I started the Sam’s Story blog a couple of years ago. I wanted to write it from the viewpoint of Sam, my beloved grey-cheeked parakeet, who died on February 17, 2011 at the age of twenty-one. He was a real character, and I thought it would be fun to observe the world through his eyes.
It might have been, had he still been alive. But it just became too painful, so I shut the blog down for a few months while I decided where to go with it. I think I’ve figured it out. I hope. I can write about Sam–and my other critter companions–here when the spirits move me.
Sam was six months old, not long out of the shell, when we found each other at a small pet shop in south St. Louis. I’d gone there to buy a parrot for my dad for Father’s Day. He’d seen one he really liked, but Dad wasn’t the type to spend that kind of money on himself, so I was going to surprise him.
The surprise was on me. The bird Dad wanted had already been sold. Disappointed, I wandered around the store for a bit, considered trying another pet shop, maybe settling for a different bird…but as I wandered through the store the store, I found the love of my life. That’s what it’s like, you know, when you find the animal companions who are meant to be yours. It’s a little like falling in love when you see them for the first time. You just know in your heart that it’s right.
I knew it. Sam knew it, too. There were two birds in the cage. One was shy and moved to the back. The other, my Sam, came forward with the boldness I came to know was just his personality. He looked up at me as if he’d recognized me immediately and wanted to renew an old friendship.
I think that’s why I decided to name him Sam. I had never given two animal companions the same name before…but he reminded me so much of a canary-winged parakeet I’d had as a teenager, it just felt right. Coincidentally, Sam the First had come from a store directly across the street from that little pet shop, twenty years earlier. If I believed in reincarnation….
At any rate, I knew this was meant to be. I told one of the sales clerks I wanted to buy him. When he opened the cage, Sam flew out—and straight up to the cash register. He was anxious to go home!
It was to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship….
Originally posted at Sam’s Story on February 27, 2013. Also reposted at WordPress.