Pavo’s cage was lying on its side on the floor of the family room and the back door to the sun deck was wide open. My pulse rate ratcheted up a couple notches and I could only fear for the worst. But as I happened to glance upward, I spotted him perched on the top of the new magenta drapes.

“Pavo!” I cried, pointing to the tangled mess on the floor. “What’s going on here?”

“It’s Phydeaux the puckish poodle again Big Guy. You know how it is when he needs to make puppy puddles or poopoo patties in the backyard. He gets kinda crazy and runs back and forth like a maniac until you or Mrs. Big Guy open the door to let him out. But this time he got a little too enthusiastic and knocked over my cage. I guess Mrs. Big Guy’s hearing aids must be broken again because she didn’t notice a thing. I could have died down there.”

“That’s quite a fall Pavo. Are you okay?” I stood up his cage stand, opened the cage door and let him fly back inside.

“Don’t worry Big Guy. I know how to take a fall. Done it dozens of times. Just before the cage hits the floor, I jump up into the air so I never hit the ground. By the way BG, if you could teach other Big Guys to do it, lots of people could survive airplane accidents.”

“Against the laws of physics Pavo. Don’t you know anything about physics?”

“What do laxatives have to do with surviving a fall Big Guy?”

“No. No. No. Not physic.  Physics. The science that studies matter and its movement through time and space.”

“Are you telling me that laxatives explain movements of the universe?”

There are times in dealing with Pavo when the best solution is simply to beg the question or drop the subject altogether. I decided to switch the subject.

“Good thing you didn’t get outside Pavo. It’s a wild world beyond the back door.”

“A little late with your warning Big Guy. I did go outside. And you’re right. It’s a jungle out there. When I found a tree limb to rest on in the backyard to get my bearings, Phallix the cat found the tree and started clawing his way toward me. Oh, and by the way, you might want to call the fire department again to rescue him. He followed me up the tree but got stranded near the top where he can’t turn around and won’t back down.”

“Then you flew home?”

“Nope. Then I heard the call of a siren.”

“And you thought it was a fire engine coming to rescue Phallix?”

“Wrong kind of siren BG. This was the sweetest siren I’ve ever heard. And I think I’m in love. She’s a Russian canary. I heard her as I was flying through the back yard of the cottage across the street. The lady of the house yelled at me and said I was ruining the music when I tried to team up with the Russian canary on a couple Puccini offerings.”

“Oh, that lady is Ms. Frugalli. She lives by the creed of parsimony.”

“What sort of religion is that?”

“Not a religion, a way of life. Ms Frugalli squeezes nickels the way a boa constrictor squeezes lunch. Whenever you hear music over there it’s from Youtube videos. It’s all free. Ms. Frugalli’s training her canary and uses the music of Anna Netrebko, the latest Russian rage of the stage, to inspire her. Even named the bird Anya in honor of her remote mentor.  And the spelling looks sexier.”

“Well, Anya and I hit it off pretty well even though she didn’t come out of the house.”

Not likely to happen Pavo. Ms. Frugalli has fifty bucks invested in that bird and she’s not going to risk her investment by letting her naive nova noodle with a ruffian like you.”

“Hold your fire and your lame alliteration Big Guy. I think we hit it off pretty well. I could tell that she wants me to come back to visit.”

“Um, . . . But what about Miss Kari T. Kanari in the house next door? I thought you two were an item.”

“Splitsville Big Guy. You see, Before coming home this afternoon I swung by to see Miss Kanari but she’d already heard me singing with the Russian Canary and told me it was all over.”

“That’s because she was afraid that she was in danger of losing you.”

“Isn’t that what you call circular reasoning Big Guy? She’s cutting me loose because she’s afraid of losing me?”

“She’s cutting you loose because she’s a diva Pavo.”

“So you mean to tell me that Miss Kanari split up with me over a song?”

“No. Over your infidelity.”

“But everyone who knows me thinks that I have pretty high fidelity. I can out sing most of my budgie buddies and then some.”

“I’ll grant you that Pavo. But I’m talking about a different kind of fidelity, – fidelity of the heart, devotion to one member of the opposite sex at a time.”

“Whose idea is that Big Guy? In birdland we don’t have such rules. In fact, someone like me with the biggest or brightest display usually gets as many picks as he can handle. I see no reason to change all that.”

“Let me tell you about Pale Male. I see him on the news all the time.  He’s the hit of Central Park in New York City. He’s loyal to only one female at a time.”

“AHA!  This time you picked the wrong example.  His ex Lola is no longer around and it looks like he’s taking up with another new young female. He’s my hero, the Hugh Heffner of Birdland.   So I agree with his lifestyle Big Guy.  But it’s the other side of his story that I like too.  He eats pigeons.”

“But to keep the peace around this neighborhood Pavo, you’ll have to make a decision. And I think I can help you out.” Before he could protest, I brought my old TV with the built-in VCR slot into the room. I set it up facing his cage and slipped in a black and white video tape of “Shall We Dance” starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. “Okay Pavo. Pay attention and watch how a master sings soul soothing music and plucks a lady’s heartstrings at the same time.”

After the movie finished I woke Pavo and asked his thoughts about it.

“Well Big Guy, you keep showing me all these old movies of these slick talking guys who burst into songs in the strangest places and are always pulling things out of their pockets like necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets. I get the song thing okay but I don’t get the jewelry thing at all even though the ladies always seem so happy.”

“But you can do the same thing. Simple generosity never goes out of style”

“Except that I have a problem they don’t have Big Guy.”

“And your problem is?”

“No pockets.”


About D. B. Guy

ex-traveler, ex-Navy vet, ex-depression baby, long time retiree, current lounge chair occupant, husband, grandfather, computer novice-junkie, man-about-town(ret.), jolly good fellow
This entry was posted in My Pal Pavo. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Competition

  1. Miss KTK says:

    Dear Mr. Big Guy,

    Your Pal Pavo told me about you but you may be unaware that he and I have seen each other in the recent past. He is a prince of a bird and it is easy to see how he could fall prey to any number of predatory females. I don’t want you to think my contacting you about this is motivated by anything remotely akin to jealousy but it has come to my attention that he has also been seeing “Anya” recently. I think Pavo is dazzled by her youth and beauty. As you know, she claims to be a diva also.

    But really, have you heard her tessitura and vibrato? Her singing is consistently flat, especially her high ‘C’s and ‘D’s. Just because she claims she can prance around and do summersaults on the stage is no indication of real stage presence. She probably couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag! Also, you must be well aware of the “Castratos” that were so prevalent all the way back to the Greek stage when women were not allowed to tread the boards. For all we know, “she” could very well be a “he”.

    Further, she is Russian, born and bred, no doubt a closet Bolshevik Revolutionary, infiltrating the serious music world around the globe. Once a Commie, always a Commie I say. She cannot even speak our mutual mother tongue, English, very well. Her diction is atrocious!

    I hope you will use this judicial but confidential information for Pavo’s edification and benefit. In that spirit, I will refrain from using my true name,

    Miss KTK

    • D. B. Guy says:

      Miss KTK

      Thank you for your helpful critique. I’ve discussed these issues with Pavo and he has promised to clean up his act. But he has deep sympathy for Anya because he too trips over English usage on occasion and is fortunate that I’m around to bail him out. And I’m pleased to report that this common problem has brought Pavo and Anya closer together than I would have predicted. Unfortunately Anya’s keeper still doesn’t want him hanging around but his charm offensive seems to be making inroads and it will only be a matter of time before he and Anya can get together on a regular basis.

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