parakeet

A Fable

Fables are short stories featuring animals or mythical creatures and often have a teaching or a moral. Aesop's fables are among the most well known, from around 550 BC. I made an attempt at emulating that first fabulist (one who writes fables), and here is a tale with a more modern setting than "The Tortoise and the Hare." I guess this could be "The Parakeet and the Mouse."


There was once a little green parakeet that loved his home.  It was a small home, with a diagonal branch to hop along, a swing to swoon on and a feeder that was always full.  The parakeet's favorite thing, however, was a picture on the wall that showed a flock of parakeets surrounded by thick jungle leaves. The little green parakeet could imagine them twittering away together. He could even smell the humid jungle air alive with a choir of crickets and ants pitter-pattering tirelessly along moss-covered branches.

The little green parakeet talked to the picture on the wall frequently, but never got an answer.  One day the parakeet's neighbor overheard his whispered question to the picture, "Why am I here, and not there with you?"  For a long time the neighbor had thought the little parakeet was cuckoo in the head.  However, for some time now, he had suspected an issue of a more serious nature, something he understood himself.

"Come join me and eat a fresh sunflower seed cake I made, " the neighbor invited the parakeet.

The parakeet peeked around his house at his neighbor.  "But you're a mouse." 

The gray neighbor smiled and wiggled his little pink nose.  "Yes, how astute of you to notice."

The parakeet and the mouse shared a delicious sunflower seed cake on the windowsill and enjoyed the spring sun warming them through the glass.  The next day, they met again and went exploring and found a treasure: a forgotten packet of flower seeds.  The little mouse gnawed open the package with his sharp teeth, and the little parakeet flew above the ground to sprinkle the seeds over the dark earth.  As the weeks went by, the green parakeet and the gray mouse would inspect the ground and exclaim over every fresh green shoot that rose out of the earth. 

The little green parakeet was so happy to have met the mouse and his mind was so full of the fun things they had done and the jokes the mouse had told, that he would forget to say good night to his parakeet picture when he went to bed at night.  Soon, he wasn't talking to it at all, because he was too busy making forts with his new friend and learning about mouse food and showing the mouse how best to hop along his branch.

Then one morning in early summer, the first fragrant bud appeared in their flower plot, softly pink at the edges.  The parakeet and the mouse took pictures of the momentous occasion and celebrated with watermelon popsicles and learned how to jig. Within a few days, the whole ground in front of the windowsill was full of colorful blossoms and everyone in the neighborhood enjoyed coming to look at them dancing in the breeze.  The parakeet and the mouse had to keep a steady supply of watermelon juice and sunflower cakes because new friends seemed to pop up just like their flowers.

"Ahem...er, hello!" The parakeet woke up one morning to hear his mouse friend's voice very close to his ear.  "I have a gift for you," he whispered excitedly.

The parakeet slowly opened one eye, then the other.  But Mouse was already gone, and a gift awaited by his feeder to be unwrapped. 

The little green parakeet stared in wonder as he opened it.  It was a framed picture of the first bud.  He and Mouse were also in the picture (maybe a bit fuzzy because Mouse was only learning how to work his camera back then), but the magical blue sky and the delicate bud reminded him of how happy he had been that day.  He marvelled that Mouse had given him such a beautiful gift.  He put it in the best place in his house, replacing his old parakeet picture with this new treasure.

That night, the little gray mouse with the pink nose curled up contentedly in his basket with a happy sigh as well.  Above his head on the wall was also a picture of him and Parakeet and The Bud.  He knew that sunflower seed cakes and watermelon popsicles couldn't by themselves cure something as serious as loneliness.  But they had sure helped.  Indeed, they had.

a quick little sketch...

a quick little sketch...