Skye died, February 14, 2016.
The first time I saw Skye, I came in and saw her in the cage she was later to die in, after being attacked (probably) by the other new bird, Jack.
That first time, Jack was in a box in another part of the room, a baby still. Skye was old enough to perch by herself in the cage Tracie would later put both Jack and her in, when she left, and at night.
The first time I saw Skye, I walked up to her and said hi, and looked at her, smiling.
She was wary at first, eyeing me carefully, a bit scared. Everything must have been so new to her; she had just been moved to a new house, seeing new people, new birds. She sat on a high perch in the cage, quietly, and looked at me carefully. What was I going to do to her?
I just looked back, smiling, talking in soft tones, greeting her, trying to make her feel welcome, loved.
Eventually, Skye turned her head and closed her eyes in a very feminine, very cute manner. In that instant I knew she was female, and a gentle, good bird. I fell in love with her, she was so sweet. She reminded me a little of Peach.
I remember many other interactions with Skye, catching her and Jack to put them in that same cage together when I was leaving one day, for example.
Another memory that stands out is when I looked at her and promised to get, or build, a flight cage for her. She looked back at me for an instant with a very intelligent, knowing look in her eyes. I felt in that instant that she understood what I was saying, at least she could hear from my tone that I was promising her something she would like. And she was hopeful, expectant, but there was an element also that didn't trust me to go through with the promise.
And I didn't, not before she died.
I feel such a sense of injustice, at Skye's death. I imagine her, attacked, mortally injured, lying in her little tent, licking her wounds, in pain, waiting to die.
She was so quiet, Tracie didn't even realize she was injured for a while after she finally came home and opened up the cage. Skye lay in her hanging tent, dying, not making a peep, resigned.
I listen to Kurt Cobain singing "Ain't it a Shame", over and over again. When he starts screaming, in the antepenultimate chorus, I cry. It is a shame.
I think Kurt felt the injustice and the pain that Skye felt, and even when he became rich and famous he couldn't forget it. It is not fair, for any to suffer. No amount of popularity or money could change that, for Kurt, I think. Nothing will take away the pain I feel, for Skye, for Peach, for Buddy, for all the birds I have known, for all the injustice I have experienced or heard about.
Charlie. Everytime I hear the song "Clap Hands! Here Comes Charlie" on the Swing Kings music station, I think of how I used to tell Charlie his name was in the song now playing, when it came on, while he was still with me.