Pavo was attacking his cuttlefish bone with obvious ferocity, an indication that he was in one of his surly moods again. I approached him cautiously, not wanting to exaggerate his irritated state.

“What’s up Pal? Wanna tell me what’s on your mind?”

He slid down the side of the cage and landed with a loud metallic “thunk” on the bottom. “Look at this mess,” he said, scratching at the dots on the paper lining the cage floor. How do you expect me to live under these conditions?”

“But I thought you liked it that way Pavo. It gives you more options for your divination of omens, – your doodoo dot insights.”

“Sheer neglect. That’s what it is.”

“I’ll try to do better. But you’ve got to cut me some slack Pavo. I’m pretty busy these days.”

“Busy? Busy? I don’t get it. You’re retired. You’re not supposed to be busy.”

“Truth is, Pavo, I have a new toy.”

“Yeah. I’ve seen it. That black thing you carry around all day. But it doesn’t have any moving parts that I can see and it doesn’t explode into a million pieces so it can’t be much of a toy.’

“Don’t confuse modern movies with real life budgie buddy.”

“And I’ve noticed you walk into walls a lot while looking at it. What is it about that thing that captures your attention?”

“It’s my new Kindle. And it’s not black Pavo. The color is graphite.”

“Kindle? Doesn’t that have something to do with starting a fire?”

“Kindles the fires of my imagination I suppose. But no. I bought it so I can read my newspapers and not have to worry about failure to deliver on bad weather days. You know we do get occasional snowstorms in the winter and hurricanes in the summer around here. So I’m always prepared.”

“I’d guess that also make you a good Boy Scout?”

“I’m a little too old for that. But I like to plan for all contingencies.”

“Wait a minute Big Guy. I just remembered that I haven’t seen many real newspapers around here lately. Could that kindling thing be responsible?”

“As a latent ecologist it’s my contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gasses Pavo. I like to think of it as a modest but positive donation.”

“How does that work?”

“With a reduced need for newsprint, it lowers the heat and greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by paper mills and it helps to preserve our forests by needing fewer trees for paper production. It’s a win-win situation all around. Instead of delivering a printed version of my newspaper, I get the news digitally, via the ether and download it into my Kindle where I can read it at my leisure. And I don’t need all that elbow room to spread out the paper for reading. Or places to pile them up after I’ve finished reading them. My soul mate is all in favor.”

Pavo fixed his eyes on the Kindle. He squinted, and I could see him mulling over the new information. Suddenly, an “Aha!” expression crossed his face.

“So that explains it Big Guy! I knew it wasn’t my fault.”

“What did you think was your fault”

“The soiled newspapers piling up on the bottom of my cage.”

“Sorry Pavo. I guess I have been a little neglectful lately. As I said, I’ll try to do better.”

“But if you don’t get newspapers anymore how will you do better? What will line the bottom of my cage?”

“We still get the Sunday paper delivered.”

“Why not get it on the Kindle?”

“Sunday edition is heavy on color and graphics. Kindle does neither.”

“Wait a minute Big Guy. Do you know what that does for my most favorite pastime?

“Which pastime is that?”

“Spotting pictures of politicians in the newspapers. I know how much you love them. I spot them from high level perches as well as mid level perches. Splat! Splat! Splat! Hah! Got another one. It’s not exactly precision bombing Big Guy but it gives me a lot of satisfaction.”

“I understand the enjoyment you get from your full freedom of expression Pavo. I’m in total agreement. But this is the future we’re talking about here. And be careful what you complain about. This might be yours someday.”

“But if I had only a Kindle, I wouldn’t be able to express the full range of my emotions.”

“True. But since I control the finances around here, it may be your only choice Pavo. You see, I’m now looking at an iPad. And you may get the cast off Kindle.”

What’s an iPad?”

“Just the latest and greatest device to hit the market. It will replace a whole bunch of computers.”

“Does that mean I’ll no longer have to rely on that old laptop you leave around on your desk. That would be a relief. No more head banging for me.”

“But, I’m not so sure of that either. You see, I’m not yet committed to the iPad. There is good reason to believe that Amazon will produce a version of the Kindle that will be designed to go head to head with iPad. However it won’t be out until the Fall. So that means you’ll be stuck with newsprint for a while yet.”

“But it also looks like I’ll be heading off into a new dimension in a while. Is that correct?

“Sure looks that way but I think I’d like to let you ease in gradually so that it won’t strain your brain too much.”

“How do you intend to do that?”

“I’m planning to hang my Kindle on the inside of your cage and give you a few instructions on how to use it. You’ll be the most technically proficient bird in the universe.”

“Sounds like a plan to me Big Guy. When do we start?”

“As soon as I can get Mrs. BG to loosen her purse strings.”

“Ah, the truth. But why do I have bad feelings about this Big Guy?”


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 Kindling

  1. Jean says:

    Dear Mr. Guy,

    I certainly do commend you for your ecology mind set by investing not only in your Kindle but possibly an iPad. Just think of all the trees that have died in order to provide us with our daily newspapers. You alone can save scores of them!

    Perhaps Mrs. Guy will be more amenable and spring for the iPad when she realizes she will no longer have to follow you around with a Clorox Wipe to clean up the newsprint ink fingerprints you leave behind from reading the papers.

    May I make a suggestion or two? Do you still have any old encyclopedias lying around in bookcases gathering dust? With the iPad you can find just about anything you want to look up and the information would be more up to date. Then you could begin to line the bottom of Pavo’s cage with pages torn from the encyclopedias. Over time he could become one of the most erudite budgies on the planet! There are certainly plenty of historical figures worthy of Pavo’s splat splats! e.g. William Rahdolph Hearst (aka Rupert Murdoch, et al.) As for the current political news, he can get that from TV, but please, any other source than Fox.



    • D. B. Guy says:

      I consulted with Pavo and he’s not in favor of your idea. He says it will put him behind the times, reading old encyclopedia pages that were probably generated before he was born. He wants to be known as a “hip” bird rather than an “old crow”.

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