Sunday, June 20, 2004

Bye bye, birdie. Beanie has flown the coop!! I didn't expect it to be today, but I'm so relieved.

The kids and I took my dad (who just arrived from the States yesterday) out to a Father's Day lunch at our favorite restaurant in the Odenwald. When we got home, Beanie was standing on the edge of his dish of mushed catfood having a little snack, which was a nice development.

We took him outside expecting to spend a little time just letting him do short practice flights. My dad had asked me how I would know when it was time to not bring him back in with me, and I replied: "When I can no longer walk up to him and pick him up." I figured if I can't get him, nobody else can either.

Beanie was so excited about being outside. He hadn't made a peep inside the house except once when he talked to my computer, which was making chirping noises. Outside though, he was quite the blabbermouth in answer to all the other birds.

He sat on my finger for a while, fluffed out his feathers, and then took off. Forget walking over and picking him back up! He flew at least 40 yards before he landed. We walked down to where he had gone, and we saw him one last time as he flew up into a tree. Then when we got back to my house, we looked up and saw a whole flock of swallows circling overhead. As far as we're concerned, those were his relatives, coming to take him home.

There were high fives all around and absolutely no tears. Of course, I think it helps that in a stroke of rare brilliance, I had told Annabelle that she could have the sack of McDonald's Happy Meal Neopets toys that Papa brought with him only AFTER Beanie was gone. So her reaction was pretty much, "Bye bye, Beanie. Now where the heck are my Neopets?!"

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