Tuesday, February 03, 2004

a bird named cockroach

The other day, Sage tugged my hand and led me to her room, with a peculiar expression on her face.

She asked me to sit on her bed and prompty plopped down beside me.

"What's wrong, Sage?" I asked.

"Daddy," she said, pointing at the low table against the wall. "Cockroach!"

"Where? Where?" I reached for my slipper, ready to twack the loathsome insect that had so threatened my beloved daughter. I didn't see any roaches though, only a small wicker contraption that was an unexpected addition to her room.

"Daddy! Cockroach! Yucky!" Sage exclaimed, hiding behind my legs.

"What's this?" I bent over the thing as Sage hid her eyes behind her hands.

I realized that something inside the wicker cage was moving. Something small and brown. My mind struggled with the concept of someone actually placing a cockroach in a cage to amuse my child - to quote Sage "yucky!". As Sage's cries of condemnation grew, I took a closer look and saw that it was in fact a small brown bird.

"Sage! That's not a cockroach! It's a bird!" I held up the wicker cage, triggering another squeal of protest from her.

"Daddy! Yucky! Cockroach! Yucky!"

"No, no. Look, it's a bird," I told her, attempting to show her the creature in the woven enclosure.

"No!" And she ran to the other end of her room.

"Sage, this is a bird. Come, look. What shall we call the bird?" I asked as I sat down on the floor, a non-threatening distance away from her.


Nikki and I found out that Len, one of Sage's nannies, bought the little bird from the wet market as a gift (since we were all thinking of getting her a pet as one of her birthday gifts next week). I couldn't understand why Sage thought it was a cockroach though.

"Because of the size of the bird cage, 'Cockroach' cannot be seen as a bird. All she can she is something small, brown, flittering and...yucky," Nikki explained, proving once again that she is the smartest in the family.

So that afternoon, we went out and bought a nice bird cage, with perches and a swinging ring. We placed the bird in it and Sage agreed to watch the bird fly inside, stretching its wings, twittering in its birdy way.

Sadly, it is still named 'Cockroach'.


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