The Orange Bird

Written By

Bonnie M. Wells

I stood, looking out my back patio door at the flock of birds that gathered to eat the seeds and bread crumbs that I'd put out for them.

My two black and white cats ... K.C and C.C. snuggled in my arms and flipped their tails as they too watched the 'turkeys,' -- {anything with feathers is known to K.C. as a turkey} and my mind drifted back to another time in the late 1970's and another bird.

I was doing dishes that beautiful spring morning and occasionally glanced out the window to watch the puppies that romped in the side yard.

My attention was suddenly drawn from the puppies to a large, orange bird that had landed on a branch in one of my neighbor's trees. It was the most beautiful, majestic bird that I had ever seen. As large as a parrot, and yet, it didn't appear to be a parrot. The head and beak were different than a parrot's.

I continued to watch the bird for several seconds, until it took to flight and disappeared.

I quickly dried my hands and rushed next door to Mr. and Mrs. Watson's house, to ask if they had seen the bird.

Mrs. Watson looked at me rather quizzically, and said, "You mean red bird, don't you?"

No, I meant 'orange' bird! I never had any trouble distinguishing colors and have done my fair share of art work and painting. I saw an orange bird .... a deep orange bird ... a large, orange bird!

We looked through Mrs. Watson's bird book that day, but saw nothing that was even remotely similar to the bird that I'd seen.

Summer drew on and I eventually stopped looking for 'my' orange bird, and finally decided that it must have been a tame bird that had gotten loose from someone.

Mrs. Watson remained skeptical about the color of the bird, and my daughter and husband both seemed to think it was 'one of my imaginations.'

So far EVERY imagination that I'd ever had in my life turned out to be the gospel. I wasn't prone to imaginations, and yet, that was usually the first thing out of everyone's mouth.

As winter came on I thought of 'my' orange bird and hoped it had either found its way home or had flown south for the winter. It was such a beautiful bird. I hated to think of it dying in the coldness of our winter.

A year came and went ....

One day, the following spring, I was working around the house when I heard someone calling my name ....

"Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnie."

I rushed from the house only to find Mrs. Watson scurrying down my driveway!

"What's wrong," I questioned.

"I saw it. I saw it," Mrs. Watson breathlessly exclaimed.

"You saw what?" I asked.

"That beautiful orange bird! I saw your orange bird!" She proudly announced.

Well -- so much for 'my imagination,' -- unless it's contagious!

Mrs. Watson and I continued to watch for 'my orange bird,' for several years after that, but neither of us were destined to ever see it again.

Still, I wonder -- does it still fly this direction? Where does it go in the winter? What kind of bird is it? Has anyone else seen the bird? Will it ever come back?

K.C. says yes, but C.C. has her doubts .... but then C.C. doubts everything that K.C. and I tell her!!

1998 note: I lost my beloved K.C. in August of this year. She was 17 years old:

2010 note: It's been nearly 12 years since K.C. passed away, and I still miss her terribly. She was absolutely brilliant. The most intelligent cat that I've ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with.

The orange bird was never seen again by anyone in this area - that I know of. Mr. and Mrs. Watson both passed away many years ago. I still miss them.

Although I have looked through many bird books, I have never seen any bird that might have been the type I Mrs. Watson and I both saw.

The internet has provided more research opportunities. Here is one of the 'orange' birds that I have found. I do not think the Orange Bishop Weaver is as large as the bird I saw, and besides that, it is not native to our country.

Orange Bishop Weaver / Native to Africa:

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This page posted: 3/30/10 // BMW