I saw a man with his parrot. And as one who loves his parrot will do, he shared with him, the seascape— and his yogurt.
I often encounter simians whose love for species, not their own, is profound. I spoke of some here:https://tinyurl.com/yckucdrm
Mike Lee, and compadre, Harley, are often found on the westernmost end of our famed Long Beach boardwalk.
Mike told me that one day, Harley grabbed a spoon and began eating the ice cream still on it.
Mike thought it was pretty cool. But he believed that frozen yogurt would be better. So now they share a yogurt by the sea.
I noted Mike ate off the same spoon as Harley, so I asked if that was safe. He said, “He’s clean, so I’m not too worried about it.”
Harley’s feathers were immaculate, and his talons and beak were piano-key ebony.
Mike said Harley’s talons get needle sharp sometimes, and he has to trim them, his beak too. Harley can destroy things around the house, so Mike has to ensure he has plenty of toys.
I was getting close with my camera, so I asked if I was bothering Harley. Mike said Harley loves it when the cameras come out. This avian was also a bit of ham.
Twenty-one years ago, when Mike first got this harlequin macaw parrot, he named him Harley. Mike said, “He should live forty more years, plan A is for me to live until 104. We’ll see how plan A goes.”
Love for non-human creatures grows strong in America: We own 78 million dogs, 85 million cats, 14 million birds, 12 million small mammals, and nine million reptiles. Smithsonian: https://tinyurl.com/23ckda5j
Why so much love for pets? Of course, there are many reasons, but unconditional love is number one. Pet lovers know what I mean. In such a troubled world, a close friend is a good respite. And if a pet fits into your lifestyle, it will improve your health and life. The NIH, (National Institute of Health): https://tinyurl.com/4x5bfdmx
Harley doesn’t need help eating frozen yogurt; he grasps his spoon like it is trying to escape.
Harley still has his home alcove to himself, as previously reported. But he flies from room to room, too, sometimes to Mike’s office and alights upon his shoulder. Love will do that.
Harley will chew on the hardware of the window screen. He never got out, but he did get “away” for a bit.
Mike and Harley were approaching their home one day when Mike said, “Fence” to Harley. Harley flew, but not to the fence.
Off, Harley soared to the house across the street. Mike said pet birds on free wing get disoriented and don’t know what to do. So, Harley stayed on the roof. He just couldn’t be urged down.
To retrieve Harley, Mike had to erect a ladder. He was glad to get him back to safety finally. But I think, for Harley, it was an excellent adventure.
As we spoke, others approached for photos too. Mike and Harley see a lot of them.
I hoped Cheryl would come biking by to see Harley, but she doesn’t like the boards when wet from rain or humidity. She’d rather ride the streets, but there’s also the risk of bad drivers.
Mike said the wet boardwalk is treacherous at its end. He said that almost every time it’s wet, someone takes the turn too fast, and down they go. So, riders, beware.
We spoke of the boardwalk checkpoint the Long Beach Special Police had recently set up for e-bikes. Long Beach Rules prohibit e-bikes on the boards, and enforcement is up.
Mike said Special Officers warned him about having Harley on the boardwalk. They said, “No pets allowed.”
It seemed bizarre that a Parrot was banned from the boards when gulls and pigeons visit daily, happily pooping as they go.
Are you going to throw this gull off too?
We see dogs on the boards now and then, which are prohibited. Sometimes we even see “evidence” of a dog’s previous presence. Evidence that the owner failed to clean up.
Incredibly, advanced simians take their dogs, in violation, on the boardwalk—then do not clean up after them! They should not only pick up after their pooches, but also clean their resi-do from the boards. These simians, these complex beings, should be the targets for enforcement. And leave happy Harley alone.
Mike recalled the last essay I wrote about Harley: https://tinyurl.com/mv4j9523 He said he learned about it from a friend in Key West who called to tell him about it.
We laughed about the essay’s three-thousand mile round trip down to Florida and back to Long Beach when we were mere blocks away. I told Mike that my humble essays do get around a bit. Sometimes they trace internationally: Ireland, Germany, Finland, China, nations of the Middle East, and many more. Mere trace viewings, sure, but it’s nice to see our little City By The Sea gets around.
Mike Lee, noting my Marine shirt, said he wasn’t in the Marines, but his brother was a full-bird Colonel in the Corps. He said, “One more promotion, and he would have made General, he would have been the next General Robert E Lee.”
Noble simian Mike has no hard feelings about the Special Officers’ warnings about Harley. He said they are only doing what their job requires. But he admitted with a grin that he does come early for a brief visit, like today, so that Harley can share a yogurt and see the sea.