wings and things

Wantok wings away

on January 2, 2012

Today is bittersweet because Wantok has flown away to her freedom, and I am numb with shock. This is what happened.

Son and I returned from visiting Husband in the hospital yesterday afternoon, to find that Wantok had begun to chew away the electrical power points in the veranda, so Son and I then had an argument about what to do with her.

Son: She wants to be free or she wouldn’t be getting so out of control.

Me: I told you I’ve ordered the aviary. We just have to wait a couple of weeks for it to be built.

Son: That’s not freedom. Look at her. She wants to fly, Mum – really fly. (Wantok was swooping back and forth above our heads).

Me: She can fly in here – she flies up and down the veranda all day. (I ducked as Wantok’s wings fanned my hair).

Son: And that’s normal, is it, for a huge, wild cockatoo to spend its life flying inside a room.

Me: Well, no.

Son: Same thing goes for the stupid aviary idea. She’ll still be trapped. I thought you didn’t agree with caging birds.

Me: I guess I thought she’d be more tameable and she could come in and out….

Son: Plus she’s started biting us – that means she’s not happy. And she stares out the window a lot. (As if to demonstrate this, Wantok settled on top of her cage and stared out the window at the peacocks.)

Me: So what do you want to do?

Son: I want to take her outside and see what happens.

Me: Okay, but if she flies off you have to follow her.

Son: Are you sure?

Me: No, but you obviously are.

So then Son went up to Wantok and she climbed onto his shoulder, then he walked to the veranda door, opened it and went outside. For a moment or so, Wantok took in the new situation, then seemed to take a deep breath and, in a whoosh of wings, she was off, uttering loud, guttural cries of joy.

I watched Son run after her, but less than a minute later he was back looking appalled.

Son: Mum, she was too fast. She’s already halfway to the hills. I lost sight of her. Oh no, what have I done? (He was close to tears).

Me: You’ve set her free. (I could feel a sliver of my heart peel away).

Oh, I hope we’ve done the right thing. There are wild cockatoos up in the hills and I feel sure she will find them and make friends with other wantoks and be much happier. Maybe she will come back and visit.


I am bereft.

16 responses to “Wantok wings away

  1. Ingrid Rickersey says:

    I am reminded of the profound saying “If you love something set it free … if it comes back to you it’s yours, if not it never was”. Understandably you will miss her but I do think you have given her a wonderful gift – the gift of freedom.

  2. pixilated2 says:

    Oh. You’ve had your share of it and then some. I’m sorry. I hope she comes back to visit you at least. ~ L

  3. A lovely story with so much more meaning for me, personally. As always.

  4. artfulanxiety says:

    I hope she is ok out there in the big wild world and she comes back to visit!

  5. Tilly Bud says:

    Birds belong in the air. She might survive, she might not; but you sent her back to where she belongs, and she will be happy.

  6. valzone says:

    From time to time, she’ll fly to a vantage point, just to watch over you.
    Good job done Julie. The freedom of the skies beckons.

  7. victoriaaphotography says:

    I agree with Ingrid’s reply – if she comes back to you, then it was meant to be…….

    I understand your sadness, but I’m sure she will be happier free and in the company of other wild birds of her kind.

  8. avian101 says:

    That’s the call of the wild! Some animals are domestic and docile making for good pets. However, others still feel that instinctive call to return to the wild. I’m sorry Julie.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: