Today was to be a happy day for Jane Swift, for her Grandpa and Grandma were flying in from another part of the world. Jane and her Parrot Buster were both hyper in expectation of her Grandparents arrival, she hadn't seen them in over three years, and it was always special when they came to visit, Buster was only happy or hyper when she was with Jane.
Jane's alarm clock went off extra early that sunny June morning. She wanted her room to be clean and tidy for them.
She walked over to the open window; the window was open to creating a gentle cooling breeze, but as sleepyhead Jane stared out her bedroom window, she noticed the storm clouds building in the east. she rubbed her eyes and looked again.
"Oh! No!", she thought out loud, "not today, please. Of all days, not today."
But it was as if the weather Gods had decided today was to be a day for watering the plants of the world.
Trying not to feel too upset, she turned to go down for breakfast.
Buster stayed in the bedroom, grooming himself and speaking rather loudly, with his birdie dialect.
It was just about then a strange visitor crept into the window. It was Rufus, the neighbour's aggressive cat.
Unbeknown to Jane, her Buster and Rufus and were not exactly the best of friends. Buster was always making faces and noises towards Rufus, but usually behind the safety of the glass window.
Today was different.
Rufus secretly crept into the room.
Buster, who was unaware of the presence of the cat, continued to groom himself and speak words that were a combination of parrot talk and English.
Some people are just born lucky, but we can safely say that Rufus is super lucky.
Because just as the cat crept ever closer to the Parrot, Jane came back in the room, as she had forgotten her cell phone. She loved to play games during breakfast.
Well to say mayhem occurred is an understatement.
Jane screamed, the cat making a last-ditch effort to grab the parrot, let off an ear-shattering meow. As for Buster, well, he lost all sense of security and took to flight out of the window.
Thanks to all the noise, Pa and Ma came rushing into the room. Pa was just in time to grab Julie, who was making a last-ditch effort to grab Buster before he flew off and she nearly fell out of the window.
Jane was inconsolable; nothing her parents said or did could calm her down. She was in tears over Buster. He had never gone anyplace without her, and with the storm coming, well, it did not look good.
After about fifteen minutes, Jane suddenly stopped crying, when she realised it was not the time for self-pity, Buster needed her.
She said, "I will telephone all my friends. We will split up and search for him."
Pa was so proud of his little girl, even in the face of heartbreak, she was still strong enough to come up with this idea.
Jane phoned all her friends, and they all gathered at the house.
They split up into three groups of four and moved in all directions—north, south-east and west.
They decided Pa and Ma would stay at home in case Buster came home.
And so the children set off in all directions, all on bicycles.
But what of poor Buster. He was less than 100 meters from the house, but so in a daze, he had no idea where he was. If only he had looked directly left, he would have seen Jane's bedroom window still open.
It was about then; this crow landed on the branch next to him.
"My but you are a strange one. Not a crow or a pigeon or even an eagle."
The crow said, very cheekily.
"I'm Jane's parrot," Buster replied.
"well Jane's parrot, what are you doing outside? Don't you know there is a storm coming? Don't you know this is my area and you have to have my permission to sit here? They call me Blacky, and I am the boss around here."
You could tell by the crow's tone of voice; he did not like strangers in his territory.
"I am so sorry, Blacky," Buster said, "but I was preparing myself for Jane's Grandparents, who are arriving here today at the airport. And that no good cat Rufus came in the bedroom window and tried to catch me and eat me whole,"
"What," Blacky remarked, "That horrible cat Rufus is your enemy?"
'Yes, he is," replied Buster, "he has been trying to catch me for years."
Blacky just stared at Buster, with a tear in his eye he said.
"That no-good cat killed my best friend, Harry. Any enemy of that cat is a friend of mine."
The two birds locked wings.
"You say Jane's Grandparents are coming to the airport. well, I can help you there."
Blacky let off a sharp crow sound, and within seconds a pigeon landed near to him.
"This is Piggie, he lives near the airport, he will take you there."
"Why thank you," Buster said
And once more, the two birds locked wings.
"Fly straight, my friends," Blacky said to the two departing birds.
And the parrot and the pigeon set off towards the airport.
It was exactly that time that Jane looked up at the trees, and she saw Buster and the pigeon flying off.
"Buster," she screamed at the top of her voice,
But with all the noises and he did not hear her.
It was then Jane realised; he was heading in the direction of the airport and so after saying goodbye to her friends, started to cycle as fast as she there as well.
The rain had started, and within minutes had turned torrential. But Jane did not care, she had but one thing on her mind: Finding Buster.
Luckily, Jane had learnt at school, the road safety code and even stressed she was well aware of the dangers.
She arrived at the airport, totally soaked but still no sign of Buster.
Just as she parked her bike and as if by magic, the airport doors opened, and her father and Grandparents came out.
"Jane!" They all shouted, and Jane raced to hug them.
Just as Jane reached out with her arms to hug Grandma, A very wet Parrot landed on her arm.
"Buster," she cried
And everyone laughed and hugged and Grandad even did a little dance.
I can assure you that the car journey home was one of the happiest moments in Jane's young life. It was if Buster had glued himself to Jane's shoulder, he had such a tight grip.
Later that evening as Jane and Buster were settling into bed. Buster flew over to the window, which was closed I might add.
And as he stared over to the tree, near the house. He saw two familiar faces smiling at him. It was Blacky and Piggie.
He waved his wing and smiled.