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Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 5, 2011 Wedding for the birds

In the throes of empty nest syndrome one day, I wandered into a pet store to look at the puppies for fun, and heard some birds singing at the other end of the store.  Zebra finches were chattering and jumping around.  They looked like little hand painted works of art and sang happy little songs.  They were inexpensive, so I bought a pair of them and took them home in a pretty yellow cage (which wasn't inexpensive).

Having so much life in the house was fun.  Like a good bird mother, I supplied them egg food and a nest, swings, perches and toys and watched them cavort in their pink bathtub where they splashed in the water and chased each other around.  Pretty soon there were miniscule eggs in their nest and to my surprise, they all hatched into impossibly little fuzz balls.  Real birds grew right before my eyes. 

I went back to the pet store and looked at the other birds.  There were Lavenders and  blue Cordon-bleus, Melba finches, Java Rice finches, Pekin robins, canaries.  A world of birds, each of whom sang its own wonderful song.  Enchanted, I made plans to adopt a houseful so they could sing for me every day.  Over a period of six months I acquired pairs of the little delights, keeping up with who didn't want to be in the cage with whom, who was getting molested too frequently by its over-zealous mate, who was in need of alone time, which pairs were nesting and who was obviously not enamored of his/her mate (selected by me, go figure).

When my daughter became engaged and was going to be married in the yard under the gazebo, we planned to hang flower-covered cages with little troubadours around the yard for atmosphere.

My brother the genius made a tiny cage, just big enough for two little white zebra finches to fit for a very short length of time, as topping for the wedding cake.  Finally the day came.  Doilies and flowers bordered the top layer of the cake for "protection" and just before the reception, the tiny white birds were put in the little cage and placed on top of the cake.  They made a dramatic picture. 

But wait, what were they doing on the bottom of the cage?  They could just fit their bitty toes through the tiny bars and were scraping up the doilies, sticking their beaks into the frosting and going mad with delight.  Or a sugar high.

Soon I was going to have two over-zealous cake toppings dead from frosting over indulgence –This could put a damper on the beginning of a life together for the bride and groom.  What to do?  Guests were beginning to arrive.  Pictures were being taken, bridesmaids were running around the hallways carrying shoes and flowers.

I casually greeted a guest, who squinted his eyes at me as I backed up to the cake, opened the little door and reached inside to scoop the tiny maniacs from the cage.  One escaped over my head.   It was never seen again, probably still on his way to South America.  The other one had to be put in solitary confinement for two days from excitement overdose.

My mother saved the day by filling the cage with some leftover hibiscus blossoms.

Somehow, the bride never noticed her cake topper(s) had flown the coop.

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