ChesterNewMatterFall2017 - 20

From The Bench


By: Hon. Ron Nagle


reddie Mercury died in 1991, so it stood to reason I'd
never meet him in this life. But there I was on a late
autumn Saturday afternoon walking out of my garden
shed when I heard a startling bird call - one I didn't immediately
recognize - coming from the high trees to my right. I'm sort of
a "birder," you know, one of those folks who keep Audubon's
"Birds of North America" handy, and keep track of the local
Red Tail Hawks. Anyway, it was a loud high-pitched screech,
repeated several times. I walked in the direction of the screech,
but saw nothing. Silence! "Funny," I thought to myself. As I
walked around to the front of our house, I heard my son yell,
"It's a parrot!" There, perched high in a Norfolk River Birch tree
in the driveway circle was a huge Macaw looking down at us.
He was not the kind of small parrot that flies around Southern
California's suburban neighborhoods in groups disturbing the

20 | New Matter

general peace and tranquility. No, he was a beautiful Macaw, a
little over three feet long, beautifully colored teal green, yellow
and white, with a big, curved and formidable-looking beak.
Now, we all know that Macaws are not native to the United
States, much less Chester County. So, we immediately recognized
that this guy was an escapee; but, from where? My wife, Ann,
called the Westtown-East Goshen Police to see if they had a
missing Macaw report. "None," the dispatcher reported, "but
we'll send an officer right over." How did we know that the
responding officer would be a bird lover?
For the next couple of hours, Officer Birdman, we'll call him,
tried every which way to entice the Macaw to surrender. After a
while, the bird flew on to our ranch-house roof, and from there
teased Officer Birdman into believing he could be snagged.
"Apples, cut-up, might do it," Ann suggested, so Officer Birdman
climbed up the ladder offering the Macaw apples. Every time the
officer got close, the Macaw would walk sideways up the edge of
the roof with the apple firmly grasped in his beak, as if teasing
him. "If parrots can talk," I thought, "maybe they're jokers too."
Sometimes, the Macaw would cling with his talons to the edge
of the roof, upside down, inviting the officer to come closer.
The Macaw was as adept at scurrying up the edge of the roof


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