Thursday, 14 February 2013

Tom and the bird: Sepia Saturday 164

 
 
 
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 absolutely love this photo, and I present it to you as it was found; faded, wonky, tattered and blurred.  It shows him in just his vest, hair uncombed, staring intently at his budgerigar. He is standing by the back window, looking out into the garden as the sun streams in.

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!
.

19 comments:

Boobook said...

We never thought of asking for a budgie pet when I was young but I wish now we had - they're so cute.

Postcardy said...

That's a sweet photo.

I had a parakeet, but it didn't speak or get out or its cage. I didn't really enjoy it much.

Peter said...

Years and years ago we also had budgies. They didn't speak but they seemed to be very interested in each other! On second thoughts, they did speak. It's just that we did not understand :)

Alex Daw said...

It is a beautiful photo and I can see why you love it...perfect.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Really touching ...thanks. I had to think a few times what parakeets are called in different parts of the world from mine.

Wendy said...

What a charming story and photo, and yes, a perfect response to the prompt. Your grandparents sound like wonderful people.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

The photo is perfect. How wonderful your grandparents had such a fine relationship. I agree with you about humans and animals.

barbara and nancy said...

It always amazes me when I hear about a couple being married their whole lives. They sound like a a great example of wedded bliss.
Nancy

Little Nell said...

Beautifully done; the picture, the sentiment, the connection. We had a budgie (1990 - 2000) who ruled the roost, so I can empathise.

Sherri Hessick said...

What a lovely story and a beautiful photo. Thank you for sharing.

Brett Payne said...

I agree with previous commenters, a wonderful, thoughtful story to accompany your image. Thanks for sharing it.

Jackie van Bergen said...

A great photo and a great story - loved the bit about the sugar in the tea :)

Alan Burnett said...

I agree with you about relationships between humans and animals, there is something very special about them. Love the photo.

Mike Burnett said...

Is he about to shave? Looks like a shaving brush moving towards his upper lip.

Looks almost like a play on Willi Ronis and his wife's ablutions

Bob Scotney said...

We have bnever had a budgie; the one belonging to my wife's sister always used to take a peck at me. My birds are all outside - the wild variety.

A very enjoyable post.

Deb Gould said...

Such a lovely photo -- the light is fantastic. And I'm touched by the fact that he never knew how much sugar he liked in his tea: that's the kind of thing that tells you so much about their relationship -- nice post!

Kristin said...

I didn't realize at first that he was holding the bird on his finger. Lovely photograph and story to go with it.

TICKLEBEAR said...

A picture of great quality for its honest and simple subject, your story is moving and the statement about our humanity? Well, amen to that!!
Zootherapy has always been beneficial, to aged people, to children, whether with special needs or not, or just plain anyone who bothers to open his/her heart and let one into his/her life.
Great post!!
:)~
HUGZ

Tattered and Lost said...

Love the shot with the budgie. I always had budgies until I got my first cat. The cat left it alone after getting soaked many times by the spray bottle. When Charlie Bird died I decided it wasn't fair to have one as long as I had a cat. I miss the little clowns. But...I have two pet peacocks and a turkey I've named Frank. They are feral, but come when I call. I'm the crazy catturkeypeacock lady in the neighborhood.