From Phobia to Friends - Quaker Story

by Karen
(Tennessee)

This is without question a Love story. I am 58 yrs. old and for @ least, I'll say 45 yrs. I had a bird phobia that grew worse with time. So much so in fact that when I tried to mow the back of our yard on the riding mower I began to have panic attacks feeling as if the birds were swooping @ me. Each time it seemed they got closer and closer, in my mind. Eventually I was no longer able to mow that part of the yard.

Many years passed and there were many times where my phobia was very hard to cope with . If I was driving and any bird passed across my windshield I instinctively closed my eyes and ducked my head. How I managed Not to have an accident is a literal miracle.

When I lived in the city of Baltimore I was walking home from work one day and a bird literally attacked me . Unknown to me @ the time, I was walking past a tree with her nest in it. A man walking behind me witnessed the attack and laughed hysterically as I covered my head with my arms and was crying up against the wall of the house I was passing. My moment of horror was his afternoons amusement.

In my late 40's an aquantance got a baby quaker . Jimtook his girl everywhere he went. One day I walked into the home of a mutual friend and saw him there with the bird, Lucy. As my heart raced I sat down and my I wanted to run out of the room but felt as though I was glued to the chair. I watched the young bird, who had her wings clipped by the way, and she was very cute and seemed sweet. Each friend took a turn letting Lucy walk up their arm to their shoulder. They each encouraged me to try and I summoned the courage to do so, in an effort to avoid embarrassment.

Lucy walked up my arm to my shoulder as she'd done w/everyone else. Though very nervous I was trying to talk sweet to her. Around my neck I had very small little moles. In an instant Lucy saw the moles and snipped one off so quickly it took us all by surprise. Needly to say, I was done with my bird experience. I always made sure that Lucy wouldn't be @ my friends house if I were visiting again. If she was coming, I was leaving.

Some 4 yrs later while looking @ the pet section on Craigslist one day I saw someone needing a good home for a Quaker. I can not tell you to this day what made me call and arrange to see the bird, but I did.

As if on autopilot I followed thru with the arrangement to go and meet the bird. Oddly enough I was not nervous @ all. Upon entering the home of the current owners of the bird there was no fear, no anxiety, I couldn't believe it myself.

As we sat down @ their kitchen table I was facing the bird cage where a 3 yr old green Quaker resided. Her door was open so she could come and go as she pleased. Within just a few minutes she flew out and came directly to my shoulder. I can only tell you that it was as if I had been given a drug to remain calm. I met my newest friend and fell in love with Emmy.

She sat on my shoulder and leaned her little head around looking me directly in my face and turning her little head from side to side scoping me out while she made sweet little chirps and kissing sounds. She began to nestle her face gently into my cheek and softly ran her beak across it. I spoke to her telling her what a pretty bird she was, etc . Wondering all the time how this could be happening.

Her current owners just sat there talking and smiling giving me information about Emmy and why they had to part with her. They were a military family and were being deployed overseas and were not allowed to take any pets with them.

As I felt my visit had been long enough I began to prepare to leave telling them that I hoped to hear from them about being Emmy's new owner. The wife looked @ the husband and he @ her and each had a huge smile on their faces. The husband began to explain that since posting the ad on Craigslist many people had come to meet Emmy. They explained instead of them trying to select the right person or family that they were trying to let Emmy make the decision. The wife told me that without any question @ all it was evident to them that Emmy had selected me. With some others who'd come to meet her she wouldn't come out of her cage, even after being coaxed with her favorite treat. She would fly out and sit on one of their shoulders but not the shoulder of the perspective owner. Wish some people she'd land on the back of a nearby chair and watch but never come any closer. Her every action, posturing, the sweet sounds she was making made it clear that my life was about to change forever.

From that day to this she brings a smile to my face and my heart every day. If I am outside now I am listening and looking for the birds around my house, and love to watch the ones I may catch a look at. I realize how much beauty I had missed over the years that I now sought out.

Emmy and I share a bond that still amazes me every day. I spend time with her every day singing to her, scratching her head, kissing her and vice versa. She actually says just a couple things that someone else would recognize but she's a whisperer and often whispers with me as I sing her favorite song. She whispers when she rubs her beak across my cheek the work "kisses" and will then make kissing sounds. I've actually learned to chirp along with her and @ times we have chirp fests and mimic one another, it's fun.

I could go on and on about how my precious Emmy has literally changed my life for the better. Though I have had many pets during my life Emmy holds a place in my heart that no other animal has ever come remotely close to. Yes, she can be an absolute stinker @ times. She's spoiled and spoils me in return with her love.

If you are a person of faith, I believe the hand of God brought us together. Because the sense of calm and comfort I felt was and still is just unexplainable. I also know she is a huge blessing to my life and I am thankful every day for that blessing of Love.


Comments for From Phobia to Friends - Quaker Story

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Jul 02, 2012
A shared experience!
by: Morales

Hello there,

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. It was beautiful and touching. I am a Sun Conure owner. My husband never cared for birds, dogs cats, nothing. If he had to choose for an animal he would have considered a dog and that would be only by force!. It was my request for a Conure during the Holidays that prompted a purchase for a bird! lol. He reluctantly surprised me. You see early in my years before him I had an African Grey, an Eclectus, A quaker and another Sun Conure. Life changes and moves forced me to give them up for adoption but now years later, settled and with grown kids, I have the right situation to go back to my love of birds and have them again.

Long story short, My PARROT and MY HUSBAND are the best team ever! lol. Skittles our soon to be 1 yr old little girl is HIS BABY. HIS LITTLE FEATHER GIRL! as he calls it. She won his HEART and now his screen saver, his cell phone background is all SKITTLES.

It only took a few months of interaction, love, patience and understanding for him to see a whole new side of animals. He still doesn't care for animals but he would take SKITTLES or any other parrot ANY DAY. lol. HAHAHA

Skittles did a great job didn't she! I pray that your little EMMA lives a full healthy life and that your bond will give you memories galore. They are like children and wonderful companions.

Thumbs up from Lenny and Skittles and of course ME, Maria!


Jun 30, 2012
Quakers are magical.
by: John Fahlsing

I am very glad you and Emma became one. BTW, the cat looks cool in the cage, kind of reverse role? Anyway, My 'Baby' was brought to me by nice ole lady who found him begging on outside tables at a pizza place, and since her Cockatoo wouldn't stand the new guy, she gave him to me, and he's about 4.5 years now. He's spoiled and I wouldn't have it any other way. Still Baby doesn't talk, but we've learned certain squawks and sounds mean certain things. So all in all, birds do rule. I now have Princess who was the ladies cockatoo, she went home this year, and 1 blue and gold macaw, 15 cockatiels, 4 love birds, 1 blue head conure and 1 rosella. Spread out in different cages and places, but all mine to take care of and they are best things that ever happened to me. Peace to you and Emma, and lets see some pix soon! God Bless.

Jun 29, 2012
beautiful story
by: Anonymous

such a beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing.

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