I knew right away, obviously, what was going on. I sighed, put down the knife, and walked upstairs. There was no getting around it. He was dead, clearly. I looked at Kate, who was jumping on her bed, oblivious to the death in the cage only a few feet from her, and I said, quietly, "Jackson died, Kate. I'm so sorry. He's dead."
She looked shocked for a minute, then her face cracked and then, without any hint of melodrama, she started sobbing, "BUT I GAVE MY WHOLE HEART TO THAT BIRD!" Which she did. I really liked Jackson, too. He was one of the friendliest birds I'd ever seen. He was not people-shy at all. He sat on people's heads, perched on their hands, and walked around the floor when we let him. His favorite thing to do was perch on Kevin's foot and nibble on his sock. It was easy to grow attached to him, since he was so cuddly (for a bird, I mean). I was definitely a little sad myself.
Kevin came home from work, we spent several hours consoling Kate, and the very next day she and I went out to PetSmart and purchased Rose, the only parakeet left in the whole store. Rose is a dud of a bird who hates people and flies frantically to the other side of the cage if a human finger even comes near him - yes, Rose is a guy - so he's no Jackson, for sure. He will probably live for the next 25 years, just because I don't give a hoot about him and he will stay alive just out of spite so we have to clean out his cage once a week. But Kate loves him. And this? Kate loves to make her dad and brother happy).
So you can imagine my glee when I discovered I was recently featured in an Etsy treasury regarding bird-themed items:
That is my little bird pillow there in the lower left-hand corner. I made it because I liked the little bird I drew, and I saw a cardinal that morning with Joseph, and we do seem to be connected to birds here. I am honored to be in that Treasury. Etsy could not have known that Jackson died. And I do love that pillow.