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Home ‘zoo’ welcomes new addition

I’ve mentioned before how much Dennis and I like to visit zoos.Well, we don’t have to travel far from home anymore because myhouse is turning into a zoo of our own – slowly but surely.

We’ve always had a dog or two, but it all really startedbecoming a zoo about six months ago when Dennis visited with hisyounger sister, who lives in Crystal Springs. The two of them weregoing through some items that had once belonged to his mother, andhe was bringing a few of those things back to our house. It wasmostly old photographs, an old trunk and some small knickknacks,just a lot of mementos.

Since Dennis’ mother passed away, we don’t make many trips toCrystal Springs, but when we do we always love to visit Dennis’baby sister, Pam. She always has the neatest animals at her house.She lives in the country and at any given time, it resembles asmall petting zoo.

On occasion there have been baby possums, raccoons, deer,squirrels, rabbits, chickens, various dogs and birds. One reasonfor this menagerie is Pam’s adult daughter, Rachel, who is namedafter Dennis’ mother.

Rachel works for a Jackson veterinary clinic and is alsolicensed to rehab wild animals. She often brings home pets that noone else wants.

The second reason is her and Pam’s inherited love foranimals.

On Dennis’ first trip home from his sister’s, he brought withhim his mother’s trunk and a few various other items. He told methat Pam also wanted to give him something he had alwayswanted.

I was thinking it was probably something his mother had onceowned. I was wrong.

On Dennis’ second trip home from his sister’s, he brought alarge white cage and a blue and gold squawking bird. It wasn’t youraverage everyday, run of the mill, 3- to 5-inch tall parakeet, itwas a huge macaw, the type of parrot you see in a zoo.

He introduced us and said her name is Pearl.

Pearl is a right pretty bird with a huge beak, which can bequite intimidating when you first meet her.

I had heard those beaks are strong enough to take a finger offshould the bird choose to. And after watching her break intowalnuts and almonds, I can see why.

Pearl came with an instruction sheet from Dennis’ sister, whichkind of made me laugh.

It included a list of foods Pearl likes and could eat and a fewthings not to feed her. What it didn’t say was how temperamentalshe could be, although it did say to get a spray bottle and squirther when she’s bad.

Pearl is 11 years old, but she’s really a naughty 3-year-oldtoddler. She likes to socialize with the family, so we put her cagenear our living room. And much like a small toddler, she likesattention.

She especially likes to squawk when you get on the telephone,much like a toddler demands your attention. When you walk out ofthe room and out of her sight, she squawks to remind you that youleft her and to come back.

My sister-in-law says she talks, but she doesn’t talk to us. Pamsaid to give her a few months.

Sometimes when I’m in another room, I swear I hear her talking,but I can’t understand what she’s saying. I think Pearl is justteasing us because she knows we want her to talk to us.

After Dennis brought Pearl home, I spent many days researchingmacaws and what we should and shouldn’t do.

They are amazing birds and a lifetime commitment. They can liveto be more than 50 or 60 years old. I’m thinking Pearl may outliveDennis and me.

Pearl also seems to be a one-person bird and it’s whoever ishome at the time.

She’s taken a shine to my daughter Liana. When she’s aroundPearl won’t have anything to do with anyone else. When it’s justDennis and I, Pearl won’t have anything to do with him; she seemsto like women.

At night Pearl sleeps inside her cage, but during the day sheperches on top of it.

She’s also made friends with our dogs. Pearl feeds them bits ofpeanuts from time to time and the dogs like sitting near her cagewaiting for handouts. It looks like Pearl is holding court andshe’s the high judge.

The grandkids love coming to the house and seeing all theanimals and playing with them. They especially love feeding Pearlpeanuts, which Pearl also loves.

Oh, I didn’t mention that Dennis actually made a third trip tohis sister’s house. On that return trip he brought home abunny.

I’ve banned him from going back to his sister’s without me.

And how was your week?

Graphics and Systems Director Tammie Brewer can be reachedat The DAILY LEADER at (601) 833-6961 ext. 144, by e-mail attbrewer@dailyleader.com or you can write to her at P.O. Box 551,Brookhaven MS 39602.