A Tall "Tail"

A relationship between an owner and pet is already a wealth of stories waiting to be told. From Wilson Rawls’ Where the Red Fern Grows to Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses to Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki Tikki Tavi, our own role as “protagonist” proves to be somewhat unsteady. After all, without the actions of our faithful companions and their constant presence in such stories, events would have turned out quite differently. Upon retelling, we make the words, but the animals that were close to us become no less real, no less important, through their marked silence. This week, in her two part poem, Badgerdog writer Rose expresses the simple yet beautiful interactions she shares with her parrot. And the parrot answers with his own ode to Rose, reminding us of our pets’ unique personalities (and their participation in such relationships)! This poem captures those small tender moments that sustain us, drawing us continually toward our animal friends.

Oliver and Rose:
A Poem in Two Parts

I. Oliver

My evil pet, your eyes are mean and mischievous.
My beautiful bird, your wings shimmer
the colors of the rainbow.

You fly ever so gracefully, batting your shimmering wings.
Your vicious bites show your annoying stubbornness.

Although you do bring me pain when you peck me,
you bring me joy when you cuddle against my finger.

From the pin feathers on your head
to the cute little toes on your feet,
I love you!

II. Rose

My annoying owner, I absolutely hate it
when you don’t let me come out!

My wonderful Rose, you’re so nice
when you let me stubbornly eat your food.

You talk to me so sweetly,
looking at me through the shiny bars of my cage.

You get really angry
when I playfully peck your finger!

Although you do bug me when you pay attention
to something else instead of me,
I know at some point in every day you will come
and open the metal doors of my cage.

From your nice personality
to your big, brown eyes,
I love you.

Rose, sixth grade, Badgerdog Creative Writing Summer Camp at the Girls’ School of Austin