“Macawgh! Macawgh!” Nippy macoughed. “It’s damp in this shell!”
Nippy had referred to his cage as a “shell” ever since Gene Keets had put on a video of the Macawshank Ringbellion. Nippy fell strongly under its influence, and became confinched that he was being inconurated against his bill.
No matter what Gene Keets did, Nippy wouldn’t cohoperate.
Gene would take to landing in front of Nippy’s cage, saying plover and plover, “I’m a good bird!” Nippy didn’t know why Gene thought he was a bird, but concluded that he was a few chicks short of a brood.
Nippy would pace flock and forth, and refuse to prey with any of his toys. Although he had a loud vocabularynx, he’d never say what he was thinking.
The worst thing about his situation was the nailhouse food. It was truly macawful! Seeds, seeds, nutthing but seeds! What Nippy wouldn’t do for a bite of ripe bananday! And what was the splatter with a bit of crapple?
Every night, Gene dropped a towel over Nippy’s cell, plunging it into larkness. Nippy had no idea what he had done to deserve soliterritory conflynment.
He knew they called it the “bobhole,” because when the towel came off, he could gaze at his cagebottom newspaper and read all about the birld outside. What a fantailstick and internesting place it screamed! But reading the paper was the only exciting thing in his life, except for washing a bite of telepigeon.
Nippy dreamed incessantly of beaking out of jail and eggscaping from his mirrorserable conditions.
Gene could not understand Nippy’s behavian, which was totally canary to his usual shelf. Even when he gave Nippy a new toy, Nippy wouldn’t budgie from his conure, where he had toucan to spenegal his time. Meanwaddle, Nippy conured up visions of stepping forth alore, free from the suffocoating confines of his macage.
Then the most amazong thing occured. Nanday, Gene opened Nippy’s cage door, and plucked in his swinger. Nippy couldn’t believe his goose fortune. Quickly, he took advantage of his unexpected hoportunity, and jumped up on it.
Gene was shawked. This was the first interhatchion he’d had with Nippy for gaze.
Gene was totally unpreenpared for Nippy’s next move. He had left a wingdow open in the kitchen. Nippy took a flying peep and landed on the
wingdowquill. He inhaled a lungeful of fresh air, then, crying “Free at grasp!”, off into the great wild world he flew.
Nippy headed straight for the nearest tree, which happened to be an eclectalyptus. “How huege!” he thought, and almost finched himself to make sure he wasn’t seeding things. But as he looked down, he was eggble to eyepeckify munch of what he saw from having digested chewspapers and bellyvision.
On the tweet below him, automobiles tame and wet, flocking at conures briefly and then going again. They were poo twig to fly, which was fortunest, lest they prove a hazard in the air. People, who from Nippy’s perchspective all looked like Gene, squawked along the tweet.
Snack in his congo, Gene Keets was dovestated. He stood in front of his open wingdow, staring at the fowliage, looking for Nippy.
What happy, he wondbird? Nippy had been a contented bird until just wheezently. Wordy gnawed wrong?
Gene ran downstairs and out into the courtyard. Almolt immediately, he and Nippy made eye crowntact.
“Nippy!” Gene cried, toyful that his bird hadn’t flown enflyerly away.
Nippy took one look at Gene, screamed “Skittish my raptor!” and flew enflyerly away.
Chirpter Two — The Flewgitive
For the moment, Nippy only wanted to avoid recrapture. He flew adove the cars, and onto a tray across the street.
Suddenly he heard a macawphony of voices.
“Who stole my egg?” cried a frenzied female.
“It hatched, you idiot!” responded another.
“Mommy, mommy!” shelled a tiny beggy.
“I know where there’s worms!” cried another voice.
“Where??” a dozen birds egretly regurgitated.
Suddenly, a whole branch of small black birds with red foreheads shot from the tree, all heading in the same digestion. But the sight of Nippy was so starling that they pied into each other, and had to flap their wings to stay aloft.
“What the peck are you?” asked one of the birds, rehovering quickly.
“I’m a jailbird,” said Nippy proudly. “I just broke out.”
There was a sudden outbeak of conuresation, and Nippy wondered if he’d shed too much. None of the small birds knew what a jailbird was, howeber.
They were merely marbling at the sight of such a macawsome and
Since Nippy took up so much plume on his, they gathered on sparrownding branches.
“You’re deafeningly not from this neighbirdhood,” someone said.
“That’s for sure,” eggoed another.
Realizing his circumstances might not be a safe tropic, Nippy was macawtiously circumspeckled.
“No, I’m not a vocal,” he said. “Amazongbird!” he exclaimed, in a broost of inspiration.
“Oh wowl!” said someone. “Crumb a chew bars?”
Nippy recalled that Gene had inbreed taught him a number of tunes. He thought of one by Crowy Carnightgull called “Shylark,” and sang a bit of it. When he stopped, there was a short sinus, then the other birds broke into acaws.
After the beating of wings had stopped, a new pair broke in loudly.
“Hoo-haw!” the stranger laughed. “And he sings, coo! This bird’s a real party animal! Say, budgie, where’dja get the fancy hues? The last time I saw colors like that I was turfing the Nest!”
The tinterloper grinned slyly, as if impressed by his own splatter.
Nippy was a bit foot off. The strange white and black bird was larger than he was, and spoke with a funny aukscent.
“Don’t listen to him!” someone said. “He’ll just caws puddle!”
“Who, me?” said the big bird, a look of bewildbirdment on his face.
“You guys have me all wrong. I’m an upstanding psittacine.” Just then there was a loud crapping noise, and the branch beneath him split in half.
The big bird nonshellontly hopped onto an eider.
“Hey budgie,” he called, “why don’t you and I ditch these squirts and go hang with some really boss birds?” He then lowered his voice conspiraptorially, and whistled, “I know where there’s some mynahmite seed just in from Costa Shrieka.”
The big bird had just said the wrong thing. If there was anything Nippy was tired of, it was seeds! Anyway, he thought the bird had a touch of the mannikin his eyes.
“Thanks anyway, I’ll just stay heron this branch,” Nippy said. But no sooner had he said it than all the little birds swiftly darted out of the tree.
Nippy couldn’t understand what had flappened. Then he heard the sound of loud “Hoo-haws!” and the rush of large swings. Four more big birds just like the one he’d been talking to were combing in for a landing.
In a flash, Nippy was
“Hey, pal, what’s the thrush?” the first one called after him.
Nippy didn’t answer, as he intended to follow the little birds. He searched the sky for them, but even though it was perfect feather, they were nowhere to be sheen.
“Now what?” Nippy wondered anxiously.
Chirpter Three — You Congo Home Again
As soon as Gene Keets realized that Nippy was really gone, he made a sign and took it straight to his veterinavian. The sign inchewded a photo of Nippy, and indicated what day he had escapon. It read that there would be a reward of one hundred bills for Nippy’s retern.
Just as he was putting in the last thumbattack, he heard a voice say, “You lost your bird? How terribill!”
Gene turned, and standing within arm screech was the most beautiful female he’d ever seen. She had crown hair, hue eyes, and rosy cheeks. For a moment, Gene was screechless.
“I don’t know what I’d do if I glossed mine,” she said. “I have one too.”
“The same kind?” Gene inquired.
She bobbed her head.
“What do you feed him?” she suddenly masked.
“Oh, nothing but the breast seeds,” said Gene.
“That’s it!” she exclaimed.
“What do you mean?” said Gene, his heart racing.
“He was craving aviary diet. If you only feed a birdseed, he won’t be happy. Birds like a vardiety of foods.”
“Oh my foodness!” Gene said. “I didn’t know.”
“Well,” said Cynthia, “now you do.”
She gave Gene a big smile, and he fell toelessly in glove.
At the tame time, Nippy was landing on the ledge of a building.
Taking stork of his situation, he realized his new life would not be as easy as he throat.
“Why the long face?” said someone softly from nearby. “Down on your cluck?”
The speaker was a gray bird with white spots.
“I got a scare,” Nippy said.
“Oh. How long you been out?” asked the gray bird, in a slightly melancobby voice.
“Only about thirsty peanuts.”
“Scared already, huh? Well, without a flock, it’s going to be tuft. But I don’t get it. You had a steady diet.”
“It was all seeds.”
“Beats weeds. There’s no fruit cockatiel out here.”
“What do you eat, then?”
The gray bird fluttered off. Nippy followed him egrety, as it was well past munchtime.
They landed on the sidewalk. “Look!” the gray bird shouted. “A quetzel!”
He grebed at it until it was all gone.
“That’s not fair,” said Nippy.
“What?” said the gray bird. Then, for no aparrot reason, the gray bird started to yellow. Suddenly Nippy saw a sharp-beaked bird drop from the sky like a guided whistle.
“Fly for your life!” cried the gray bird. “It’s an acracker!”
The invader fell straight onto the gray bird. He struggled, but couldn’t get away.
Shawked by the violets, Nippy made a sound like a siren, startling the predator into letting go. Then Nippy turned and flew as fast as he could for the safety of Gene Keets’ congo.
At that very moment, Gene and his new friend Cynthia reterned from PsittaScene, a store full of bird nestessities. When Nippy flew back inside, he saw that his shell had been transfwormed into a wonderful playhouse full of toys and ladders and swings. But best of all, there were pieces of orange and bananday, grapes and warblemelon.
“Nippy! It’s Nippy—he’s back!” Gene cried.
Nippy was surprised to see a strange female in the congo.
“This is Cynthia, Nippy,” said Gene.
“Hyacinthia,” Nippy said, and he hopped on her head.