Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Asha Chronicles---Part 8

In this daring, edge of your seat adventure of The Feathered Four, you'll get to meet a few of the family members of The Feathered Four. Although Asha is a only fid (fid= bird person term for 'feathered kid') Cecil and Asa both have fiblings (fiblings= bird person term for 'feathered siblings'). Cecil is a realtively proud big brother to Irwin, a medium blue budgie (Cecil is sky/baby blue in color). And, Asa is the head of her flock of 4 other tiels. The senior of Asa's flock is Cleo Chaquita Pattee who just happens to be madly in love with a little blue budgie named Huey Lewis. A fourth blue budgie also makes his debut in this episode, Theodore. He's a sweet and very tollerant little guy who in real life has to put up with two tiels, Dito and Raptor, who constantly invade his cage uninvited.

Ok, you've now been properly introduced to The Blue Budgie Brigade, so onto the story.....hope your seat belts are still fastened from Part 7.

You've been warned.......

The Asha Chronicles
Part 8
by Julie Anne and Tim
February 20, 2008

False Sense of Security

The hysterical woman paced back and forth in the vets private office. Her husband of 53 years had done all in his power to console his beloved, but having not been able to, sat silently in the corner of the room in the faux leather chair and just prayed, mumbling under his breath, for his wifes sake, that Otto would live.
“I’m positive I locked his cage!” the woman sobbed uncontrollably as she took two more laps back and forth across the small cluttered room. “How on earth did he get loose! How on earth did he land on that broken wooden spoon?!” she wailed as she tossed her hands up in the air as if the motion would miraculously answer her questions.
“Mrs. Paramour,” the vet began as he entered the room, his face solemn and bearing the tell-tale signs of three hours of hard grueling surgery on the small delicate blue fronted Amazon parrot, “Please sit down.” he instructed as he made himself as comfortable as he could behind his cluttered desk.
“HE’S DEAD!!!!!!!!” Mrs. Paramour wailed at a decibel the dogs out in the waiting room, half way across the building, heard loud and clear, as she collapsed into a dramatic heap onto the linoleum floor.
“Is our Otto Baby dead?” asked the previously silent Mr. Paramour from the faux leather chair while his wife continued to wail and sob on the floor.
Figuring, as Mr. Paramour had, that consoling Mrs. Paramour was pointless, the vet continued with what he had to say to Mr. Paramour, “Otto has survived. That little bird has one serious will to live. It’s still touch and go and will continue to be so for probably the next few days. Otto is still quite groggy from the anesthesia and I’d like for either you or Mrs. Paramour to come back and talk to him for a while. It’ll help him to recover knowing his family is here beside him.” The vet paused to collect his thoughts as Mrs. Paramour began to settle down a bit, obviously not sure if she really heard her Otto Baby was still alive. The vet continued, “It’s a really odd wound. It looks like he was impaled with a knife of some sort and not the broken handle of a wooden spoon, but he was lucky, the spoon missed his heart by a mere hairs width as well as his main arteries. He did lose most of his blood volume however, as well as a severely broken wing and leg. We had to amputate both to preserve what blood volume he had left. Otto will be disabled, but should be able to learn to scoot around on a wheelchair for birds, with no problem.”
“Wheelchair for birds?” Mr. Paramour queried.
“It’s a small devise that will strap to and around his body with a post and a wheel at the end so it’ll roll. The Gabriel Foundation has made a few and one of their representatives will contact you in a week, after Otto has gotten through this critical period and survived.”
“Oh, mercy me! Thank the heavens and Mother Mary!!” Mrs. Paramour wailed less hysterically at the news her baby boy had survived and would live.


Meanwhile, back in Byron Georgia, Asha was still very much on edge after her ordeal with Otto. The slightest sounds caused her to start. Because Asa’s Granny was in the hospital having surgery and her Grandpa didn’t pay any attention to her or her flock but to wake them up and put them to bed, Asa knew she had plenty of freedom for the next three days. This freedom she used to her full advantage by spending her days with Asha and reassuring her best friend all would be ok and that she was safe now that Otto was dead and gone.
“I don’t know,” began Asha, “I just have one of those weird feelings this isn’t over just yet.”
“Well, even if it isn’t over yet, I’m here now and we’re going to get you through the recovery process. Stubby’s Mom is going on vacation in two days and by the time my Granny gets home from the hospital, Stubby will be here to sit with you and take care of you. Then, all you’ll have to worry about is your heart skipping a beat due to love.” Asa ended with smirk.
“Watch it, Convicts Chick! I may be a bit of a nervous wreck, but my ninja skills are still in perfect form.” Asha said with a ninja kick that just missed her companions head feathers just to emphasize her point.
“Have you heard back from BabyGirl?” asked Asa as she helped Asha preen a blue feather that had gone awry in the ‘ninja skills’ demonstration.
“Yeah, I have. BabyGirl is keeping an ear to the Underground to see what the news is on Otto. I did hate having to hurt his humans like that. I’m sure it wasn’t their fault Otto was bad. But nothing really yet.”
“What about Cecils birthday party? Is BabyGirl setting that up?”
“Yeah, I think that’s keeping her busier than keeping an ear on the Underground. You know BabyGirl and her parties.”
Asa giggled and the two lady birds settled down side by side for a nap.
It was then that a pigeon named Jorge crashed into Asha’s porch screening, startling both girls out of several feathers.
“BBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!” Asa shrieked as she went instantly and automatically into Psyco Birdie Mode and charged the equally startled Jorge.
“DIE VARMIT!” Asha shrieked at the same time as Asa beeped, fear turned into amazing ninja strength.
“WAIT!!!! I BRING NEWS!!!! I’M JUST A CARRIER PIGEON NAMED JORGE!!! I WON’T HURT ANYONE!!” Jorge hollered over Asa’s ear splitting ‘beep’, but a split second too late.
Asa hit the porch screen with such furry that she sliced through it like hot butter with her razor sharp beak, leaping upon the poor startled harmless Jorge and pinning him to the dirt in one move. Asha, who was just a split second behind Asa, sat on Jorges tail for good measure.
“I’m…..just ……a……..*cough*….carrier pigeon.” Jorge choked out. Asa was pressing a bit hard on his breast bone and Jorge was having a bit of trouble breathing. “I…..bring…*cough-cough*…..a message from Psychotic Maude….*cough*…she says to listen to the Underground…*cough*….contact Dolly….” Jorge concluded, having gotten out the message he’d been asked to deliver.
Asa slowly got up off of Jorge, but remained on guard ‘just in case’. Asha, on the other hand, remained on Jorges tail, ‘just in case’.
“Who’s Psychotic Maude?” asked Asha as Jorge took several really deep breaths, trying to recapture what Asa had just squeezed out of him.
“Psychotic Maude is the Greater Vasa that lives up in Painesville Ohio. She’s one of the messengers of the Underground. She actually is the one who runs the Underground. No messages get through to its recipient without her making sure it’s not some sort of human trap.” Jorge explained as Asha slowly removed her razor sharp talons from his now well frazzled tail. Jorge puffed and fluffed his feathers in a futile attempt to get them back into perfect flying order. He needed a good preening, he thought to himself as he continued, “Dolly is the one holding the message for you, Miss Asha.” Jorge concluded politely and he took flight and in a rather zig-zag pattern as he made his way due north to his next delivery point.
“So, off we fly to Vegas?” Asha asked hopefully. And, not just because she missed her fiancĂ© Stubby, but also because she wasn’t sure how else they would contact Dolly since Dolly wasn’t on BC due to being a human instead of a bird.
“No, I can dial her number, so we can just call her.” Asa said as she climbed back in through the hole she and Asha had created in the window screen.
“Hi AsaMina Sura!” Dolly happily greeted the beep she heard on the other end of the phone line. Although Asa and the Feathered Four spoke perfect English to one another, they spoke in their normal chirps, tweets, and other such standard bird noises to their and other humans. Asa, just to be different, beeped instead of tweeting, chirping or making other such bird noises. Because of this, Dolly always instantly recognized her God-Birdie when she was on the phone.
“Beep. Beep-Beep.” said Asa sweetly
“Asa, I just received this news and it’s not good. Otto has survived his injuries.” Dolly began.
“BEEP!?” Asa inquired incredulously.
“What?” asked Asha, not having heard Dolly’s end of the conversation.
“Yeah, none of us in the Underground could believe it either. Psychotic Maude went totally psycho is currently acting sticky sweet to her human and Jake. Otto is disabled however, and won’t ever fly again. He lost a wing and a leg and he’s confined to a recovery cage for the rest of his hopefully miserable life.” Dolly continued to explain.
“Beep, Beep, Bee-Beep?” asked Asa.
“That’s the message, we don’t know if Asha is still in danger or not. None of us think she is, but we’ve sent Timothy and his wife tickets to the week long bird fair in South Carolina. Eva and her flock will put the threesome up for the whole week. We, the Underground, figure this is the safest thing for Asha at the moment, just until we know what’s going on with Otto.”
“Beep?” asked Asa.
“No, they didn’t do a lobotomy on him that we’re aware of.” Dolly giggled as she hung up the phone.
Asa had Asha, who being an Amazon instead of a tiel, and was heavier than she, stand on the phones ‘hang up button’ so Asa could make one more phone call.
“Are you going to tell me what Dolly said or do I have to beat it out of you?” said Asha.
“One more phone call, then I will.” said Asa as she dialed the number for Bubbers Repair and Fix Everything and hired Bubber to come over and fix the screen. Bubbers Repair and Fix Everything was part of the Underground. Bubber was a man owned by four scarlet macaws that lived out in the peach orchard just north of Byron. He was the ‘go-to’ human when you needed a quick repair before your human arrived home. BabyGirl had used them, the Missouri branch of course, after every party she threw.
Asa explained to Asha her conversation with Dolly. Just as she finished telling Asha about Otto, Bubber arrived and began the repair of the torn patio screen.
“I’ll stay just till I hear your dads SUV drive up, then I’ll have to fly home. Your dad has been already instructed to take you to Auntie Eva’s for the week, so you won’t need me anymore.” Asa continued as Bubber finished the repair and silently slipped away.
“I can’t believe Otto is alive.” Asha shivered.
“Yeah, neither can I.” said Asa with a shiver and a deep sigh. It was just then that Asha’s Dad pulled his SUV into the driveway. “I’ll head out, Asha, you’ll be safe.” Asa said, not sure if her best friend really would be or not. Asa, too had an odd feeling of foreboding in the pit of her stomach.
“Asha Angel,” Asha’s Dad cooed to his little girl as he entered the house, “We’re going to South Carolina to visit Auntie Eva and your cousins Ruby, Leah and Halon.”
Asha shifted her weight on her perch before saying to her Daddy a very happy, clear and welcoming, “Antidisestablishmentarianism tickle tickle.”
“I love you too Asha Baby.” responded her Daddy as he headed down the hall to pack his bags. “We’ll be driving up and we’ll be in the truck for only about four and a half hours, so it shouldn’t be too hard on you. We’ll bring you some almonds to shell and for me to vacuum up later, ok?” Asha’s Dad said, calling from the bedroom to the screened porch where Asha was sitting on top of her cage.
Asha’s foreboding feeling began to intensify. She needed Stubby. She wanted to be in Vegas with him. She wanted her Daddy to turn on the computer so she could leave her fiancĂ© a message on BC.
Meanwhile, back at Asa’s Granny’s house, Asa was hard at work on the computer leaving message after message for Cecil and BabyGirl. She knew something was going to happen, she could feel it, but she couldn’t explain what was to happen. Otto was disabled now, he couldn’t fly, what kind of threat could he be?

In suburban Atlanta Otto sat on his belly in his recovery incubator and boy was he mad. “How on earth could that stupid female and that poor excuse for a Blue Front have gotten the drop on me?! ME!!!” Otto ranted to himself. “I’ll get that Asha. Yeah, I’ll get her and show her she should never ever mess with The Otto!”
He shifted his weight before noticing that his Mom’s human son, Jackson, had entered the room and was coming toward him. “Otto, “ Jackson whispered, “are you doing ok? Mom said you were impaled on that broken spoon she left out? It wasn’t the spoon was it? It was something else. You went after that Asha Blue Front, didn’t you? She did this to you didn’t she? Do you need me to do anything to help you?” Jackson mysteriously ended.
Otto couldn’t believe his ears! How on earth did Jackson know all of this? Did Jackson know about the secret Bird Underground? If so, how? But, if Jackson knew and he really was willing, wouldn’t it be nice if he’d help him get revenge…..
“Twer-tee.” Otto responded in ‘bird’ cautiously.
“Tell me what you want me to do.” Jackson whispered as he looked back over his shoulders to see if anyone, human or other wise had entered the room. Seeing no one, he continued, “Is there a way to find out about Asha and what her weaknesses are?” Jackson asked Otto, still in a whisper.
“We need to check the Bird Underground to find out if they’ve moved her or something. I think I injured her in the fight we had, but I can’t remember. If she’s at the vets recovering, it’d be easy to teach her a lesson and kill her. She deserves to die for doing this to me.” Otto spoke in Human to Jackson.
Jackson didn’t even flinch. It was as if he always knew Otto could speak English and communicate with Humans. To Otto he responded, “I’ll see what I can find out. How should I go about contacting the Underground?”
“You need to reach Psychotic Maude. She’s a Greater Vasa and she’s nuts. Bites all that is within her reach. She runs the Underground with an iron talon. No human has ever gotten past her but her Mom. You need to find another bird who’s brave enough to approach and ask her about Asha. I’m not sure where you’ll find such a bird, but there has to be one.” Otto explained to Jackson, again in Human.
“I’ll go check BC to see if I can find any birds out there that have a grudge against Maude. I’ll go get my laptop and be right back. We can look together as you’ll know more about the messages on BC than I will.” Jackson said, still whispering, and acting like communicating with a Blue Fronted Amazon in English is a perfectly normal every day occurrence.


“Ok my Diva, lets get you and this travel cage into my truck.” Asha’s Daddy groaned as he pushed from one side and his wife pulled from the other, to get Asha’s large travel cage into the back seat of his Jimmy SUV. Once in, her Dad sighed with relief as his wife helped him buckle the cage in place with one strap over the top of the cage and under the back seat and one strap around the front of the cage and around the back of the Jimmy’s back seat. Asha, who wasn’t really thrilled with all the jostling she was being put through, not to mention the stress of Otto surviving, let out a few choice words in Amazon to express her discomfort in the manner her Dad and Mom were treating her Diva self.
Once Asha was secure in the back seat and at least two months worth of bird stuff and barely a weeks worth of human stuff was wedged in the tail-gate section of the Jimmy, Asha, her Dad and Mom headed out the drive and toward I-16 East. Asha settled down as she let the rocking and bouncing of the truck lull her into a state of semi relaxation.
The drove in relative silence and total calm until they turned onto I-95 North at Savannah; it was then something odd began to happen. Out of nowhere ten peach faced lovebirds flew down and dive bombed the Jimmy.
“What on earth?!” Asha’s Dad exclaimed as he wrenched the steering wheel to the right to avoid splattering the lovebirds on the windshield. This sudden motion caused the dozing Asha to fall off her perch with a rather loud crash and screech. “Hold on Asha!” her Dad said much louder than necessary as he straitened the Jimmy back out onto his lane.
The lovebirds circled around and dive bombed the Jimmy a second time, this time succeeding in causing Asha’s Dad to run the Jimmy off the road and onto the shoulder.
“Crazy birds!!!! What on earth are they doing?” Asha’s Dad exclaimed.
Asha knew. It had to be Otto, it just had to be. She wedged herself into the bottom right corner of her travel cage to not only keep from being bounced around as her Dad did his best not to kill the crazy canaries, but to hide. Diva Ninja or not, she was scared, the whole traumatic incident with Otto replaying over and over and over again in her head.
Asha’s Dad managed to get the ageing Jimmy once again onto I-95 and this time he really stepped on the gas pedal, hoping to out run the crazed lovebirds. He managed to convince the Jimmy to maintain a speed of 75 mph as he flew down the highway toward Exit 33 and the last leg of their journey, US-17. Asha continued to cower in the corner of her travel cage. She knew the assault wasn’t over. She was right.
As the Jimmy rattled and bounced down I-95, just a mile before their exit to US-17, Asha’s Dad was startled to hear a police siren approaching from the rear. He looked into his rearview mirror to see a vehicle with light bars flashing in its roof. He did not think he had been speeding, but he began to slow the car and pulled over to the side of the road.
“You better not have been speeding,” Asha’s Mom said to her Dad. “You know what happened to our insurance bill the last time you got caught!”
Asha’s Dad agreed sheepishly as the young man in a police uniform approached the driver’s side.
“Sorry to bother you sir, but I am part of a special team of the South Carolina Highway Patrol checking on the traffic in stolen exotic birds and I had received a report that you might be carrying such a bird in your vehicle,” the officer said. He looked into the back seat and saw Asha’s cage. “Would you please remove this cage from your vehicle so I can inspect this bird?”
Asha’s Dad was confused, but being a law-abiding person, he and his wife unstrapped the cage and placed it on the ground beside the Jimmy. The officer then returned to his car and came back carrying what looked to be a one-legged parrot in a small incubator. The officer opened the incubator and pointed towards Asha’s cage.
“Otto,” the officer said. “Is this the one?”
“That’s her!” squawked Otto from inside the incubator. “That’s her! Kill her Jackson! Kill her!”
The fake officer reached for the gun at his hip but he didn’t get the chance to aim it as the everyone’s ears suddenly rung with the sound of: “KOWABUNGA DUDE!!!!!” yelled Asa as she and BabyGirl appeared out of nowhere and landed on the Jackson’s gun hand.
“You nasty flying rats! Get off of me!!!” Jackson yelled as he tried to shake Asa and BabyGirls iron grip off his left arm.
Meanwhile, the lovebirds had finally caught up with the Jimmy and once again began dive bombing it as Asha’s Dad viewed the entire scene with complete confusion. To protect his family from the crazed lovebirds, he told his wife to get back in the car and he quickly wrestled Asha’s cage into the back seat. He then got in himself, closed the door and watched in amazement as the drama unfolded before him.
It wasn’t more than a split second after Asha’s Dad closed the Jimmy’s driver’s side door to keep from being attacked and bit by the lovebirds that he saw something else totally bizarre fly out of nowhere.
“Here come the Blue Angels! Gangway!!! You’re gonna regret ever messing with our Asha! You’re gonna DIE!!!! Cecil of the Great Budgie Divide! King of all Budgies, King of the Great Budgie Divide has come to eradicate you, you evil human you!!!” yelled Cecil at the top of his not so little lungs as he dove towards the scene at the head of a V formation of blue budgies and one very large yellow cockatiel.
“I’m going to feed you to Lucie and Dessi!” shouted Theodore, a blue budgie from Langley, Canada and good friends of Tyson Parker, one of Asa’s flock, as he referred to his human Grandpas’ two dogs.
“I’m gonna hold you down and let my brother have at you!!” shouted Irwin, Cecil’s little brother, at the same time as Theodore shouted his threat.
“You don’t mess with my family and expect to survive! You’re going to suffer the wrath of Camry’s pet skunk!!!! And, Cleo bites and bites hard!” Shouted the fourth blue budgie, Huey Lewis from San Diego, California and the mate of Cleo, Asa’s older sister.
Cleo had nothing to add, but her siren noise could be heard for miles around.
The Blue Budgie Brigade and Cleo aimed right for the lovebirds and with just the flapping of their wings, sent the lovebirds flying for safety. Cleo managed to grab and yank out the tail feathers of one of them while Cecil and Irwin knocked two with their wings so hard they sent them, totally stunned, into a red maple tree several yards into the woods.
Huey, who didn’t have a vicious or mean bone in his body, found one just big enough to grab one of the lovebirds with his talons, yanking out several feathers and causing the lovebird to yelp and fly off for his own safety. Meanwhile, Cleo went to help her little sister Asa and BabyGirl with Jackson. Cleo bit Jackson on the right ear as Asa bit the left and BabyGirl bit his left hand, which was still holding the shiny gun.
“Darn crazy birds!” Jackson yelled as he continued to try to shake BabyGirl off his hand.
“Not going anywhere!” BabyGirl mumbled with a mouth full of Jackson’s hand, causing him to drop the gun.
When Asha’s Dad saw the gun hit the ground and the flock of blue budgies, two tiels and one orange wing Amazon all attacking the fake police officer who’d just tried to kill his Asha, he wasn’t too sure what to think. With his Jimmy’s doors closed, he couldn’t hear a word of what was going on except for Jackson’s occasional screams as one bird or the other bit him.
“This looks like a deleted scene from ‘The Birds’”, he said to his wife. “Even Hitchcock would have been afraid to put this on film.”
“Maybe we should put some distance between us and this nightmare,” his wife said and Asha’s Dad quickly agreed.
He started up the Jimmy, pulled cautiously back onto the interstate and then off exit 33 onto US-17 where he pressed the gas pedal nearly to the floor to escape the unbelievable scene in his rear view mirror.
“Asha, are you ok, baby girl?” Asha’s Dad cooed toward the back seat.
“Tickle, tickle, hello dear.” said Asha, still feeling uneasy like this still wasn’t over yet, but relieved to be safe and sound at the same time. She knew her Dad did the right thing by staying in the truck with her. She was glad her Dad didn’t get out. The less he knew about Otto and his crazy human brother the better and-hopefully safer-he was. He had rescued her and she wanted to repay him the best she could by keeping him safe too.
“We’ll be at Auntie Eva’s in about 30 minutes.” Asha’s Dad added before going silent. He was concentrating on the road…..and the sky.
Back at the interstate Jackson could tell that he was getting the short end of the deal as he quickly became the object of almost a dozen angry bird’s wrath.
“We got to get out of here Otto,” he shouted as he grabbed the incubator and flung it into the front seat of the fake police car. He jumped in himself and started the car. After flinging a still biting Theodore out the window he started off with a roar and the smell of burning rubber.
“Let him go,” counseled Asa. “We’ll never be able to keep up with him and he’ll think twice before bothering us again.”
“I think it would be a good idea to have the Underground keep their eyes on those two just in case they do get it in their heads to take us on again.” said Cecil.
“Well, at least Asha and her family are safe,” said BabyGirl. “Why don’t we follow them and see if Eva has something to eat? This rescuing is hard work.”

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