May 20, 2020


“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild."
- Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Remption

Yesterday I had a decidedly odd experience while out walking in Hyde Park with my youngest daughter. The weather is warm here at the moment and with lockdown rules easing, the parks are busy. My daughter munched away on a crisp apple while we made our way to our destination - a little area of the park just past the Italian Fountains where the road curves. It is here where you find a community of beautiful green parrots sitting in the trees, or more commonly if people are around with gifts of bird seed or apples, perched on their shoulders or arms.  Yesterday there were a lot of small children with their parents, feeding the parrots. My daughter was worried she wouldn’t get a chance, but her patience paid off and in time one of these beautiful birds came to eat the apple from her hand.

The parrots are really friendly and tame and everyone loves seeing them up close and touching them. There are quite a lot - maybe around eight or so of them in that area and I always wonder how they came to be there.

After spending a few minutes with the birds we continued our walk heading up and then around the park. About ten minutes later a young woman in a red dress with a backpack on her back came running past us. The backpack was transparent plastic and inside you could clearly see a green parrot being bounced around as she ran. It was a green parrot with a red beak - just like the ones we had just been feeding and the horrid reality of this scene suddenly sunk in. I think she stole the parrot.

I hope I am wrong, I really do. Especially as the way the poor creature was being thrown around inside the backpack shows me her lack of concern or understanding for its wellbeing. But what are the chances? Maybe if it was a different colour or she was coming from a different direction and not running, I could explain it away but she wasn’t. People don’t take their birds on outings in the park and the situation is too coincidental! It is clear to me - the poor parrot has been parrotnapped!

We tried to catch up with her, but she was too fast and managed to get away. So somewhere out there in this city, is a woman with a green parrot that she stole from the park. A beautiful wild creature, now doomed to be caged. I feel heart-sore for it. Call me nasty, but I hope it bites her and manages to fly away.