When I took the cover off his cage, Pavo looked startled, as if he had been deep in sleep. “Oh hi Big Guy,” he said, shaking his head to get his eyes focused, “You were celebrating something last night? Sure was a noisy party. Kept me awake long past my sleepy time.”

“Sorry Pavo. I should’ve warned you. It was our anniversary? A celebration of Mrs. BG and me being joined in wedded bliss for 48 years..”

“I don’t know how to count in years. But I do know days. How many days is that?”

“Let’s see. According to my calculations that’s 17,532 days.”

“Wow! You and Mrs. Big Guy have been together that long? That’s more than a half dozen budgie life spans. We average from 2555 to 4380 days. The number 17,532 is unbelievable. How did you manage to stay together so long?”

“Healthy diet, plenty of sleep and minimum stress. And having a soulmate devoted entirely to me helps.”

“That’s not the way we do it in birdland BG. The idea of such singular devotion is out. We play the field. Love’em, leave ‘em. Find the new, forget the old. That’s our motto.”

“You’ve told me that before.”

“And who was that big guy who looked like you only bigger – and a lot less wrinkled, I might add? He seemed to be running the party.”

“That’s our son Max.”

“But he’s as thin as a celery stalk. And you still look like a bag of onions. How come you two are so different?”

“Max is an exercise freak. Spends time at the YMCA every day. Runs marathons. He’s always been big. He was a big baby. Ten pounds.”

“Whoa Big Guy! Ten Pounds? That’s bigger than Phallix the cat. That must have been one king sized egg.”

Pavo stopped me cold with his egg comment. But then it dawned on me. He knows next to nothing about reproduction, and the little he knows is about the way birds do it. So it was natural that his concept of reproduction would involve eggs. “Well Pavo,” I said, “In humans it’s a little more complicated than that.”

“Tell me about it BG. I’m always ready to learn.”

I located an old biology textbook on the shelf behind my desk and opened it to an illustration showing a diagram of the human female reproductive system and a developing fetus. “Here Pavo. Here’s a picture of a baby about ready to be born.”

“Looks kind of scrunched up. Isn’t that uncomfortable? And where’s the egg shell BG?”

“ No shell. And that’s pretty much the way the baby looks even right after it’s born. In humans, the baby is ready after it has grown for 280 days, more or less, inside the mother. But it can be pretty uncomfortable for her. And messy too. Then she has to squeeze it out of there, – at least that’s what I’ve heard. But you’ll have to ask Mrs. BG about that. When Max was born she started screaming at me and when he started to pop out I fainted and didn’t see him again until the next day.”

“You mean to tell me that he grew inside Mrs. BG before he was hatched?”

“Exactly. But we say born. Hatched is for birds and crocodiles”

Pavo’s eyes brightened as he thought over all this new information. Then he snickered “You’re kidding me, aren’t you?”

“Nope. That’s the way we do it.”

“Hold on a minute BG. You haven’t told me the whole story. If it’s the female’s job to squeeze them out after the grow, then in the case of Mrs. Big Guy, how did Max get in there in the first place?”

“Uh oh!” I thought, “THE TALK, – THE ETERNAL QUESTION that parents dread.”

Pavo must have recognized my surprised look as he sidled across his perch. When he got close to my face he lowered his voice “I just want to know how you big guys make little Big Guys? That’s not too personal is it?”

“It all comes naturally Pavo. Anyone can do it. It requires no special talent and it works without even having to think about it. You just have to be ready when the moment is right. And if you have trouble getting ready there’s always Cialis.”

“Cialis? I don’t understand the message. Whenever I see that ad on TV I never get the association between Cialis and babies. And what do bathtubs have to do with being ready to hatch a baby?”

“Sorry Pavo. Those visuals are only to get your attention.”

“But I still believe little ‘keets would be fun. Do you think I’m ready BG?”

“I’ve been thinking and reading about that Pavo. Experts tell me I need to build a special mating cage, one you can fly around inside. And I have to provide nesting boxes and food.”

“Okay. I’m ready. Let’s get started. But the food has to be that premium millet seed.”

“Um, – well, there’s a slight complication. Experts also tell me that I need at least four mating pairs to assure success.”

“Wait a minute. This isn’t going to turn out like the time you brought home the big fantail goldfish to keep company with Seymour and Goldie? That was a disaster.“ Pavo paused, then puffed up his chest, “But on second thought, bring it on. I’m sure I’ll have the most appealing display. The lady ‘keets’ll love me.”

“Okay. But first, I’ll also have to get a new video camera.”

“Whoa! You’re not planning to put us on Youtube are you? I refuse to be put up as just another cutesy animal clip to go along with those cloying cats.”

“Even better Pavo. How about your own reality series on Animal Planet?”

Pavo’s eyes narrowed as he squinted at me. A sly smile spread slowly across his face. “We can name it ‘Maidens, Millet and Me’,” he said, his face now beaming. “I love it.” He then startled me as he raised his voice and proclaimed loudly. “Housewives, Move Over! Pavo’s coming to play!”


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 Kidding

  1. Jean says:

    Dear Mr. Guy,

    Congratulations on your anniversary of so many years of marital blitz! I was quite impressed by your comprehensive little Talk with Pavo about the birds and the bees. Well, the birds anyway.

    So you and Pavo are thinking about setting up your very own avian nursery of chiclets, er, lil’ ‘keets. Do you think Miss Kari T. Kanari and Anya will be active, willing participants? After all, they are the ones who will be laying the eggs and incubating them. They would have to put their operatic careers on hold for the time being. Well, maybe they could persuade Pavo to ‘set a spell’ occasionally.

    I am sure Mrs. Frugali would be more than happy to get involved at least in the business end of the reality show. Those seem to be much more lucrative than the garden-variety sitcoms these days. Mrs. Frugali could be quite persuasive in rounding up Purina as a sponsor.

    You would certainly have to keep an eagle eye on Phallix though. He would view it a nothing more than a breeding ground of tender tasty little morsels for his gourmet appetite.

    I await the developments in your new enterprise!



  2. D. B. Guy says:

    Dear Miss Jean

    Poor Pavo has a limited view of the mechanics of reproduction. As much as he would like to become an item either with Miss Anya or Miss Kari, it can never happen. He doesn’t know that dissimilar species are incapable of mating. In other words there can be no intimacy between a parakeet and a canary. In this case I’d guess it’s just nature’s way of keeping from having to listen to an aria that might be best developed as a substitute for a fire truck siren. Also their colors might clash.

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