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Emotional Mirror (Parrots Talking Back To Us In 'Other' Non-verbal Ways?)
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Feeling outraged, with blood starting to drip, I picked up his dish and said, “You will get NOTHING! NOTHING!” And I actually attached the empty dish to the cage as if that would register my displeasure and somehow balance the insult, as I saw it. Oh yes, my grand petty revenge over a natural display of displeasure and jealousy from this creature that trusts me and, however we can understand it, loves me.

I stormed out, feeling betrayed and dreadfully hurt. As I washed my finger, still upset, I caught a third-eye compassionate observer glimpse of Ranger and myself. What in the world did I need from this small creature? Unconditional love? Approval? A reproving (almost justified) bite from him and I was like a sensitive teenager with a crush gone bad. What emotional distortions is that fun-house mirror reflecting?

I finally came back to Ranger and asked him if he wanted to go outside. He understands that question. It is his favorite activity. But he was having none of it and glided around his cage top, up his ropes, and over his perch with tail fanned, head feathers fluffed, and eyes glued to me as if to say, “You must be kidding. You messed around with that other bird and I won’t go outside with you because I know it is your favorite activity.”

Later today, we will forgive each other and go outside to see the squirrels, neighborhood birds, and say hello to any people we meet. I will continue to ponder the many ways in which my parrots are making me accountable for my feelings and connecting me to a deeper wisdom of acceptance and compassion.

* Connie Menefee has a vast and varied history as a freelance writer.  She has written for The Cincinnati Post and the Enquirer among many other publications and has a diverse background in business and grant writing as well.  She also writes poetry.   

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