubilation. Rising like a indomitable phoenix, he shook the ash of servitude off his wings and took to the air. Snot was quick to bolt through the broken window, with Bebo not far behind. As they took their first free swirls through the open sky, they waited for their friend Humphrey to squeeze through the broken pane.

Spiraling towards his imminent escape, Humphrey tasted the azure sky. It had been so long since he'd floated with the clouds. Such a torturous existence he'd endured, trapped like a plaything. Soon, he would be free. He could feel the winds of freedom about to blow his way.

That is, until Barbara launched forth and tossed an old robe over Humphrey. He fell to the floor, covered in a net of pink silk. Peeking his head out from beneath the cloth, he looked at Bebo and Snot through the open window. His beak did not part, but Humphrey's message was clear.

"Fly, damn you. FLY!"

Snot and Bebo glared at each other, now forced to leave their trusted comrade behind. A rush of bittersweet pain engulfed their tiny hearts as they took to the clouds. Soon, the two parrots joined the horizon and disappeared.


"Thank you for watching the WPYY 6 PM News, I'm Greg McGregor. Reports have flooded in this evening of an apparent swarm of birds headed this way from the southwest. Our Eye in the Sky helicopter team recently took a survey of the birds, whom seem to number in the thousands. We spoke with an expert ornithologist from the state university who explained they had never seen anything like this before. Parrots, macaws, cockatoos, pigeons, geese, ducks, ravens, owls and even an albatross appear to be participating in this completely unheard of behavior. Excuse me, we have breaking news... I was just handed this update. It seems the swarm has made a sudden course change. They're now flying full speed towards downtown. We'll keep you updated on any future developments."

"We're coming, Humphrey."

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