Nov 15, 2008
Barn Tail (A True Story)
This is a photo of my brother, myself (center) and my younger sister. Growing up in a very small, midwestern town, a very rural lifestyle, we always had a pet or two or a trio of them around our house. They were fun and entertaining and we were all very hands on with the critters. Dad was not overly keen on them, but my mom had a love of them and always saw to it that we had a few around.... until Dad got into the horse phase, and then it was A-OK with him that we had the house pets. I think more than anything, that was the issue... the fact that the small pets lived in the house. His thinking was that animals belonged in a barn. Harumph...
You'll notice that my brother is holding one of the family dogs that we had at that time... Holly, our pekingese, but Holly is not the story today... the story, if you will notice, is of the pet who dwelled in the cage you see sitting behind us.
OH... here he is... he has joined us and is chirping away on my sister's shoulder... Meet Charlie... our family cockatiel who sang better than any human in the house... That boy would sing and whistle, holler, do a lively jiggy dance and then start the entire routine over again and again and again..... What a personality he had as do most cockatiels. He was handsome too, with his gray feathers and white showing on the wings... and the cute yellow and orange circles on his cheeks just made you want to pinch them and say ootchie kootchie koo. His head was topped with a plume which he kept immaculately groomed, you know... just in case some cute looking chick happened to pass by. It was no wonder he sang so loud... he was a good looking Casanova and he knew it.
One fine summers day my mother set Charlie outside in his cage for a bit of fresh country cow-pie smelling air, but alas, returned later to find that somehow Charlie had gotten his door open and flown away.... We were all crushed and missed his songs and whistles which he performed daily for us. Mom knew we would never find him, that he had probably headed for South America to visit his family, but she took a chance and placed an ad in the lost section of our local 4 page newspaper anyway.
Isn't this a sweet round barn? It was quite a landmark in our town... it sat at the very southern edge of our metropolis of 721 people, probably about a half mile from our house and everyone knew and loved the couple who lived there. The man of course farmed, and his lovely wife raised chickens. She would gather the eggs every morning like clock work. She also read the local 4-page newspaper religiously each week from front to back just like every other town resident.
One morning the farmer's lovely chicken-raising, egg-gathering wife headed out towards their round barn to the chicken coop and began feeding her chickens as she always had when suddenly she stopped and stood up straight. Had she heard right? Had someone whistled at her? You know, that old wolf whistle that all the construction workers do when a good looking gal walks by.... yep, right... THAT whistle... Charlie's whistle. Farmer's wife turned around and looked behind her and there was our Charlie, the famous Charlie the cockatiel jail-break bird that she had read about in the lost ads on the back page of the newspaper. Farmer's wife could not believe her eyes nor her ears.... there he sat in her round barn chicken coop flirting with her and her chickens. She couldn't wait to call my family and give us the good news.
Charlie was returned home in excellent health. Holly the Pekingese and Gidget the Yorkie were there to greet him. He told them some long tale about how he had a singing gig at some red BAR(n) at the edge of town and how he'd danced all night long with every chick in the place, but they knew he was just tellin' them a barn tail of a story.
Charlie lived out the remainder of his years behaving himself and staying close to home and away from those all night BARn chicken parties..... and the red, round barn at the edge of town burned down in 1981 from what my father told me. It was a sad day for my hometown to see the barn lost, but all 721 residents had heard the tail (tale) of Charlie and the barn which gave them all a good laugh and a great story to tell their grandchildren about the round, red barn that used to sit at the edge of town. Thanks, Charlie...... you were a hoot!
Credits (Barn photos by Shirley Wood) For More Round Barns See Here