A PARROT'S PRAYER

 
 
 

LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................
 

For all the wild caught parrots so savagely netted and swept
away from their families while their babies dumped into burlap
sacks cried out in terror.

LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

For all the exotic birds that witnessed the destruction of all the blessed
trees and fled fires in fear from man's thirst to dominate, stripping the
land of all its inhabitants, leaving nothing but bare ground behind.

 LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

For all the parrots that struggled through the capture, but died merciless
in transport from the stress of overcrowded, barbaric, confinements and
inconceivable horror.

LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

For all the survivors that made it into captivity but exist in a nightmare
of confinement unable to use their God given wings of flight as they
once remembered.

LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

For all the baby birds bred in captivity whose crop's burned or have
died needlessly from harshness of human hands.

 LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

For all captive birds that have been erased from their owner's
consciousness and are abandoned to a lifeless existence with only a
distant memory of what is was like to hear a gentle voice from someone
that used to care.

 LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

For all those helpless creatures who don't know what it's like to live
life as a bird or even to feel the breeze or sunlight but are doomed to
darkness in closets or garages, trapped inside covered cages or shackled.

 LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

For all the macaws, cockatoos, amazons, and conures that are
stripped of their vocal cords for screaming; their sensitive beaks cut
back to prevent biting.

 LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

For all birds that end up for sale in pet shops or breeders like used
merchandise, unwanted and frightened in strange surroundings with
nothing more than the familiar sight of bars on a cage.

 LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

For all the neglected birds that are sick with infections from
filthy conditions and malnourishment that may never recover and
know what it is like to feel healthy and be playful.

 LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

For all the misconceived parrots who were beaten, stabbed,
blinded and burned for just being a parrot.

 LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

For every african grey, cockatoo and macaw that punishes itself
from confinement and boredom by maiming their bodies and
plucking their feathers and for those who have lost all spirit of life
and sway their head low from side to side slowly into insanity.

 LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER..........................

WE ASK HUMBLY OF YOU, DEAR LORD TO LOOK
UPON ALL OF YOUR MAGNIFICENT FEATHERED
CREATIONS PROTECT THEM FROM EVIL AND HARM
CAUSED BY MAN AND TO BRING FORTH AN AWAKENING
IN THE HUMAN HEART AND MAKE IT A KINDER,
GENTLER WORLD FOR ALL CAPTIVE BIRDS............AMEN

-- Sally Brooks, July 3, 20000
 

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A PARROT'S BILL OF RIGHTS
by Stewart A. Metz, M.D.

1. GET TO KNOW ABOUT PARROTS BEFORE YOU BRING ME HOME
 I am not a domesticated pet like a dog or cat. I still have the spirit of the jungle
in me. I have special needs, which you may find it hard to fill. Please don't learn
these too late for my well-being. And please don't acquire on of my cousins wild
from the jungle-it will jeopardize his survival and well-being, and that won't be
a party for you either!

2. GIVE ME THE LARGEST HOME POSSIBLE - I am use to flying through
rainforests or savannas. I have given up this great gift for your pleasure. At the
very least, give me enough room to flap my wings and exercise. And I need toys
for my amusement and wood to chew-otherwise, I might confuse your Home
with the forest and its trees.

3. GIVE ME A NUTRITIOUS DIET - I need a wide variety of fresh and
nutritious foods, even if they take time to prepare. I cannot survive on seed
alone. Take time to learn what my needs are.

4. LET ME HAVE A "SOCIAL LIFE" - I am a gregarious flock animal-but
I am not one of you. I need lots of socialization to learn how to act with you,
and with my siblings. I also need to have adequate quality time with you every
day-no matter what your schedule or other needs are. I am a living, feeling
creature. Above all, I need to be able to have complete trust in you, and
count on your predictability in looking after me-every day.

5. LET ME BE CLEAN - I may like to drop food or even throw it, but I
need meticulous cleanliness to be healthy. My skin itches without frequent
showers, the barbs of my feathers won't seal if they become oily and, worst
of all, I may become ill if my food or water is not always sanitary.

6. I NEED MY OWN DOCTOR - You may not understand my physiology
and therefore you may not recognize it early on when I get sick. And it may be
too late when you do, because I hide my illnesses (remember what I said about
my being an animal of the jungle, where there are lots of predators). And I need
an avian vet-a specialist (no HMOs for me please). If you can't afford one,
perhaps you shouldn't have taken me home.

7. PLEASE DON'T PUNISH ME - Just as I don't always understand your
peculiarities, you may not understand mine. I don't TRY to get in trouble-
remember: a house is not the jungle. If I do screw up, don't yell at me and never
hit me. I have sensitive ears and I may never trust you again if you strike me.
Hands are sometimes scary things to us (why in the world would you not be
zygodactylous like us?) Even more importantly, we don't learn by punishment.
We are gentle creatures who only strike back to protect ourselves; we learn
through patience and love.

8. SPEAK MY "LANGUAGE" - I know you get upset with me when I knock
over my water bowl, throw food, scream or pluck my feathers. I don't do these
to annoy you-I am probably trying to tell you something (perhaps that I am
hurting, lonely, or sad.) Learn to speak MY (body) language. Remember that I,
alone of all creatures on this planet, learn to speak yours!

9. SEE ME AS AN INDIVIDUAL - I am a unique and feeling being...
No two of us are alike. Please don't be disappointed in me if I don't talk
like you wanted, or can't do the tricks that your friend's parrot can do. But
if you pay close attention to me (and I always empathize with you, whether
you know it or not), I will show you a unique being who will give you so
much more than talking and playing...Give me a chance to show you who I
am; I think you'll find the effort with it. And remember-I am NOT an
ornament; I do not enhance ANY living room decor. And I am not a status
symbol-if you use me as such, I might nip at your up-turned nose!

10. SHARE YOUR LOVE WITH ME - Above all, please remember that you
are my Special Person. I put all my trust and faith in you...We parrots are use
to being monogamous. (no bar-hopping for us!). So please don't go away for 
long periods or give me away.  That would be a sadness from which I may 
never recover.
If that seems to be asking a lot, remember-you could have learned about my 
needs BEFORE bringing me home. Even having a baby or taking a new job 
isn't a fair reason-you made a commitment to me FIRST! And if you think 
that you must leave me because you might die, provide for me forever after
you leave. I may live to a ripe old age but I can't provide for myself. 
Remember I'm in a small cage amongst people who are not of my blood.

11. YOUR RIGHTS - You have lots of rights, but I can only assure one. 
And that is, if you treat me the way I described above, I will reward you with
unwavering love, humor, knowledge, beauty, dedication-and a sense of wonder
and awe you haven't felt since you were a child. When you took me home, you
became my Flock Leader, indeed, my entire universe-for life. I would hang
the moon and stars for you if I could.   We are one in Heart and Soul.
 

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