Friday, June 26, 2009

empty nest -- not quite

My apologies that this entry is a bit dashed off. We have to go get the year's strawberries picked and processed and Ronan and her friends have a sailing lesson with Dean in the afternoon.

We did get an aviary of sorts rigged for Peach. Just in time for the big fundraising party we held for Megan (The party was a success, allaying my fears and exceeding my expectations. With the additional benefit of a lot of left over beer in the keg that I enjoyed giving away almost as much as I enjoyed drinking it.) Peach's aviary is in the back bedroom that I am planning to make into a pantry. She took to the room right away. Even put herself to bed in it one night when we were up past her bedtime playing a board game called Wildlife. After a considerable time spent playing T-Rex with the plastic figurines, she settled down to thieving money from the bank and defacing the currency. (Again, that's my girl! No respect for the value of money.) She also helped me annoy my fellow players in a closely contested game by taking the money due them from the bank out of my hand and delivering it to anywhere but the hand of the other party. Then, just as Ronan won one roll before I really should have, Peach disappeared. I found her on the wire shelf unit she prefers as a perch, all sleepy and meditative the way she gets after dark. Several days ago we opened the window in the aviary room and took the screen out. Ever alert to novelty, Peach flew to sit on the windowsill right and sat there looking out for some time before flying back into the rest of the house to ask for food, steal pencils, and harass me when I'm talking on the phone. Although she's a sub-adult now, Peach regresses to a toddler when I'm talking on the phone. Hopping from hand to foot, pecking at toes and fingers and the phone receiver, fussing and screeching. Ronan, who has been experiencing some silbing rivalry and jealousy with Peach, has taken on the job of doing predator practice with Peach, chasing her around the house and trying to catch her. It helps Ronan relieve her frustrations about her spoiled little sister (who is now older than her), who messes with her things and appears to have cached an accessory to one of Ronan's Pet Shop toys that she had only just bought that day with her chore money. She hasn't hidden that item in any of her usual spots, either. These days I have to check my shoes before I put them on for stashes of blueberries or rocks and sticks. Matt in particular has to protect his ears from being used as convenient holes for caching mealworms. Anway ... on Wednesday evening Ronan chased Peach into the aviary room. This is "base" for Peach so Ronan broke off the chase right away. Soon Peach went to sit on the windowsill again and after a few minutes of thinking about she flew out and into the cherry tree. For the next hour or so while I made dinner Peach sat in the cherry tree basking in the sun, often with her eyes closed, her beak open, and her wings held open and drooping. I occasionally called to her from the open windon so she would be sure to know how to get back, but she acted like I wasn't there. We had dinner. I fretted but figured this had to happen someday and still thought she might come in at roosting time. After dinner I saw Peach explore the ticket the cherry tree is in and find her way up to the top of the holly tree where the nest she had fallen out of probably still is. I'm not sure if she had an encounter with her biological parents but as I was sitting outside talking with my housemate, Pat, Peach flew into the workshop and let us know she was back, and ready for dinner. I got her some food she flew up to the upstairs balcony so I went in the house and out onto the balcony. Peach came to my shoulder and I took her back in and she's been ignoring the open window ever since. For now. Rather like sister Ronan, Peach is a thoughtful person who prefers to study new situations and then ease into them rather than fly off half cocked. More on the sibling rivalry: Ronan likes to steal Matt's tobacco pouch out of his shirt pocket. Peach clings to his suspenders while she works at liberating pencils from his pocket that she night then stash in his shoulderbag. Both kids are picky eaters and both make quite the fussy at being given something they don't want or no longer like, but only Ronan gets bent when I make a point of how much the other sister likes my lasagne, or pancakes, or bread.

Pictures: Peach on the teapot - all grown up. Peach checking the dirty dishes for yummy treats. Peach working out String Theory. Last picture is Peach messing with (and on) her friend and admirer, Jay Seeley.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this story. Everything about it. Not sure what profile to choose. ~Phaedra