whistlestop caboose

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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Friday, July 07, 2006

Minding your Bs and Ps, not to mention your Mmmms

My pal Mary sometimes sends me Word for a Day words. I was going to give you the one from this morning but I already forgot it - I only remember the story that goes with it. I thought it would be easy to find online, but WOW, I came across a flurry (not a word for the day) of words for today. It seems everyone likes to share daily words. So far, for July 7, I've found razzmatazz, froufrou, fallacy, genuflect, foreclose. What would we get if we put them all together, I wonder? See my previous post about famous last words.

I gave up trying to find the one Mary sent when I got to this: Ala Wai. Oops, Hawaiian, meaning water way or canal.

I had to turn to the dictionary because although I remembered Mary's word, I wasn't sure I remembered how to spell it.

Here is her word from this morning, used in a wee tale, as the greatparents from Scotland might have said. See if you can pick it out.

When I was 13 I begged for a parakeet. My mother hated birds, but she agreed and I used my allowance to buy a yellow bird I promptly named Boops. The name was based on information I scrounged up (no Internet then) about parakeets and teaching them to talk. Bs and Ps, that was the trick. For hours I would sit in front of the cage repeating "Boops! Boops! Say hello to me, Boops!"

Perhaps it was the diet, maybe it was the cage, or it could have been boredom, but Boops never said a word. Not a word. One sunny day I cleaned the cage outside and in a moment of inattention, Boops flew away, high up into a treee, then another tree and another. I shouted and cried. My mother dropped what she was doing and ran down the street after him shouting "Boops! Boops - come back Boops!"

What I remember most cleraly what she was wearing: orange and pink plaid shorts, a loud pink and red flowered shirt, sensible shoes. I was embarrassed at my bird's name, but I was mortified by what she wore.

Today, as I write this, I am about the same age as my mother. I won't tell you what I'm wearing, but it's closer to what she wore then, than to what I thought she should have worn. I'm as happy in this gear as she probably was in hers.

I have never owned another parakeet. If I did, I might call it Bilabial. I would never chase it down the street calling its name, for fear of what the neighbors might think.


Blogger the eternal optimist said...

And as I read your email this morning a white parakeet with grey shoulders appeared at our bird feeder! So strange, this synchronicity. I borrowed a bird cage and filled it with goodies in hopes of attracting this little white orphan, but it seems to appeal more to wrens, squirrels, and the tiny tufted titmouse more that to the parakeet. We will not give up hope. His song, performed from a high branch of the maple tree, is quite exquisite, and he intersperses it with chatter. Nothing I can understand. Just bird mumbles. I'll go out later and try the Boop call and see if that works.

10:45 PM  
Blogger whistlestop caboose said...

Now how did you know it was a parakeet - I thought they only came in yellow and green! I think your bird knowledge is a bit stronger than mine. After I master the garden (return in 2030, please) I might take up birding. Not today, though.

8:56 AM  

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