Eight-and-a-half years now I've lived with an egomaniac who spends an exorbidant amount of time in front of the mirror. This little guy turns from side-to-side to catch himself at the most flattering angle.
Meet Sunny, a yellow canary, probably an old codger in bird years. He’s a Russian-born canary and whether his lineage includes Cossacks or Communists, nobody’s saying. But in the evenings, if he has sufficiently brightened my day with song, I’ll open the cage door and when the coast is clear, out he roars. First stop is to see Kesha, the cockatiel next door, where Sunny makes himself right at home, splashing around in the drinking water. From there he zips up to the mirrored corner where an adoring audience awaits.
He tilts his head this way and that, admiring his beak and profile. Then he flexes those feathery biceps of his, broadening his winged shoulders, pumping his wee fist in the air and chirping mantras in a language understood by a feathered few.
Besides being an egomaniac, Sunny is also a manipulator. He knows exactly how to get his favorite delicacy. In fact, at this moment as I write, he is trilling to beat the band. This is typical behavior for mid-morning and he knows that in a minute I’ll brng him some leaf lettuce, tuck it into the clothes pin in his cage and wait there until he chirps a Thank you! I do insist on some manners, after all. But the concert usually ends right there and I know I’ve been had, especially now that leaf lettuce runs 40 rubles a bunch, for pity’s sake. Amazing what we’ll do to please our little critters.
How about you and your pets? Do you see personality traits? And does a pet try to manipulate you? Hold that thought, I need to go find something green and leafy to pay the piper.