Years ago, in what seems now as if it were another lifetime, there lived a little zebra finch named George. The picture above is not George, but he looked just like that. This will be a story filled with debauchery, idiocy and also true love. Like the song says, "Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it...let's do it, let's fall in love."
This is a true story.
Once upon a time, I lived in a small house very much like the one I live in now, but it wasn't this one. I lived there with a woman, a boy, three dogs and....George. But not just George. George was never made for being alone. We went to a bird store and bought a cage, a nest, swings, feeding stations, and two little zebra finches. The male, with his sweet little orange cheeks and his happy song, was George. The other was a female named, briefly, Georgette. I did not name them.
George must have tried a particularly lame pick-up line on her, or else she was hormonal or just not very nice, or maybe she was a lesbian zebra finch, but in any case, she let George know right away that he was in her way and should leave. She basically beat him up for 24 hours, until we took her back to the store and asked for a different, perhaps less contentious female finch.
This second female, also named Georgette, became the love of George's life. He sang to her all day, every day. He loved Georgette with his entire little birdy soul. It was very sweet.
Now, zebra finches do not bond with humans the way that some other birds will. They are into each other, and into making new zebra finches. They are a little like rabbits in that way. George was amorous! George was Ready Freddie, all the time. He thought Georgette was Catherine Deneuve, Angelina Jolie, and Eva Larue all rolled into one. He had a very loving heart! And, well, a very healthy libido. But George, bless him, was not very bright.
The male zebra finch is supposed to make the nest. We had a store-bought straw nest for them, but he was supposed to fill it with torn strips of paper and grass and what-have-you. But he never quite got the hang of all that. In fact, George was so dense, that he couldn't even figure out how to get in the nest, at all. Georgette tried to show him. She would gracefully dance in and out of the nest as if to say, "See, George? It's easy!" But, to George, it was just too much to grasp. Finally, though, overcome by his desire to spend the night with his Love, he learned to back in to the opening in the front of the little straw nest. All night long, the two of them would nestle side by side, happy in their world.
Georgette was quite the girl. When she realized that George was a wonderful lover but not so sharp upstairs, she tossed traditional zebra finch gender roles aside, and made the nest herself. George serenaded her, and made passionate finch love to her, and pretty soon, she laid little white eggs in the nest. A family!
George was pretty noisy all by himself. (Georgette, ever the lady, was more demure.) When several finch babies came on the scene, it was pandemonium! Over time, there were three or four sets of babies who came, and eventually went, not to mention the stolen eggs that we hoped Georgette would not notice had been pilfered. The babies didn't care a bit about the humans outside the cage, with the exception of one of the later batches. They loved me! They really loved me! :-)
When I would come home from work, they would all go insane and chatter their little heads off for me. Of course, the telephone ringing made them do the same thing. Don't say a word. Leave me my illusions, please!
Then a terrible day came. One morning, after years of finch family happiness, I found George on his perch looking absolutely destroyed, because Georgette lay dead at the bottom of the cage. I never would have believed that a finch could look so horribly, utterly devastated as George did. Our happy George's heart was broken. His Love was gone.
Zebra finches are not meant to be alone, so we went back to the store and got a new mate for George. Her name was Georgina. Georgette had been the love of George's life, but Georgina turned out to be the lust of his life. He simply would not leave her alone, the old horndog. I began to be afraid he would court her to death, quite literally. And I use "court" because a more accurate word would be vulgar, if more to the point. I finally had to construct a barrier, out of cardboard, to keep George away from her for much of the day. He could still sing to her, and hear her there, but he had to make do with finch porn, or something. Georgina lasted quite a while, though not as long as Georgette had. Still, lusty, brainless George outlived her, too.
We went to a different store to get Wife #3 for him, and they ran a birdie dating service! George got to go there, and spend time with different lady finches until a match was made. Lucky old George! It must have seemed like a Playboy Mansion for finches, to him.
He outlived Wife #3, too. She actually didn't last very long, but they did seem to like each other while it lasted. George never lost his eager ways, through three wives and who knows how many little finch sons and daughters. After Wife #3 died, George was old and not looking too well, though he never again repeated the show of grief he displayed after Georgette died. She was to him as Beatrice was to Dante, and I am sure he is singing to her in Heaven even now. We never did get him another mate, as we knew he wasn't to be with us much longer. One day, George died, and we never had birds again after that. I miss the finches, especially old horny, good-hearted, cheerful little George.
He probably went backwards through the pearly gates.
"Birds Do It" by Cole Porter