The door to his cage was jammed open as I pulled his cage from the car on the street where my parents live.
I was taking Buddy to my mother's house so that she could watch him while we were all in Washington DC.
I saw a blue flash and then a bird flying low and around the corner of the house across the street.
My heart sank. I was about to call Ed to tell him that his bird was gone.
I called out to Buddy, "Buddy!!! Buddy!! Buddy the Birdy!!!"
Amazingly, Buddy came flying back around the front of the house and landed in the grass near the driveway about 20 feet in front of me.
I talked to him in "birdy voice" and he sat there as I approached.
When I reached out to grab him, he hopped just out of my reach and ran toward the back gate.
The house had a chain-link fence and gate. I said, "Please don't go into their yard Buddy!", and he did.
Luckily, I have known the people who lived in that house since I was born. So I had no qualms about going into their back yard uninvited.
Buddy hopped around and always hopped just out of reach as I tried to snatch him up. Through muddy rain puddles he ran, looking behind him as he hopped along.
Then, he started going toward the Phan's house. They had grass about 3 feet high and junk laying around in the back. Plus, I don't think they would like me poking around their yard.
I prayed to St. Francis. "St. Francis! Please keep Buddy from going into their yard and help me catch this silly bird!!"
As I said the prayer, Buddy jumped down into a crack between the chain fence and a railroad timber. The crack was about the width and the height of the bird.
There were weeds and tree seedlings coming up in that crack. I made my first two fingers on my right hand in the shape of tongs and went down into the crack after the bird, praying to St. Francis to help me out the entire time. Buddy sat miraculously still and almost waited for my fingers to clasp the sides of him. I pulled him out of the crack slowly. As soon as he had cleared the crack, he bit into my skin on my palm. He bit harder and harder the higher up I lifted him.
I wanted to drop him and howl in pain, but I kept lifting, carrying him back to the front yard and into the safety of his cage.
He jumped into his cage when he saw the open door and I slammed it behind him, telling him all the while that he was a bad bird and a silly dirty bird and that I was very angry at him.
But Buddy is safe now...
So much for his freedom flight.