It had been a lovely evening spent at my Mum’s house. She’d fed me, looked after me and we had watched ‘The Hangover’ which was enjoyable even for the eight time.

I got home and realised I hadn’t put the sheet over my new cockatiel Jake. I thought he looked oh so cute huddled in the corner, having a little doze. I’d had Jake for roughly about two weeks and he was a nice pet, at times he seemed like he didn’t particularly like me due to the hissing noise he would make whenever I went near his cage, but I thought ‘hey, he just needs some settling in time’

I acquired Jake through classified ad page Gumtree. One weekend I spent looking through the ads, looking at random things I was interested in. Peculiar yes, but sometimes I found some pretty cool stuff.

After deciding I wanted another cockatiel after having one as a child, I found Jake’s ad. I immediately called the lady and she said he was $20 or $25 with a cage. I jumped at the chance since these birds usually go for $65-80 and arranged a time to meet my new found friend.

I arrived at her place and she seemed nice. However, my Mum asked what the birds name was and she looked puzzled and replied “I don’t know. I haven’t had time to name him”

No time to name him? Was she doing some emergency surgery work and was on call constantly so really lacked the time to NAME A BIRD?

As soon as I got little Jakey home, that was his name. She wasn’t sure if he was a he or she but Jake stuck since it was the name of my last cockatiel.

I tried to bond with him by spending many a afternoon whispering sweet nothings into his cage and being greeted with hissing and evil eyes. I didn’t let this bother me and thought it was just a new surrounding and he would eventually be happy.

Wrong. Very wrong.

Over the next few weeks Jake decided he would “yell” as loud as possible to wake me and all of Brisbane up. This was cute for the first ten minutes but when it became apparent this bird would never be quiet, it kind of got a little irritating.

Anyway. I did like the bird despite all of this, I really did. I kind of saw it as a bit of an endearing quality to be such a little bastard and tried to gel with the bird. Failed at that too.

So, we get to this evening. As I am putting the sheet over him, the hook holding up the cage suddenly snaps and the cage falls and breaks on the floor. He scrambles out and starts flying all around the deck like he’s consumed about eight vodka’s and with absolutely no direction whatsover.

He manages to plant himself on a nearby branch and I think BINGO! I can finally catch him.


As I lunge to collect him, he bites my finger. I scream, he screams, we all scream for ice-cream.

I realise I need a towel to make this mission successful and manage to collect him and take him upstairs. I sit down for a moment and we both look at each other. I know he’s thinking he nearly got out of this and I’m thinking I almost wanted to let him.

My Dad comes out and sees what all the commotion is. I explain the story as I have Jake wrapped in a towel, only his tiny birdy head sticking out and I am patting him. First time I’d ever pat him and he seems relatively calm considering what’s just happened.

Or so I thought.

As I turn to my Dad and ask him to help me with the cage, Jake makes a dash out of the towel and scrambles again, this time to the highest tree where as it is dark, I cannot see a single thing.

Dad and I look at each other and realise this is it. I try and coax Jake into coming down but know he’s probably somewhere between here and Fortitude Valley, looking to find a bar to have a drink after tonight.

So that was it. I have left the cage open, with his water/food hoping he will return but frankly if I was in his position, I’d probably go far, far away too.

Safe journey’s Jake. You woke me up at 6am most morning’s but I will never forget putting R.E.M on for you as it seemed to calm you down.