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I had a series of disasters. My little cockatiel mama laid too many eggs and died with a prolapsed oviduct. Sometime later, when I took the cage with my other birds outdoors for some sun and fresh air, the cage fell from the roll-around. Since the birds were not able to open the top, I never kept it locked. The cage tipped, the top flew open, and three birds escaped. Days of sitting outside with the cage beside me did not bring them back, of course. Only Turtle stayed with me.
Then, an ad gave me some hope my yellow male Walter Pigeon Toe might have been found. They said the bird was white, but I've had people call him white so went to check. It was a little all-white female. They gave her to me. She had been found under a car in a driveway. She seems older, very wild, not in wonderful condition, but I thought Turtle would enjoy her company and vice versa. Then, one day, Turtle disappeared. It will always be an unsolved mystery how she could have disappeared. We pulled all furniture from the walls and checked my small apartment thoroughly, opened every drawer, etc., etc. Several people meeting outside my door would have seen her if she had escaped that way. No one saw her. I'll never know how it happened, I guess. It seems all my fault, but . . .

Now, I have the little white bird I named Snow. She has never cozied up to me in any way. To hold her, I have to first capture her with a cloth. Then she kind of quiets down a bit, but given a bit of leeway, she nips and wiggles to get away, so I never think she enjoys it. Until today. Being white, she often needs to be bathed, especially her vent area that can get unsightly if poop sticks in her feathers there. So, today was bath day. I've always just held her in a towel afterward until she begins to dry. Today, I decided to try using my hairdryer, held at a safe distance. Lo and behold, she quieted down and appeared to be enjoying the air and its warmth. I could loosen my hold a bit. Her eyes half-closed as though she might even fall asleep! I was ecstatic. She had become my little pet!

After a while, as her feather dried and began to fluff up, I let the towel fall away and petted her as I kept drying her. She didn't try to get away from you--for the first time in over two years! Several minutes later, she scooted up under my chin. I almost cried. She stayed there for several minutes. Then, when she indicated she wanted to go up to my shoulder, I took a chance and allowed her to climb on up. She had never sat on my shoulder before! Today, she reached my shoulder and turned around to face forward and stayed there. I don't know whether I deserve this happiness after losing my cockatiel babies through what will always feel like carelessness, but maybe it doesn't matter whether I deserve it or not. It is a marvelous gift and I accept it. Thank you, little Snow Bird!
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