Mid July of 1995 I received a phone call from our daughter, Kim who was living in Detroit at the time. She had been given four birds and needed to find homes for them. Which meant “can we keep them”. That Sunday my husband Ralph and I made the journey to pick up our new family members, and that was the beginning of my love for a plain little green bird. Casper, a Quaker parrot was almost three when he came into our lives. He liked me immediately, but it took awhile for him to warm up to the others. On the way home he started speaking from the back seat. For the next four years he took residence between the kitchen and dinning room were he ruled our home. Soon we found those few words were just a beginning. He sang three different songs, danced, acted as our watch dog telling us when ever anything was outside, tattled on anyone snacking late at night and in general worked his way into all of our hearts. During this time he became Ralph’s buddy Casper would tell Ralph when he needed to go to bed at night by calling “Daddy” until Ralph picked him up pet him until he purred, said good night and placed him on the bottom of the cage in his favorite corner. Casper would greet us each morning by saying good morning three times, once for each person. When he didn’t like something you were either told to shut up or to go lay down. About six months ago he was diagnosed with fatty liver disease and were told to reduce his fat intake. Easier said then done when every other word out of his mouth was “want some”, “oh it’s gonna taste good” or “can I have some”, but we tried. Super bowl Sunday Casper stopped talking and eating we knew something was wrong. We rushed him to the closet emergency care center, which was an hour away. They flushed his crop out several times thinking that he might have had a blockage. We took him home that night and scheduled a appointment for x-rays on the following Wed. just to make sure that nothing had gone into his lungs when the treatment was done. He seemed better that night, but the following morning we found him by his water dish taking a small sip of water and then regurgitating. When my husband went to work Casper, who hadn’t spoken in two days told him “Goodbye” his last words. Again we rushed Casper to the nearest avian vet this time hour and a half away. Ralph couldn’t join us because of work. The Vet wanted us to leave him to run some tests. Two hours later he was gone. Although we have four other birds in our home there is a huge hole left in our hearts. Missing the 9,000 questions and comments that came from that corner of the room each day. We couldn’t even look at that part of the room. Who would have thought such a plain little green bird (that my daughter nicknamed the Raptor) would have made such a difference in our lives. He is resting in my flower garden outside the kitchen window. The days seem to be much longer and quieter without him. This was written to let others know what a wonderful friend and loved one we had. Casper, we will always love you and remember.
*The photo is of Casper and my daughter Kim


         A Poem
by Terri L. Doe                                          -M. Pinel Feb. 2000  (
                                                                                          (re-printed with permission from the author)

The Rainforest where we once lived                     I'm only a child, it's not my fault
was lush and thick and green                               you never taught me right from wrong
The trees they reached into the sky                      when I was so tiny, you loved me so much
like none that most have seen.                             I'm only doing what I've done all along
                                                                               Why did you bring me home
And in the tree's a hollow spot                             just to throw me away?
is where we both would go                                   All I do is love you
For in the hollow, we would lay                          now you say I'm a pain
our eggs as white as snow                                    please tell me what to do,I don't want to be alone
                                                                              I'm frightened and confused, please take me back home
The forest it had plenty                                       I'll never understand why you feel this way
of food for us to eat                                             I'm only a child, please don't throw me away
And water holes where animals
would play and swim and meet.

One day as I was in my log
I heard an awful sound,
I flew out to the lookout branch
to see what lurked around.

A human with his nets and gloves,
machete and a sack,
Had come to steal our chicks from us,
Oh how I want them back.

And when he took our little chicks
I heard a piercing cry,
He dropped my chick from up above,
I had to watch him die.

And when he left, we went to see
our hollow and our nest
Our family was gone you see,
our place where we would rest.

The village man, he walked for miles
through forest thick and green,
The babies cried inside the bag,
it hurt to hear them scream.

Into the village with the bag
the merchants came to see,
When opened up a single chick
is all that there would be.

On the bottom lay my chick
his body limp and frail,
His eyes sunk in, his wrinkled skin,
no longer would he wail.

The thunders coming closer
the tree shakes from the ground,
Branches flying everywhere
our home is falling down.

I fly away and then I see
my mate is no where near,
I search above the tree tops
no calls for me to hear.

And on the ground my lifelong mate
lies still as still can be,
And we will never mate again
and never will be three.

And all the trees where we once lived
are gone forever now,
For roads and pastures take their place
and ranchers with their cows.

Our food supply has dwindled
our water hole is gone,
No place to rest my tired wings
Dear mate it won't be long.

Soon you will not see us
in the forest if you look,
The library is where we'll be
inside a picture book.

So won't you tell your children
of the parrots you once knew,
And rest your head at night with ease
Knowing, you did all that you could do.

Copyright © 1996 Terri L. Doe All rights reserved.