The Extraordinary Tale of Larry and Harry

IMG_E8667Larry is a rescue cockatiel who came to live with me with his partner just before Christmas 2018. I had just made the decision to finally go vegan, or at least almost 100% vegan after reading up about the Factory Farming of Turkeys. I was distraught how we tend to rave on about our great animal welfare laws in the Uk and in Europe, but the reality of Factory farming of chicken and turkeys and other animals is far from a reminder for great animal welfare. Would you call thousands of turkeys, violently debeaked standing in a cramped space and in their own poo for all of their short life as treated with respect for their welfare? Ia m not even going to begin to talk about hanging them upside down by their feet and seeing their friends hanging there helplessly and then dragging their heads through an electric bath… how can humans treat such magical creatures like birds in this horrendous way and not question it? Anyone who had animals including birds will know that they are highly intelligent individuals. The way we treat animals for profit sadly shows how little we understand about them and how much suffering we cause to billions of conscious and feeling living individual beings a year, that are just as emotionally and psychologically complex as Larry, or your bird or dog or cat or any other companion animal.

I found Larry and his female friend on Gumtree. My response to birdfactory farming was IMG_6834 (3)to at least give those two birds a happy life. The family who owned the two cockatiels fell on tough times and sadly had to rehome the birds, as they felt they couldn’t look after them anymore. They had spent about two years in a large cage and were roughly 3 and 4 years old. They were originally hand-reared, but had hardly interacted with humans for a long time. When they first were let out, there was no way of knowing if they were going to be wild or tame.

IMG_7431Astonishingly enough they immediately loved hanging out with people, but their flying was very clumsy.  Larry was scared of hands and tended to stay just a little further away than his partner. They very gradually adapted to more and more freedom. And it was beautiful to see how they relaxed into their new home and how their relationship improved with the greater freedom they now had. They were so easy going that eventually I threw out their cage and replaced it with an indoor arrangement of branches and a feeding station. They clearly had no interest to fly away whatsoever. img_8064.jpg
Gradually they got used to exploring the downstairs of the house. It became difficult to have breakfast though, as sure enough they are after a share of my son’s cereal or peanut butter sandwich! Larry stayed just a little more shy than his partner. He liked being near-by, or on my head but if I approached him with my hand he would bite and attack. He obviously had some negative experiences with hands in the past and from what his previous owner told me it sounded like he wasn’t hand-reared in the best of ways. I just kept on telling him that I love him anyway and that I respect his boundaries.

Sure enough the birds started to feel so at home that they began checking out the house for places to breed. Suspiciously they kept walking around behind a fold-out Thai mattress in the living room, and one day an egg rolled out from underneath there. I helped out by placing it in a wooden bowl under there. And then the pair started breeding.

IMG_8837It does feel quite unique to be so close up to nature in this manner and also that both birds have not lost their interest in us humans at all. In fact Larry got tamer than ever. Whenever he was off the nest he came to see me or my son as he didn’t like to be on his own. He started to climb up and down my arm whilst I was trying to do the washing-up and he started to drink from the water tap in the kitchen and finally he let me hand-feed him. He also came in the bathroom to drink from the bath. He played with boiled eggs on the kitchen table, he was very funny to have around.

When I had a guest who isn’t experienced with birds the accident happened. My gueststartled Larry by moving vigorously after he landed on that person’s head. It was just a reaction as the bird landed unexpectedly and from behind. If you are not used to that this can be quite startling in and of itself. Unfortunately the front door was opened at the same moment and Larry missed his usual flight path onto the top of the living room door and as I stood in the front garden I saw him flying off in panic.

 

The great big sky is a massive surprise to pet birds who are used to living in houses and typically the shock of this dramatic change of environment tends to make them fly far as they don’t know where to land. They then can not find their way home even if they want to. Quite shortly after he escaped he was spotted already hundreds of meters away from his home!

Now the ordeal begun. I frantically run round the area calling his name and also tried to console my guest who felt very guilty whilst I was totally heartbroken.

I announced his loss on Facebook and other lost and found pet searching sites and slept about two hours that first night. I made sure there were windows left open in case he found his way home day and night and I was up searching the area calling his name. His partner was just in shock that he didn’t come for his shift on the eggs and stayed put on the the nest. After over 24 hours I managed to get her out for a moment under huge protest so she would at least have a poo! I placed food and water right by the nest, but I didn’t know if she had any. To me the house felt earily dead without any birds trying to get a sip from my cup of tea or climbing up and down my arm whilst doing the washing up and I felt heart-broken, Larry and I had only just gotten so much more close.I was also worried about Gopsi, his partner. What would happen with the breeding?

After a second day of cycling around the area, calling Larry’s name outside, checking my phone for updates on the Lost and Found Pages and walking around the near-by woods holding my phone in the air playing a film with his own call on it I contacted my friend Samantha for help. She is a psychic medium and she was able to tell me that Larry is alive and in the woods. She also knew that he needed sound to find his way back. But Gopsi was just sat silently on the eggs focusing on the next generation’s survival, so what was I supposed to do? However Sam’s involvement and the knowledge that he is alive gave me hope. So when I went to bed I simply spoke to Larry and said “If you can’t find your way home, you have to land on someone nice who will help you!”

The next morning my mum and I who was visiting drove up to the cafe at Blaise Park, a big Woodland in Bristol and brought them a poster with the bird missing notification. I said that may be he finds his way there as he will be hungry. A lovely cafe worker immediately informed some friends he knew who worked in the woods! Finally I went home and as you do checked my phone again… to find a message from Viking Vets thatIMG_8914 they had a bird come in that fitted Larry’s description. Viking Vets was very close to the cafe where I had just been to look for Larry! I immediately grabbed a pet carrier and drove down with my mother who was visiting at the time. We were so excited. It really was him. The story of how he was rescued was extraordinary. Larry had flown to a local  School two miles away form home and interrupted the PE lesson by jumping on different children’s heads. One particularily animal friendly boy called Harry  alerted his IMG_8949 (1)teacher and both of them together managed to pick him of a child’s head and carefully placed him in a box and brought him to the Vets Surgery across the road. The receptionist Chloe had already seen the post of him missing the night before, so she was able to match him up and contact me immediately. How amazing.

Losing an animal to not knowing what happened to it is very sad. We were so lucky. I was able to meet Harry and his teacher Lydia in person to present them with some gratitude and gifts. It is lovely to share this beautiful story with them, that sounds somewhat like a fairytale come true.

Well I do tend to say that nothing is impossible. An unwanted angry bird has turned intoIMG_E9143 a tame and sweet and funny and trusting local celebrity who even appeared in the Bristol Post. This in and of itself is a remarkable consideration, how life can turn around for an animal as much as for a human. To me these two birds and the other animals we live with are more than just entertainment and fun company. They are teachers and healers and Larry has caused quite a stir with his story in many positive ways, he taught me a lot. For instance that a bonded bird really does love living with its fellow birds and humans and that having IMG_8918experienced the great freedom of the woods did not change that. My wish for humanity is that we begin to treat animals with the respect and love they deserve, that we reconsider the way we exploit animals for profit, simply presuming that their suffering doesn’t count. It does. Anyone who really lives with animals knows how deeply sensitive they are and that they know fully well what humanity does to them. Let’s evolve and co-exist in peace and love and beauty.

Extinction Rebellion is the Conscience of Humanity

Extinction RebellionWhat incredible times we live in. Thanks to Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg
the British Parliament has declared the climate crisis emergency, after years of denial and literally suppressing Green Energy. Now this. It seemed impossible that anything would change for so long.

Once I had this amazing mug with a picture of a flying dodo on it, and it said
“Only the impossible ever happens”.

On the picture on the left there are light patterns reflected on a door. The sun is shining through a glass mosaic in the window. They have never reminded me of a bird before (my son added the eye). I have no idea where the white shape came from on that particular day and normally there are just a few pretty colored light patches on the door at the time of day the sunlight shines through. I chose this image for the article because there is this beauty of happening and it seemed an impossible shape to appear at the door.

Yes indeed it happens. The impossible or what seems impossible can only be a happening, a happening that is fueled by love and truth and that breaks down the polarities of oppositions.  What Extinction Rebellion did in London was not just a protest, it was a protest that broke down artifical and unreal barriers, the barriers of the concept of this being a story of enemies.

Extinction Rebellion is out there for everyone, for all people, for the families of the police force just as much as for the families of businesses yet steeped in planet destroying ways of working, in fact they are here for humanity and the totality of on and as planet earth as a whole.

And yes this is frightening to the sense of the control of the current system, the old power structures, the short-sightedness we have fallen prey to. And there are and there will be reactions to that. The reactions I have come across seemed so desparate, that they started to feel like signs that there is already a knowing that they won’t and can not turn the tide.

A policeman ecstatically skateboarding around the protest for instance was told that his behavior was unacceptable. How remarkable. To me he was a beautiful sign that humanity, joy and love is winning, to me that man is an icon and a reminder of our aliveness, our inherent ability for joy and happiness. And he has demonstrated beautifully alongside so many people that the Extinction Rebellion protest is surreal. Why are our children being arrested for asking us to keep the house in order for when they are ready to move in? Why did it come so far that they are having to commit acts of civil disobedience to be heard?
And yes this protest  has shown signs that this absurdity is beginning to break down and that fills my heart with joy.

We are not separate, we are not only not separate from the earth, we are also not separate from one another.

If you studied yourself in depth in any way, you may have discovered that within our human individual patterns there are such complex processes, which often are in conflict with each other. There is often denial of our darkest shadows, there are the voices of “yes I can” and “no I can’t”, there is the side of us that cares and the part of us that is self-protective and working towards what we call personal advantage, just to mention a few.

If I look at the whole of humanity I see the same patterns, and I am asking you to join me in this exploration of humanity as one person.
There are the actions out of deep seated and often unconscious fears. They may translate into greed and controlling and destructive behaviors. They are more or less conscious longings, like the one for deep connections and Love, which often we tend to try to either support or fulfill in ways that don’t work. There are the voices that call for a sense of safety, for some sort of security, and often within the denial that an individual life can end any day. There is very often denial of responsibility. Who is responsible for war, world hunger, ecocide, poverty?

Humanity as one person is not only a concept or a vision, it is in fact an endlessly changing and never the same web of creative and destructive processes. There is constant birth and death, there is no person the same, yet every single persons development depends on the larger picture of the community that human being grows up in.

In this day and age as the whole globe sits at everyone’s dinner table at all times we are more aware than ever of humanity’s potential to create a realm of horror in forever more unimaginable detail and it is becoming obvious that we can not have a nice cottage garden whilst creating disaster and misery elsewhere. There is no elsewhere anymore.

Yes the potential for a realm of horror is not only there, we also have already manifested a lot of that. The evidence of humanity’s utter destructiveness is there. Yet humanity’s potential is not only horrendous beyond belief on the other side it can be and will be beautiful beyond belief. Anything is possible. This mysterious realm of the earth world and all it’s temporary inhabitants is one for creative possibility and the emergence of heart understanding of the literal oneness of all there is on a global scale. And this is not religious, or airy fairy, or hippy, this is simply and universally so. Let’s be in awe of and have deepest respect for our potential, as we can take it to extremes in Darkness or Light.

When we begin to understand that from a place of heartfelt oneness we will not want to not be in tune with the earth, because it hurts to destroy nature, we will not want to kill people in wars, because there is nothing out there that is not a part of us. We will not want to exploit and enslave people, non-humans nor the planet, because we do not act in our duty of self-care. Self-care and self-worth are big words in todays’s cravings for a better sense of self. Let’s apply this duty of self-worth and self-care to the whole picture, the really big and all encompassing self, to the whole reality of aliveness, whatever is included in that.

Within that consideration Extinction Rebellion and many other beautiful groups are voices of the Conscience of Humanity. Let’s clearly see what hasn’t worked. Let’s find out what does. Let’s do it as one. Let’s be fiercely compassionate. Only the Impossible ever happens. And it will. It totally can. In truth it isn’t even vaguely impossible because the true potential of humanity is to live as Love for real and humanity is beginning to realize that. We are living at incredible times.