To say that I was uptight about my grades when I was young would be a massive understatement. I was a good student, but I fretted constantly. I was also disorganized. You know, one of those kids walking around with papers falling out of their notebooks, opening lockers to have the structural integrity of its contents give way. I was always forgetting my homework at school, or losing it on the way home and would have to rush back to the school to pick it up, or call a friend.
(I should also mention that I grew up in a rural neighborhood. This was the late seventies, maybe early eighties, so people still felt safe enough to leave their doors unlocked.)
One day in middle school, I forgot my homework again and decided to call a friend. I didn't know him all that well at the time and had never been to his house. He told me that I could borrow his book, just come over and get it.
My parents drove me to his house and I ran up to knock on the door. Somewhere deep in the house, a woman yelled “COME IN!” This wasn’t uncommon; we weren’t afraid of intruders. But, you did sometimes feel a bit awkward, knowing the person was probably expecting someone they knew to walk through the door. This was one of those times for me. So, instead of going in, I knocked again. I got the same response. I reluctantly walked in and looked around but no one was in the room. I called out, “Hello?” The same voice yelled, “I’M BACK HERE!” Even more awkward! But I started my way back towards the voice. And I didn’t see anyone, anywhere. It was eerily quiet. Finally, I got to the last room, and when I didn't see anyone, I said “Hello?” again.
Imagine my surprise when a yellow and green parrot screamed out, “I’M BACK HERE!”
The next day, I went to confront my friend about not being there, but before I could say anything he asked me what had happened; he had been waiting for me. I told him, “YOUR BIRD IS WHAT HAPPENED!”
He said,“What bird?”
The above parrot was drawn from a morguefile.com photo, free use section. It is watercolor and colored pencil on hot press paper.