My canary, and Me!
Every year I have the same dream. The same dream that terrifies me, and for months on end I am convinced that my bird will die. I have this belief that many disagree with; an animal is just as important as a human being, my animals mean the world to me, and now that my canary has reached such an old age for his species I am dreading the day he will pass away, because reality is, I can’t avoid it. It will happen.
I wish I could stop it, you know? Avoid the pain. I got my bird, Tweety from an egg, his siblings began to not let him eat as he was the tiniest and the weakest, so my granddad gave him to me, we hand-fed him and he became tame, he began to develop an attitude problem and have a little personality all of his own. A few years later, I lost my father. Tweety became everything to me, he became the one I would cry to, and the one I would spill my deepest feelings to, he wouldn’t judge. Just listen.
To some people you see, they don’t understand the bond you can have with an animal, but I didn’t have friends at school, people used to spread vicious rumours about my father’s death and I couldn’t burden my mother with it, she was going through enough. So, without friends, and family, Tweety became my counsellor, the one that was always there. To this day, when I have the days where I need to cry, or I need to share a secret with someone, he’s the one. So from the very day my father died, to this very day, that bird has always been there for me, even if he is not aware of it.
Every year I have this dream that he’s dying. I can never do anything to stop it, he just dies in front of me, I can see him fading away and I try not to cry, I want his last days to be peaceful and in the hands of his loving owner but I cry like a baby. I beg my mum to stop it, to do something but it’s a pointless plea, what can you do to stop old age? I wake up with tears streaming down my face. It’s my biggest fear at the moment, to lose him.
Tweety is now twelve years old, which bird specialists would know is very, very old for a canary; If I am correct the oldest living canary in the world is fourteen so I know just how old he really is. Every year I can’t get this dream out of my head. Every year I lose my bird in my sleep, only to wake up and realise just how lucky I am that he is still here. But one day that won’t be the case when I wake up. I cannot bare it.
This is my nightmare.
By Boneata Bell
16th December 2011