Monday, 22 October 2007


This is genuinely true. I feel I have to say this because some people have been doubting the veracity of my previous

Once we had a Budgie called 'Kelly', whom we named after the Kojak character Kelly Salvalas, because he was bald when we got him. He had apparently been picked on and pecked by the other young birds, because he was smaller than them or at any rate a bit different. I always thought he was a very clever budgie, and I have posted a sphere representing the brilliant phantasmagora of what may have been going on Kelly's budgie head.

Of course he could talk from the banal 'Who's a pretty boy then' to 'Comment t'appelle tu?' and, for some unaccountable reason, 'Bof!'. He could also make a ringing noise like a bell and also picked up wild bird noises from sitting on the windowsill so sometimes he could sound like a blackbird. He could also say 'Wee!' which we taught him to do when we used to give him rides round the room on a toy tennis racket. We used to make it go up and down like a roller coaster and Kelly used to enter into the spirit of the thing by bobbing his body up and down along with the motion.
He used to perch on the lampshades and then do sudden swooping Dam Buster diving raids down to the carpet, leaving a slip stream of air and making a intense flapping noise like a plane engine. Actually my Mum had to put a cloth over a tall cabinet containing a fine Indian tea service brought back from a great uncle stationed in India during the war so Kelly wouldn't fly into it. It must have looked mysterious looking in from the outside and once some kids asked me what was behind the cloth.

He was dicing with death in more ways than one when he did this because once he was on the carpet and our dog picked him up in her mouth. On seeing the blue budgie form in my dog's mouth me and my sister both screamed in unison which fortunately shocked the dog so much that she dropped him and he was able to run away unscathed. Actually some dogs must have very gentle mouths, if they can hold a creature as delicate as a Faberge egg and leave him unharmed.

To satisfy his intellectual curiosity he used to perch on people's glasses and look upside down at them through them. He also used to perch on magazines while people were reading them and leave a line of holes on them along the top. Maybe, in his own way, he wanted to read and this was the best he could do.
After a long and happy life he sadly passed on and was replaced by a normal budgie called Robinson whom I can't remember much about.


Frances said...

Why Kelly and not Telly? Or was that a typo? Do you remember what an awful singer he was? I remember wondering who bought his record - I think I was too young to see the sex-appeal of that lollipop-sucker.
Liked the reminiscences about the budgie. I had really hairy moments one summer when I looked after a friend's budgies (or were they love-birds? not sure) - she told me to let them out of the cage to fly around in the flat each day. Catching them was a real trial, I seem to remember it involved tea-towels. tee hee. Anyway they survived.

Beverley said...

I have always thought it was Kelly and that's why we called the Budgie it. I still think it is Kelly to this day. It's just one of those errors which get fixed in your head and are never rectified until someone comes along puts you right.

Actually, my husband looks a bit like Telly (surely not, don't you think you think that because he was on the telly)because he has just had a number 2.

Beverley said...

Nextdoor's used to keep pigeons in their garage (but with an outside avairy bit. Quite nice hearing the cooing sound in the garden during the summer. Virtually indistinguishable from having a dovecote in the neighbours's garden). They were looking after them for Mike's Dad, but once one escaped into their garage and Claire was too frightened to get it back so asked me to do it. I didn't really know what I was doing but stepped into the breach. After a lot of flapping the pigeon fortuitously landed on a brush and I was able to carry him perched on the brush to safety.

Frances said...

I hope your husband hasn't got a misshapen head like Kojak though. I notice around here that a lot of the men (and women) who have shaven heads are also a bit mis-shapen - I wonder why they do that? It's surely not the hot weather? I think Telly was just bald though, his brother had loads of curly hair - Demosthenes, no I must be imagining that, the name popped into my head.
Birds are a bit scary, I think it's like moths, you're torn between them being flappy and pecky and being squeamish about hurting them. I know in London a beautiful martin or something like flew into my daughter's bedroom (attic) and flapped around - she was on a bunk bed and a bit terrified. (Not as terrified as when a tiny little jumping spider jumped up and down on her tummy though.) Kids, huh!

Beverley said...

I think probably a lot of people have mis-shapen heads but their's are fortunately disguised by hair. My husband is a bit sparse on top so it always looks a lot better when he shaves it off. I was talking to a nightclub bouncer once he said bouncers shave their heads because if they happen to be hit by a cosh it will slide off the smooth head more quickly and they will sustain less damage. But it's nothing like that in my husband's case.

Beverley said...

A propos of nothing in particular, that bit about thinking Telly was called Kelly reminds me a bit about part of a book I have been reading in which Kathleen Tynan is worried that she is putting on weight and says 'If you saw me across a swimming-pool, would you think I was Miss Happen' because it turns out she had been pronouncing 'misshapen' like this all her life. If it can happen to someone like Kathleen Tynan then there's hope for us all!

dianeclancy said...

Hi Beverly,

What a great story! I think it was Telly S though. I like this sphere too!

~ Diane Clancy

Bobbie said...

I loved hearing about Kelly/Telly. What a cool bird. You were fortunate to get to experience him. My mom used to keep budgies when we were kids but none learned to say a word even though we spent hours and hours saying "pretty bird".

Sweet Irene said...

Bev, you and Frances gave such conversations through the comments. It was Telly Savalis, I remember him well, sucking on his lolly. I never saw the sex appeal in the man, but then I don't quickly anyway. I am sort of a dork that way.

Funny story about the budgie. We had parakeets, but we never taught them how to talk and I don't know if they could, we did try to, but they remained silent except for their own songs.

Once, a butterfly flew into my room and I thought it was quite frightening as it was fluttering very hard trying to escape. My father caught it and set it free. Fathers are good for jobs like that. I had just seen that TV play called The Collector, I think it was. He collected butterflies.

I don't mind butterflies now, but I am older and a bit more brave, but I don't like fluttery things and especially not when they are caught inside, like bats or birds.

Gina said...

Very cool! I had two budgies when I was growing up, but they never did anything more interesting than biting me hard enough to draw blood. They certainly never spoke a word. Their favorite thing was to screech loud enough to burst your ear drums while you were trying to do your homework.

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