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Monday, April 27, 2015

Cara Mia Delgatto and the Bye-Bye Birdie, Part 6

Note: We've had so much fun with serialized stories that I'm trying my hand at one again! Here's the next installment of a new adventure for Cara Mia Delgatto and her friends. To read Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 scroll to the bottom of the blog post and click on OLDER POSTS.
By the end of the week, Kookie had plucked most of the feathers from his breast. He hadn't eaten any birdseed. He refused the grapes and pieces of fruit that Skye offered him. He rarely spoke except to wail, "Helen? Helen! Kookie loves you!"
"I can't stand this." I stared at the perch and the listless creature. "That bird is dying before our eyes. It's tearing my heart out. I feel like I'm letting Helen down and killing her best friend."
Skye wiped her eyes. "I know. Getting him was so exciting for me, but now I'm thinking, 'Be careful what you wish for,' because I sure didn't wish to see an animal suffer."
The front door opened and Pete Harris stuck his head in. His right hand carried a black leather bag like old-time doctors owned in Westerns.  "Uh, MJ called. Said I needed to make a house call."
From the back of the store MJ sashayed out, wearing a seductive grin that made both Skye and me blush. Behind her came Honora, wearing a look of anxious curiosity. 
"Thanks for dropping by." MJ planted a peck on the man's cheek. "Here's your patient."
Pete turned in the direction of her finger. "Wow. That is...was...a magnificent blue-eyed cockatoo. What on earth have you done to it?"
Everyone started talking at once, explaining how Kookie came to be a feathered fixture in our store. While we jabbered like fools, Pete walked over to examine the bird more carefully. "This is Helen Berger's bird, isn't it? Gosh. What a mess."
After that we shut up. Pete pulled a few wicked looking instruments out of his black bag.  Peering at Kookie from all angles, he asked, "Is the bird eating? Drinking water?"
"N-no," sniffled Skye. "What am I doing wrong?"
Pete's smile was kind, as he tucked a stethoscope into the bag. Even though he was balding, he was a nice looking man with soft gray eyes. His clothes looked as if war had been declared in his closet, but that was easily forgiven when you watched how gentle he was with animals. He'd set Jack's leg for me, after the dog's previous owner had chucked him out of a moving truck. Now my pup came and sat down beside Pete's loafers. Jack knew there was a problem. He raised a tiny white paw to tap Pete's ankle as though he were begging the vet to help the bird.
"You aren't doing anything wrong. Kookie is mourning. To put it bluntly, this bird has a death wish. He's been separated from the one creature he's loved most in his life."
"Isn't there anything we can do?" I felt sick.
"No. Oh, I suppose you could take him down to the zoo in West Palm and see if they have a sick room where they can hook him up to liquids. But that's a temporary fix. Kookie would rather be dead. So the minute you brought him back here, he'd do this all over again."
That made me angry. I was NOT going to let that bird die. Not on my watch. "Then we have to find a way to reunite Kookie and Helen. That's all there is to it."
~ To Be Continued ~

Okay, kids! Show me some love! If you are liking this serialized short story, go to my Facebook page and hit "Like" the little blue thumb in a tiny white box under the big picture of me. (My toes point to the right. There are three boxes. "Like" is the second box.) Or tell a friend about the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series. Here are the links:  Tear Down and Die and Kicked to the Curb


Barbara Hackel said...

I am in a love-hate relationship with this story. I love your writing Joanna, but I hate what Kookie is going through! Having had 2 cockatiels myself, I know what distinct personalities they have. Poor Kookie. How can this be "fixed" since Helen is dying? My hat is off to you if you have a solution!

Joanna Slan said...

Stay tuned, Barbara!

Stephanie said...

I love this love story! So special! Can't wait for the next installment!!