Steve had gotten pretty good about clinging to the swinging perch without falling to the bottom of the cage. The bottom of the cage was the one place where he really –really – didn’t want to be. When the pounding footsteps came thundering down the hall, he knew what he had to do.
He flapped his glued-on feathers and gave a loud squawk, “Polly want a cracker!” he shouted in a high-pitched voice. He was rewarded with a foul-tasting and stale chunk of bread in his face, but it was worth it. Since he could eat almost nothing from the pail of bird seed, the occasional cracker was the only edible food he ever got.
His master laughed and went away happy and Steve breathed a sigh of relief. It was a good thing the giant was only five years old or else she might have already caught on to the fact that Earth birds are not nearly so large…or covered in so much skin.
The lock on the cage door was loosening up a little more each day, but his nightly work on it wasn’t coming along nearly fast enough for him. Lately, his master had been examining him more closely and had even tried to get him to fly about his enormous cage. Steve knew one thing for certain: if she insisted he lay an egg, he was in big trouble.