When I was chatting with The Mom on Skype this past weekend, she mentioned rather casually that someone in the birds’ room had been playing with their paper.
“Who?” I asked rather excitedly because most of the canaries are past the point of wanting children. Sometimes in the spring, when the light comes back, they shred a bit of paper, but they don’t put a lot of effort into it.The Mom replied with glee I have not seen in some time. “It was L’il Sis’s birds!”
“Which one?” This is a relevant question because Odin-bird(the Java Rice Bird) has a flatmate named Chi-Chi who is a canary. I don’t know where they met, but they seem to be fast friends. They both have this look about them that’s also quite funny: they always appear to be a tiny bit surprised to find the other one there, but happily so.
The Mom replied, “I don’t know!”
“But L’il Sis said they were both male.”
“I believe the paper shredding puts this in dispute.”
“But a male would shred paper too, no?”
“Our birds have never done that.”
“No, surely Dad’s tried to make a nest.”
The Mom shrugged. And then a horrible thought came to me.
“What if Odin-bird gets Chi-Chi pregnant!”
The Mom’s face lit up like Christmas. “Oh! Wouldn’t that be a pretty bird!”
“No! That would be very not good. You cannot have a canary mate with a Java Rice Bird.”
“Says who?” The Mom demanded.
“Genetics and common sense. And probably science. And also probably God but I don’t think you care about that, so I’m just mentioning it to be thorough.”
“But they’re similar sized birds, imagine? A bright yellow canary with a pink beak!”
“This is not the same as wondering if a mixed race child will have blue eyes or brown! The birds are different species!”
“They’re not that far off,” The Mom said.
I don’t think I need to point out that The Mom is not a scientist of any kind.
“You have to watch them. This is not good. Remember One-Eyed Jack?”
“Oh, he was such a sweet bird.”
“He was the result of bad genetics.”
“No, dear, that just happens some times.”
“It should happen no times. You can stop this from happening you know. See if Chi-Chi wants to move out or something.”
“They’d be crushed. They’re such good friends.”
“Maybe they’re more than friends! You wouldn’t let the cat mate with the dog would you?”
“That would be ridiculous,” The Mom said.
“Yes, yes it would be. Meme chose!”
“Honestly dear, you are no fun at all.”
“You cannot play Dr. Moreau at home! This is unacceptable behaviour!”
“But aren’t you the least bit curious?”
“I am curious about almost all of the things, but people at the office had the good sense to take that pamphlet for home cloning away from me, and now you must suffer the same fate. Separate them at once! I will be home in a matter of weeks for Festivus, and Chi-Chi better not be knocked up.”