Mr. Beaky Learns To Fly.
One afternoon when Marc got home from school, he ran in the back door shouting, "Mum, I'm home, can I have something to eat please, I'm hungry?'
"Goodness! No need to shout Marc, I'm not deaf" replied his mother. "Change your clothes first, then you can have an apple."
Marc changed his clothes, then grabbing an apple and with Goldie at his heels he ran outside to share it with his pet cockatoo, Mr Beaky.
Marc was surprised that Mr Beaky wasn't waiting for him just outside the door as he usually was, when he got home from school
. He ran to Mr Beaky's favourite tree and called up into it. "My Beaky, I've got
an apple, you want some?" There was no answer. "Mr Beaky, Mr Beaky," Marc called again, but still there was no answer, Marc got annoyed and stamped his foot, "Mr Beaky, you come down at once or I'll eat it all myself."
Silence, Marc looked up into the tree, he couldn't see the bird anywhere. "He must be in one of his moods and hiding from me," thought Marc. "I'll pretend to be eating all the apple myself, that will bring him out."
Marc walked round the back yard, munching on the apple, looking in all Mr Beaky's hiding places, but didn't find him.
He began to feel worried, and ran inside to his mother. "Mum, have you seen Mr Beaky? He anxiously asked his mother, "I can't find him."
"No dear," answered his mother, "I've been out all afternoon, so I haven't seen him since lunch time. "Have you looked in all his favourite places?"
"I've looked everywhere, Mum, he's gone, where can he be?" Poor little Marc was in tears.
Mrs Swann took her son in her arms. "Don't cry dear, he can't be far away, it's not as if he could fl...oh!" Mrs Swann stopped, she had just remembered her husband saying that very morning, that Mr Beaky's wing needed clipping again.
"Oh dear!" thought Mrs Swann, "he must have discovered he could fly, how will I tell Marc?" She took Marc by the hand and walked over to the sofa and sat down with him, "Marc, dear, Mr Beaky's wing had grown and your father was going to clip it this afternoon, but I'm afraid Mr Beaky may have
discovered he could fly and has flown away." She tried to break it gently to her sobbing son.
"Mr Beaky wouldn't go away, Mr Beaky wouldn't leave me, Mummy, something must have happened to him," sobbed Marc.
Mrs Swann wiped the tears from her sons face. "I promise, if Mr Beaky hasn't returned by morning, your father will put an add in the daily paper."
To find out what happened to Mr Beaky, we must go back to just after lunch that afternoon:
Mr Beaky climbed down from his tree where he had spent a quiet morning and was waddling to the back door when he saw a strange cat, it was a big ginger one, now Mr Beaky didn't like cats, not since he lost a tail feather to one that had attacked him, and especially, he didn't like them being in his domain.
Mr Beaky looked for Goldie who usually chased any stray cats away but Mrs Swann had taken him out with her.
He turned to chase the cat away, himself but this cat wasn't going to be chased, he stood his ground.
With back arched and fur on end he spat at Mr Beaky.
Mr Beaky was taken aback, he hesitated, and the cat pounced, Mr Beaky jumped.
The cat was between Mr Beaky and his tree, so he ran for the opposite fence wings spread and flapping and to his surprise he felt himself lift off the ground so he flapped harder and reached the top of the fence.
"Safe," he thought. But he wasn't safe for long; the cat sprang onto the fence as well.
The cat and bird eyed each other off; Mr Beaky began to shake. "What will I do now?"
Then he remembered. "I can fly, I will fly away, cats can't fly, goodbye, good bye, Mr Cat." squawked Mr Beaky as he flew off, revelling in his newly learned prowess.
When Mr Beaky had flown around a few times, swooping and banking, testing his wings, he decided he would fly further and have a look at the world from above.
Mr Beaky had flown over a couple of rows of houses when he saw something unusual, it was a man on a trestle, painting a house.
Mr Beaky had never seen anything like this before, so he flew down to take a closer look, he landed on the man's shoulder, so he could see what he was doing.
Startled, the man yelped.
Grabbing hold of the guttering he knocked Mr Beaky off his shoulder, in the process he kicked the tin of paint, which fell to the ground, spilling bright green paint everywhere.
Mr Beaky, in his surprise, forgot to fly and fell with a thump onto the ground right in the middle of the spilt paint.
The man climbed down the ladder yelling at Mr Beaky, "Get out of here, you stupid bird, what do you think you are doing?"
Flinging his arms around he came at Mr Beaky.
Mr Beaky, stunned from the fall and wings sticky and heavy with paint, tried to fly away but couldn't quite make it up, and flew into a sheet hanging on the clothes line then fell back into a basket of wet clothes.
A woman came running out of the house with a broom yelling. "Get out of my clean clothes, you stupid bird, look at the mess you have made," She swiped at him with the broom.
Mr Beaky jumped out of the basket with a piece of cloth caught on one of his claws, he tried to fly again but still couldn't make it into the air.
Both the man and woman came at Mr Beaky, yelling at him.
The woman swiping at him with the broom, and the man with a lawn rake he had picked up.
Poor Mr Beaky was very confused, he turned and ran towards a garden patch, demolishing the
small plants that were in it, making the man angrier still.
Mr Beaky ran around the yard, flapping his wings, wishing he was home, all of a sudden to his joy he realized he was flying, although rather a little lopsided, because of the
'thing' hanging from his claw, but joy, oh joy he was getting away from those terrible people.
Mr Beaky landed in the first big tree he spotted and chewed off the 'thing' hanging from his foot. "Oh boy! Am I glad to be rid of that," he thought. Settling down to have a rest before he headed for home.
When Mr Beaky woke up it was dark so he decided to stay where he was till morning. Hungry, lonely and all sticky from the paint Mr Beaky didn't have a very good night.
Next morning, Mr Beaky woke wondering why he was still in his tree and not in his cage.
Looking around for Marc, he didn't recognize the tree; then he remembered his terrible experience of the afternoon before.
Desiring all the more to go home to Marc and food, Mr Beaky flew up and took a look around, he didn't know where he was or which way was home, so spotting a tall tree in the distance, which he thought might be his, he flew towards it.
Before Mr Beaky reached the tree he new it wasn't home because there were no houses around it, but he continued on to it anyway.
Two days later Mr Beaky was still sitting in that tree feeling very hungry, and very sorry for himself. At about noon that day Mr Beaky went flying to see if he could see anything he recognized.
While he was flying a big storm that had been brewing hit that area.
The heavy rain drenched Mr Beaky and the strong wind blew him miles away.
When eventually the rain and wind stopped, he sat in a dead tree and dried off in the reappearing sun.
"Oh my, oh my," thought Mr Beaky, "I'm never going to see Marc again, oh my, oh my."
When Mr Beaky dried out, he perked up and once more took off, this time he flew up high so he could see further, and lo and behold, just the other side of a clump of trees, Mr Beaky saw some buildings, it was a farm.
"People, oh joy of joys, people," thought Mr Beaky as he flew towards the buildings. "I hope they are nice people," he thought to himself as he flew towards the buildings.
As he flew over the house he could see a little boy playing in a sand pit, a lady sitting on a chair with a pram beside her and a man digging in a garden.
This peaceful family scene made him think more longingly of his own family, the Swanns.
Flying down, Mr Beaky landed on the ground near the sand pit, and letting out a squawk,
said, "Mr Beaky hungry, Mr Beaky wanna go home," and squawked loudly again.
The little boy clapped his hands in delight, the lady jumped up startled, then laughed and the man exclaimed, "Goodness me! What is this? Then laughed with his wife.
Some time later after they had given Mr Beaky something to eat, the farmer turned to his wife, "This must be the cockatoo I saw mentioned in a lost ad. in the paper yesterday, there was a phone number, I'll go and ring them now."
"Yes," agreed his wife, "the poor things must be very anxious over him, he's such a clever bird."
The man came back out a few minutes later.
"They were so pleased to hear that their bird has turned up, their little boy, who owns Mr Beaky, has been fretting himself sick, over his disappearance," he continued,.
"Mr Swann, and Marc will be hear in half an hour, to pick him up."
When Mr Swann and Marc arrived, the farmer was waiting at the gate with Mr. Beaky sitting on his arm, as soon as the car stopped Marc was out the door like a shot.
"Mr Beaky, oh Mr Beaky, I'm soooo glad to see you, I've missed you soooo
Mr Beaky flew onto Marc's arm and said, "Hello Marc,
Mr. Beaky wanna go home."