The Mysterious Chirp | HumorOutcasts

The Mysterious Chirp

November 30, 2017

As a wedding gift, one of our friends gave us a sweet little white cockatiel. We would leave its cage door open and it would fly right to us if we called it by name.  It had a little chirp, and with the exception of the mess of seeds it threw out of its cage, it was a sweet addition to the two of us and our dog.

Unfortunately, it passed away only two or three years later. That’s when my hubby decided to get a new one.  We went off to the pet store and found another white bird.  This one, however, was ten times the size.  We were told he was a year old when we bought him.  I’m embarrassed to say how expensive he was with the cage and food necessary to maintain him.

The very next day, I spent the entire day listening to him screaming…not chirping, not singing, not squawking…screaming.  The screams were so intense, I could actually feel the little hairs inside my ears shaking.

I put him by the front door and told my husband he had to take the bird back.  “It’s me or the bird,” I said.

Thirty- one years later, we still have the bird.  That just shows ya where I am on my husband’s priority list.

So you can understand my dismay the other day when I heard the slightest little chirping sound in the hallway of my house.  My first thought was that it must be the fire detector.  We had recently removed the battery from one of them after hearing it chirp, so I thought that perhaps a second one was going off.  When I moved closer to the second detector, the sound seemed to get softer. So I moved closer to the first one and the sound seemed to get louder.   Could the thing chirp even though I’ve not yet replaced the battery?  But then the sound seemed to get louder again by the second one.  I WAS CONFUSED!  I could not for the life of me, figure out where the chirp was coming from.  After texting hubby to get a suggestion, he too had no clue where the sound could be coming from.  I finally gave up trying to figure it out and went down to the basement to do my daily workout.

I started to hear the stupid chirping down there too!  Could it be the screaming bird?  Could he actually be making a sweet little chirping sound?  I went into the room in the basement where we keep him.  I took one peek at him.  His feathers fluffed, his wings spread, and out came an extremely loud barking type of sound followed by one of the loudest screams he’s made in the thirty- one years we’ve had him.  Arghhhh!

I closed the door and started to do my workout. That’s when the chirping sound got really loud.  One of our dogs follows me everywhere.  I shooed her away.  When I did this, I noticed the chirping sound got softer.  I called her back.  It got louder.  Oh my God.  It was her bark collar the whole time telling me it needed a new battery!  I am the only person in the world who has a barking bird and a chirping dog!





Leslie Handler

Leslie is an internationally syndicated columnist for Senior Wire and a 2015 Society of Newspaper Columnists award winner. She is a frequent contributor to WHYY's Newsworks, has written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, ZestNow, and Boomercafe, as well as blogs for The Huffington Post. She has a Bachelor of Journalism degree and currently lives smack dab between Philadelphia and New York City with husband Marty, dogs Maggie, Hazel, and Ginger, a collection of fish, said husband's cockatoo who she's been trying to roast for dinner for the last 31 years, and a few occasional uninvited guests. You may follow her blog and read published essays at: Her first book, a collection of essays, publishes by HO/Shorehouse Press Spring, 2018.

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