Dear Ardilla Feroz,
Your parents have a parrot? What kind? Do you have any opinion on the bird? Any good stories?
Yes, a cockatiel named—we'll say—Larry Bird. He was acquired from a cousin during one of my brother's "I-really-want-a-pet-what-about-this-kind-of-animal" phases where unfortunately his interest in an animal and the availability of the animal aligned. No iguana, chameleon or hedgehog was brought through the door that fateful day, but a creature of shadow and flame. Initially cheerful, once it was settled in the fowl revealed itself to be of a capricious temper suited better to a paranoid dictator.
I would like to call it a "stupid bird," as the bird despises me and will usually attack when I draw near. Unfortunately, his is not a hatred borne of ignorance but cold, calculating evil. Perky instinctively knows when I am the only one in the house. During these times he will ingratiate himself to me, chirping, whistling, and repeating his one phrase ("Larry Bird! Larry Bird!") melodiously. Even when he is released from the iron cage which multitasks as both his house and prison, he maintains his pleasant facade. As soon as someone else comes into the house and my role as Freer of the Bird is rendered obsolete, the front drops and I am discarded like a particularly loathsome bit of birdseed.
It's difficult to know how long his reign of terror will last. The bird has been handed off time and time again, and we are now the seventh owners? The eighth? No one knows. Supposedly cockatiels only live 15-20 years in captivity, and we've had him for at least ten. If anything, he appears to be growing younger. For this and many other reasons, I decided in high school that the bird I now found in my home was in fact the leader of a massive, worldwide avian uprising. Seeking to counter the threat, I created the International Larry Destruction Society and penned the following manifesto:
For all those willing to stand for their freedom and fight against the twisted corruption that comes in a a fluffy, yellow package known as Larry Bird. (And cockatiels in general.)
For those of you who may not know, a cockatiel is a compact, demonic invasive creature that has long since escaped from its isolated prison of Australia to the world beyond. Cockatiels are yellow, grayish-white, and yellow-grayish-white. Parasitic creatures by nature, cockatiels secrete a highly addictive highly destructive, drug-like substance (henceforth referred to as "featherdust") to incapacitate humans and force them to care for and feed for the cockatiel. The addiction is sealed by bursts of hypnotic singing and whistling, abolishing any remaining doubts the host may have about their new "pet". Now incapacitated by featherdust and hypnosis, the unfortunate human host can no longer see the disgusting and overwhelmingly awful creature that is the cockatiel, but sees attributes imaginary characteristics and traits often mistaken for that which is good and pure. This is where the humans fall. Silently, carefully, the cockatiel infestation has spread to nearly all regions of the earth. Acting through their "owners" or "owned," recent, uncorrupted scientific research suggests that cockatiels are in fact directly causing such world problems as global warming, famine, war, and Mondays.
At the head of this Global Avian Mafia, recent intelligence suggests, is a cockatiel known as Larry Bird. This bird has been shunted from host to host, leaving destruction and misery in its wake. Due to an exceptional stroke of misfortune, We (the Director of Anti-Avian Resources and the Head of the Revolution) awoke one day to find that it had infiltrated our home and had already gained unwavering control of most of our family. The plague had taken hold, and at once we recognized it for what it was. We tried to convince my family to destroy it—but our efforts were in vain. Attempts to destroy Larry alone resulted in failure and near disaster. The protections surrounding him were too great. We watched in horror as the demonic apparition sent subtle, dire messages of destruction to its cohorts near and abroad. We continually search for a weak spot in its formidable defense, but success does not come easily.
Upon the horizon, however, a new dawn is beginning. An ever-growing resistance force, aware of the evils of Larry and the Cockatiels, has planted the seeds of a revolution to overthrow Larry Bird and his foul, fowl kind. Slowly, as the world awakens, the cockatiels' desecrating clawhold on the world weakens. You can be a part of this conscious, caring force. YOU can help save the world!
We invite you to join the revolution.
At its peak, the Destruction Society boasted 82 members. They were mostly American, but we did have one particularly devoted member in Finland (She may have been a plant, as a recent investigation of her facebook page revealed she owned a creature suspiciously similar in appearance to a cockatiel). More devout members posted testimonials of the havoc cockatiels—specifically Larry—had wreaked in their lives. From time to time, someone bird-loving do-gooder would spam the group, saying "Hey, I hear you are interested in cockatiels! Check out my bird-lovers page!" to which I would invariably respond our only interest was in destroying them. We also came up with sayings ("It's time for a little defenestration of the squawking sensation!" "Rally together 'gainst birds of a feather!") to boost our movement's morale.
All seemed like it was progressing swimmingly, until I left for a while on a mission. When I came back, Facebook had changed, and so had rules for group membership. Our former army of anti-bird proponents had been whittled down to just two—my sister and I. Our movement derailed, I went into hiding, except I couldn't really because the bird never left. Well played, Larry. Well played.
The bird has escaped into the wild twice (a huge risk to world security, given his exiled revolutionary tendencies) but both times he was recovered by my brother who heard his eardrum-piercing shrieks from a distance while biking home from school. On one other occasion the bird went missing inside the house and this brother blamed us all for his obvious death—couldn't we see that he'd fallen down the open furnace vent?—and frustratedly marched around the house yelling and raging until he abruptly stopped, remembered something, and walked over to the fridge. Opening it, he found Larry Bird next to the milk where he'd left him an hour before. Larry emerged happy and singing. This is because the fridge was devoid of light, and the cockatiel is a creature of darkness. There are worse things than orcs in the deep places of the world.
Despite his psychopathic tendencies, I'll admit I have gained a grudging respect for the animal's tenacity and total lack of fear in confronting things over a thousand times his size. It's not often you make lifelong enemies, so I feel this is one antipathy we'll both be glad to continue.
TL, DR: Yes, a cockatiel. It's basically the worst.
--Ardilla Feroz, Director of Anti-Avian Resources
P.S. I just discovered my sister created a secret group to support the cockatiels. The manifesto of the Larry Circle is thus:
A fluff ball of orange, gray, white, and yellow. So cute. Yet I cannot deny his enemies. He is deadly. He has led me to see his perspective of life. I, [Hermana Feroz] will stay there. In behalf of Larry, I am organizing a group that will rise. We love Larry. Do not believe the lies of those that oppose us.
Help us, before it is too late! Be one with Larry. Realize the joys of life, I urge you. Take the oath. Join us...
The Oath (post on the group if you join):
I, ________, promise to support Larry and his little group against the wrath of others. I will strive to remain strong. I will be a helper, a lover. I will be one with Larry.