Sophomores experiment with flying pet in dorm

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Mary Clare Mulhern
Liason to Big Bird

Rumor has flown around that three male students in a triple in the New Hall recently acquired a bird as a pet.  I sat down with them and asked them about the experience.  Their names have been changed for anonymity to Paul Smarter, Anthony Swagner and Ambrose Ferns.

Asked how they obtained their fourth roommate, Ferns answered, “We were efforting for a bird for several years, and once the bird traps in Madonna Woods failed, we decided to buy one from PetSmart.  Stephanie sold it to us.”

It was a zebra finch, “but it didn’t look like a zebra,” Smarter contributed.

On the way back to campus, they discussed what to name her.  After throwing around names such as Finch, Bird, Gertrude, Janice, Helga and Geraldine, they finally decided to name her Dido.

“If we got caught with the bird in the room, then we wanted her to have a name from one of the texts we read so that the administration would be impressed with us and we wouldn’t get in trouble,” Swagner said.

The three students taped a box up in the corner by the ceiling and provided twigs and newspaper so that Dido could make herself a nest.  They let her fly around the room to her heart’s content, but that turned out to be a problem.

When they entered their room, the guys would imitate Dido’s chirp, and she would chirp back to them.  This modified game of Marco Polo alerted them to her whereabouts in the room.

Then there was the question of what to feed the finch.  “We looked up the government food pyramid to find the healthiest foods, which were fruits and vegetables, so we decided to feed her apples, lettuce and baby carrots,” said Ferns.

“We didn’t want her to become obese,” Swagner added.  She didn’t eat the food they put out, however, so the guys decided to return her to Petsmart the next day where she could get proper nutrition.

“They have a 14-day return policy.  We made sure of that when we bought her,” assured Ferns.

“Stephanie wasn’t happy,” said Smarter.  “And they kept asking us if something was wrong with her,” finished Swagner.

There wasn’t anything wrong with her, but it was clear that she didn’t belong in a college dorm room, especially with three male roommates.

They explained to the cashier, “It was nice to have her, but our personalities didn’t mesh.”

“She was really cute,” Smarter reminisced.

After their experience, would they recommend a bird as a pet?

“Birds are a lot of work, and it’s good to buy a cage and bird food from the pet store.  That’s what I learned from this finch episode,” Ferns recommended.

“I feel like we’ll be better finch owners in the future,” Swagner proclaimed.  Smarter walked away from the table sadly. The wound in his heart from parting forever from his beloved Dido was still fresh.

As to the school’s pet policy, it still stands that only small fish are allowed as pets in the dorms.  I’m sure that Stephanie would love to sell you one.

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