The prompt for this week shows an Australian soldier looking intently at his tortoise. It reminded me instantly of this picture of my grandfather.
I can't remember the name of the budgie, in fact I think he had a few over the years and at least one of them could speak and sing. My grandfather loved music so I think he enjoyed teaching the budgie to sing along with him! On one occasion my father looked after it for a week or so while my grandparents were on holiday and it came back with a slightly fruiter vocabulary, much to the annoyance of my grandmother!
Although it was interesting to discover more about my grandfather's life as a younger man, this is the grandfather that I remember; the sensitive, quiet, slightly nervous budgerigar loving, gardening, pipe smoking man, who spent his whole life with my grandmother. I think she must have taken this photo and that's probably why she kept it all those years. They were completely devoted to each other and had been together all their lives, starting as childhood friends, marrying in their twenties and staying together until he died. Tom never did know how many sugars he took in his tea! A true love story of the time, as I don't know whether those types of relationships are so common now.
The relationships between humans and their animals are fundamental. They help to keep us sane, in touch with nature and the world, and by their very non-humaness keep us in touch with our own humanity.
Here is my more modern contribution to Valentine's day!