The Night Before Christmas (Cockatoo Style)

This is priceless.  For those of you with cockatoos, especially goffins, the engineering variety of cockatoo, you will treasure this.  Once again, the author is unknown:

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the flights,
Not a bird was stirring since I turned off the lights.
Clean dishes were stacked by the freezer with care,
So in the morning they would be filled with fresh healthy fare.
The birds were all fed and put out to play,
Everyone was settled – I was done for the day.

When down from the basement there arose such a clatter,
That I ran for the stairs to see what was the matter.
I raced down the steps and turned down the light,
Glancing first to the left and then to the right.
It was then that I noticed the now empty spot,
In the cage where the Cockatoos should be but were not!

The Goffins are missing I yelled to my spouse,
While I shuddered to think what they’d do to the house.
My fears were well founded I soon came to know.
As I surveyed the destruction in the bird room below.
Feeding doors had been opened, the dishes all tossed,
Bags were ripped open their contents all lost.
The marauders unfastened from the cage tops each toy,
which they tossed at the occupants below with such joy.

The other birds sulked as they viewed the whole mess,
This Cockatoo duo had created such stress!
I searched through the room, my frustration profound,
Those two fiendish beasts simply weren’t to be found!
It was then that I noticed the Senegal staring,
As his eyes flashed with anger I saw he was glaring
Towards the side of the room at an overturned pail.
I followed his gaze and saw a flash of white tail.

Holding my breath as I approached with great care,
Was it possible both could be hiding in there?
I snatched up the bucket and the villains were exposed,
They knew they were busted and for a second they froze,
Then the Cockatoo shriek and scrambling of feet,
They raced for their cage in hasty retreat.
I slammed the door shut as I trembled with rage,
Don’t you two ever, ever come out of your cage!

They stared at me smugly cheeks puffed with contentment,
Their mission accomplished they ignored my resentment.
I’ll clean up tomorrow.
I said aloud with a sigh
As I walked toward the steps one ‘Too said “bye bye.”
As I turned with a grin I felt suddenly calm,
Their sweet little voices could act as a balm.

For along with their mischief, they brought love and fun,
It was hard to stay angry despite what they’d done.

My jangled nerves and life’s hectic pace,
Had made me forget what was in my face.
I didn’t need gifts, fancy stuff from the store.
I had all I needed, my birds and much more!

My dear friends and family, my health and my spouse,
Everything that mattered was right here in this house.
So Santa I thank you but I don’t need a lot,
I’m learning to be grateful for all that I’ve got.
If you come down my chimney to leave something new,
Just leave me some padlocks so I can lock up the ‘Toos!!

I wish you all the happiest holidays and the brightest new year.

Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.


Ardel Rader

Merry Cristmas to you & all of your family & flock. I too laughed and think the poem is great. I own a 9yr.old moluccan cockatoo,Sebastion, and I am his 3rd home. He came into my life at age 5( I had no idea what I was in for! He was a Christmas present.),cursing up a storm and very destructful (apparently he does not like flowered curtains as he has destoyed them and now solid colored curtains are up)! It took alot of love and patience to turn him around into a loving bird and that was no easy task (we are still working on some thngs)but I wouldn’t give him up for the world !! We play games,call for each other,and he is “my gaurd bird” when someone comes on my front porch or the mailman comes.All though cockatoos have VERY LOUD screams there is usually a reason. His “sweet talking” melts my heart for any wrong doings before it. When I leave the house I make sure he is safe in his “house” and he says “Where are you,come back,come back”. When I return I make a point to greet him and let him know I am back and open the door to his" house".He is treated as a family member and we are his flock! I wish all & thier flocks Happy Holidays!

Ardel Rader
Marlene G.

That was so cute I’m sending it to friends without birds. But I’m sure you know, you don’t have to have a Too to encounter destruction. I have a “Love Bird” and Cricket manages to do her share. If I’m not careful, and even when I am, she manages to leave her chew mark: on paperback books – imagine when you have to return them to the person who lent them to you; on the wallpaper, on the furniture (before I realized how much supervision is needed when she is out), and of course she has to help me read the newspaper in the morning – hopefully I can read the article before it’s gone. I give her a section but what I’m reading is better. There’s more but that’s just part of it, I also get laughs, and so do my friends when I tell them what she does. Sometimes she acts almost like a dog and follows me around and has to know what I’m doing when I’m home. And when she sits with me when I watch TV and dozes off, it is very comforting. Gotta love ’em.

Marlene G.

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