While the kookaburras wailed behind us, the black cockatoo sat perched on its branch and spoke not a sound, instead cocking its head and peering at us with glassy black marble eyes.
And who might you be? his expression seemed to say.
Curious myself, I tilted my head like his and observed as he noticed me mimicking his expression. He blinked, and so did I, which sparked his interest. Reaching his foot down the branch, he grasped with his toes and inched his body toward where I stood, motionless and staring back at him. Something had sparked his interest in me. Perhaps it was the calm gaze, the soft face, or the small smile at the corners of my thin mouth.
Hello, I greeted him when he’d toed the branch to face opposite me, again cocking his head to the side as if wondering who was this pale girl with the tired green eyes and half-amused grin.
Flustered, he extended his wings and flushed out the black and red crest atop his shiny, ebony head, puffing up his chest and ruffling his feathers.
My friends and I laughed at his animal behavior, humored by the pompous mohawk sticking straight in the air and those glassy eyes passionately engaged in my curious stare.
His intense look lessened. With doe eyes, he sought my affections, which amused me more. When I took two steps to the left, he promptly hopped to the next branch that brought him closer to me. Desperate to keep my attention, he scurried to the far end of his perch, and with his beak, he snapped a leafy twig in two. Inching his way back to where I still stood enamored with this determined suitor, he held the long twig in his mouth and gently offered it my way.
But the cold steel bars, which netted his cage, blocked the gift, not matter how many times he tried to push it through. Frustrated, he again broke the twig in two, shaving off loose ends which might get stuck against the cage, and with his beak, he offered the twig once more. Again, the metal gray cage barred the twig from breaking free into the free end of the world where I could walk away at any time.
Which eventually I had to do. There were many other animals to visit, you see. Koalas and wombats and kangaroos.
As I turned to walk away, the black cockatoo climbed onto the metal bars, his gnarled black feet grasping at the cold steel, and gripping them with his beak, he tried to follow me from his side of the world. The world where he was entrapped in a cage.
– Written by Miss A on September 18, 2011