Little Bird Storytime
Randy & Friends: There’s a Louse in This House!
© 2012 Andi Schoenbaum
As the sun began to rest in the sky, Randy flew over the tree tops and around the city with her friends at her side, back down the boulevard and alongside the eaves until she arrived safely at home.
She hopped over the threshold while her friends looked on. “Hello, Little Bird!” Andi greeted her. “How was your day?”
Andi acknowledged Randy’s friends by bowing her fingers “hello”.
Randy flew up to Andi’s shoulder and stayed there while Andi walked to the chair so that they could sit together. Andi extended her fingers for Randy to perch and their conversation began.
Andi sensed that Randy looked uncomfortable. “What’s the matter sweetie?” Andi asked.
Randy began pecking feverishly under her wings and stomping her feet. Her eyes expressed upset.
Just then Andi saw a brown shadow cross Randy’s wing. “THERE’S A LOUSE IN THIS HOUSE!”
Randy pulled her head back and her eyes widened. Andi gently lifted Randy’s wing for a better look.
The shadow of the louse fly wiggled beneath Randy’s soft white down feathers taunting Randy, “Mmm… you taste good! ha ha ha ha ha!”
“No blood suckers allowed on this little bird or in this house, you sneaky louse! We’re taking a hot shower right now! Kindly leave us alone!” Andi warned.
“Not a chance, sassy pants. You’re next is my guess,” the louse continued to taunt, the words escaping between its fangs.
Without another word, Andi whisked Randy into a steaming shower. She lightly sprayed Randy with bug repellent, then sudsed her with bubbly baby soap. Andi cupped Randy’s back against her body so that the hot water could run over her belly and under her wings.
When the shower was done, Andi wrapped Randy in a soft warm towel then blow dried her feathers. She opened the steamy bathroom doors to invite some fresh air and set Randy’s nest under a heat lamp to keep her warm. Randy relaxed and Andi relaxed. The louse was no where to be seen. Randy bowed her head to thank Andi and Andi did the same to show her love.
Andi got ready for bed. She put her pajamas on and pulled the covers up to her chin. A thought kept returning to her mind, “Is the louse still in this house?”
All night Andi tossed and turned. She saw shadows in the darkness. She felt creepy crawlers on her skin. She felt itchy on her scalp and she heard the louse taunting her in her ear.
“He he he. You can’t get rid of me.”
In the morning, Andi was tired. She hardly slept all night.
Randy groomed herself as normal, pecking feverishly at times. She didn’t seem uncomfortable, though. Her eyes looked happy and relaxed. She seemed proud of her new soft adult feathers.
Andi was still itching all over, wondering if every shadow in the corner of her eye was the louse. “I wish I’d never met that louse!” she cried.
It was the beginning of a holiday weekend and the weather was beautiful. She knew the birds would gather for flight and festivities. Andi had to make a difficult decision for her little bird’s health because even if the louse was now only in Andi’s imagination, it loves warm weather and spreads disease amongst birds, just like mosquitos.
Professor Peeps had a full lesson plan prepared prior to the start of weekend festivities. He and Randy’s classmates waited on the balcony. Andi came to the door with seed, clean drinking water and bug-repelling eucalyptus bird bath. “I’m sorry Professor Peeps. Randy will need to stay inside this weekend. Please have some feed and water. You and her friends can visit on the balcony to stay safe and bug free as much as you like. I’ll leave the door open so Randy can visit through the screen.”
Andi went to the sink and found the louse belly-up in the basin. Relieved, she wrinkled her face and took a closer look. “Thank goodness,” she said out loud. She moved a linen rack in front of the door so that Randy would have a higher perch and cleaned the balcony so that her friends would have a comfortable place to visit her. They all spent a healthy and safe holiday weekend at the house without the company of the louse.