The pet budgie

I only have one class scheduled today and I almost wish they would cancel. In fact, I’m half-expecting them to do just that, because they are by far the most unreliable of all my students. When I get a phone call 20 minutes before the class from them – when they know it takes over an hour to get to their house – I am pissed.

But no. Marie wants to give me a lift from the station. She also wants to prod my stomach, but hey, quite a high percentage of my students and their families have decided that the stomach is a free-for-all now that there’s a creature inside it. She is in holiday mode, anyhow – her husband is home for summer holidays and it’s Sam’s birthday tomorrow. He is turning nine and, I discover after we get through the class, he is about to receive a budgie.

It’s a blue little thing, brought home and brandished about by his father. S/he clambers about the cage adorably and I feel nostalgic, for my parents’ house and for their pet budgie, an older, grumpier and very talkative little yellow guy. Judging from the menagerie of insects I’ve had paraded past me the past couple of summers when the lessons haven’t been cancelled, Sam and his family are quite enthusiastic about pets (far more so, I retort mentally, than learning English – that’s just expected to miraculously happen). Hopefully the little blue budgie will thrive.


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