Of course we had pets. The requisite dogs and cats. I had a little glass snake I kept in a heated aquarium. My brother had a pair of rats that were pretty cool. Rats are smart animals.

It was my sister's idea to get the bird. She begged and begged. My parents finally gave in. She got a parakeet and its name was Trixie. My brother and I ragged on her constantly, but of course, we always did. She was the youngest, after all. The stupid bird's cage was right next to the television so you'd think someone would have noticed.

Me and my brother were watching 'Sea Hunt' or 'The Rifleman' or some other show that had been recycled from the 1960's primetime for us, the after-school crowd. It was then that we detected the lack of annoying chirps and scritches and whistles that usually accompanied the TV experience in our household.

Of course, none of us can agree on how long the annoyance had been gone now, but my brother and I tend to insist it was DAYS. What is agreed on as fact in our family is that he an I had this conversation that day:

"You heard the stupid bird lately?"


"Me neither. You hear it now?"

"Nope. Uh-oh. *snicker* You go look."

"No. YOU go look."

That loaded look that passes between an evil brother and sister just before.... "Lets go get Trisha!"


Trixie was dead. Lying there in her cage, legs up, just like in the cartoons, RIGHT NEXT TO THE TV that every one of us watched every damn night. And I swear I'm positive the bird HAD to be laying there like that for at least three or four days before anyone even noticed it was dead. My mother denies it, but it's true, even if it does make us all look callous and cruel.

Sure we got in trouble, but it was kinda worth it.