Some of the sweet memories of Nisha.
A few days ago on a beautiful Saturday morning, my son announced that Nisha our pet scale-breasted lorikeet had died. I had just woken up. I did not believe Nathan.
Nisha was a talkative little thing, just three-four inches tall and an inch and a half wide if you were to measure her. Her body was tiny enough to fit through a thump and a pointer when you made a ring with your fingers. We often played this game where I would make a ring with these two fingers and she would climb though that ring.
Nisha loved to be held close. From the beginning when her parents would visit her on our veranda, she would snuggle up close after they deposit her meals.
My son Nathan(18) had found Nisha dead on the floor that morning. Nathan wrapped her and waited for me to wake.
“What happened?” was my initially reaction thinking that something killed her. Immediately I was suspicious of our Rainbow lorikeet “Kaz” who was bigger and stronger and quite capable of harming Nisha.
“I don’t know” was only what Nathan could say. Nisha had died at night. Her tiny feathered body was too stiff. I examined her and saw some scratches but it was not easy to determine the cause of death. She had some scab on her neck but I don’t think it was a tick. I could not tell.
I was deeply saddened and after re-wrapping Nisha, I held her for a while and then placed her in a quiet place for Nathan to bury her. I could not bury Nisha myself.
I took my coffee outside and sat on our back steps; a place where I always found comfort. Here, I could look out to the bush. I could also see and hear the birds. It always reminded me of ‘home’, especially the bush I grew up in, in Papua New Guinea.
Nathan said before I woke up, Kaz, the other lorikeet apparently had became very vocal that morning and behaved wildly when Nathan picked up Nisha’s body from the floor. Kaz flew into the glass wall and may have hurt himself. Jaz then flew aimlessly across the living room a few times before he exited through the back door. He would be gone for two days straight as we found out.
The two lorikeets had become very close. But two weeks ago, Kaz had started flying properly and often would disappeared into the wild, joining other lorikeets. At the same time, our pet duckling who had survived the snake attack last month, also flew away with the visiting flock. I wondered if Nisha died of heartbreak. Nisha had become very moody and often she would bite when we took her outside to play. Both lorikeets lived on-top of the cage – not IN the cage, so they could go anywhere any time.
The idea was that the birds had come from the wild. They had fallen out of their nests and we saved them so when they were strong and fit to return, they would go back to the wild.
For Nisha, we had hoped she would blossom and fly away. It was not to be. Nisha never grew her wings strong enough to fly, like Kaz. Nisha lost a lot of feathers. The new feathers did not grow. But all these last two months Nisha continued to be happy and talkative voice. She would walk across the living room to the music speakers and hang out. Often she would cross over to the edge of the fish tanks and watch the fish, while kicking all their food onto the floor. And she was always up for a cuddle.
Whatever happened to her that night, we will never know. Nathan burried Nisha next to the duckling in my pineapple. Today, I was startled by the cry of a scale-breasted lorikeet right near my window at work. I looked at her. It was not Nisha. RIP Nisha.