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Oboe flew away

It was 4:30 on Saturday afternoon. The birds were all out of their houses and I was sweeping the floors. As I stepped outside to empty the dustpan into the green bin, Oboe slipped through the door with me.

And whoosh! Just like that, he was gone.

I watched as he flew down the street and around the corner. I dropped my dustpan and ran after him.

He was way up in a tall tree. I could hear him, but I couldn’t see him. I’d call his name, and he’d call back. I kept calling and looking, and he kept answering. A woman suggested treats. I ran home and got his safflower seeds but he wouldn’t come down for them either.

Then he flew out of the tree, across the parking lot, over the houses and out of sight. I ran after him, but I couldn’t see him or hear him anywhere. I ran up and down the street calling him. “Oboe! Oboe! Oboe!”

A toddler tried to help. “Bobo! Bobo! Bobo!”

Finally I went home and phoned GC, who was expecting me at his place for dinner. I put Kazoo and Simon back in their houses, and moved Oboe’s house out to the front porch. Maybe he would see it and fly to it.

I walked around, calling Oboe and noticing for the first time how many trees there are in my neighbourhood. It was like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

By this time I was starting to realize I might never see him again, which would be okay if he was going to live free and happy. But he would probably perish during the night because of the cold, and he would die lonely and scared and cold and hungry. That just broke my heart.

I tried to cheer myself up by reminding myself of all the things I wasn’t going to miss. I wasn’t going to miss him pooping in my hair and biting me for no reason and eating my books and chewing wires and teasing Duncan and annoying GC. (GC and Oboe have a bit of a love/hate relationship.)

But still. He’s a little bird with a big personality and I’ve loved him since he was an egg.

Then I heard him calling me from down a side street. I tracked him down to a tall tree behind a construction site. I called, he called, back and forth, back and forth.

He flew to a shorter tree. There were dozens of birds in it. They’d never seen a lovebird before, and they didn’t know what to make of him. All they knew for sure was that he wasn’t scared of them, so they’d better be scared of him. They abandoned their tree.

I kept calling him and he flew down to a parked pickup truck, just a few feet from me. Then he flew from the truck to the top of my head! I was so happy. But we still had to get home, and he wasn’t going to let me carry him. I had to trust him not to fly off my head.

Half a block later he flew back to the same tree. I went back and called him. Eventually he landed on my head, then dropped down to my shoulder and chirped cheerfully. A man came out of his house and said he’d watched the whole thing from his back porch, and it was the coolest thing he’d ever seen.

I reached up and stroked Oboe’s feathers and he allowed me to wrap my fingers around him. I had him. He was safe. I smothered him with kisses as I hurried home, then I put him in his house, which was still on the front porch.

GC arrived at that moment. He helped me bring the cage inside. I crouched down and whispered sweet nothings to Oboe.

GC got all choked up.

“I’m just crying because he came back,” he said. “I thought we were finally rid of him!”

25 comments to Oboe flew away

  • Oh. My. Dog. I was welling up, and then I was so happy that you got him back! And then I burst out laughing at the end. This is one of your best stories so far! Well told!

    That aside, I am sure you were devastated when you thought you lost him forever. I would have been, all that pooping and biting aside.

    • Thanks Julia! I was originally going to call it Little Oboe’s Big Adventure, but I didn’t want to give away the happy ending. I wanted everybody to ride the crazy roller coaster I had to ride!

  • Peter

    Poor Rob. Happy you. Lucky Oboe! Great story! :)

  • I think it was all part of his diabolical plan – now he can be extra bad, because you’ll just be too happy that he came back that you’ll let him get away with anything.

  • And so, having set him free, and he returning to you, now you know it is true love.

    • Ha! I said the same thing Dave. “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.”

      And it’s funny how much more I appreciate him today, having almost lost him yesterday. I love every little thing about him, even the little things I can’t stand!

  • WHEW!!! And *that* story would make a great children’s book!

  • grace

    This story made my heart flutter. Good one GC!

    • I didn’t let my heart flutter until he was safe and sound! It was pretty touch and go there for a bit when I couldn’t see or hear him though. (You’ve known him from the beginning too, since he was just an egg…)

  • Nancy

    I had to scroll down to check the ending before I could bring myself to read the story!

  • So glad he came back! What a story! I agree that it would make a great children’s book. (That reminds me. Do you know the children’s picture book Tree of Birds, by Susan Meddaugh? You might enjoy it.)

    • I’m not familiar with it alejna, but I looked it up on Amazon. It’s out of print, unfortunately, but I’ll keep an eye open for it at used book stores and sales. It looks like fun.

  • AAAAAAAAGH! So glad it was a happy ending.

    • Me too, Pamela. Those little guys are super-fast flyers, as you know, and the story could have ended very differently. I’ve learned a lesson from this experience though: I’m never doing housework again!

  • Kathleen

    That Oboe what a sweet, little bird. Great writing Zoom, I felt that I was right there with you during your story. I am sure that GC really does appreciate Oboe.

    • Thanks Kathleen. I know this whole experience gave me a greater appreciation for Oboe, and maybe GC has a bit of a soft spot for him too. A little teeny tiny soft spot, way deep down. ;)

  • What a nail biting post! And it has a happy ending!! I really enjoyed reading it.

    I’m so glad that he came back safely :)

    • Thanks Mika, I love happy endings too. One of the things I told myself as I was wandering around the neighbourhood thinking he was gone forever, was that at least he didn’t meet his demise in Duncan’s mouth. Because that would have been messy and probably fraught with dilemmas and general ickiness, and not a happy ending at all.

  • Another classic tale, Zoomie. It’s like something out of 1950’s TV. Is Kraft your sponsor? And if so, please share some of those great Cheeze Whiz recipes I so miss.

    • Chairy! What a nice surprise! 50s TV eh? Adventures of Oboe the Lovebird, brought to you by Kraft miniature marshmallows in rainbow colours and cucumber-lime Jello salad!

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