07 May 2007

A Little Tribute for Soleil - by Rebekah Joy

Soleil came to live at our house about a month ago. I saw him in a bird cage near where my mom shops for fruits and vegetables. He was so bright and beautiful. I asked her if we could get him, but she said, "Not today."

I was so surprised when Mama came home with him from grocery shopping the next Saturday. I named him Soleil, which means sun in French. Soleil is an African Golden Oriole, and he is the most beautiful bird I think I have ever seen.

Mom helped me look up on the Internet what types of food they eat, since he didn't seem too interested in millet, and they eat little insects and fruits and berries. So each day, about 3 times a day, I would go out and feed him fruit - bananas, apples and mangoes.

I was very sad this morning when I went outside to leave for school, and I saw that Soleil had died during the night. I don't think he liked living in a cage, but when we got him, his feathers had been clipped so he couldn't fly. Daddy thinks he was tired of living in a cage. Mama says she likes watching the birds better when they are free. If they hadn't clipped his wings, I think I would have let Soleil go. If he had lived long enough, I would have let him go and it would have been so neat to watch him fly, a pretty bright yellow flash across a blue desert sky. I'm very, very sad that he died.

Mama and I are talking about making an open-to-the-top aviary (to protect the birds from our cats) where we would have a bird bath, fruit, millet and seeds. Then we could still enjoy watching and listening to the birds, but they would also be free. Maybe we'll name our aviary after Soleil.

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