Arkansas Travelers

Daily Post, 5 July 2014
The Odd Trio

Today, you can write about whatever you what — but your post must include, in whatever role you see fit, a cat, a bowl of soup, and a beach towel.

Arkansas Travelers

It’s spring 2008 and we are preparing for a road trip while the temperatures are still cool. We’ve covered all the bases, including having someone care for Barb’s two parakeets while we are away. Then comes the surprise – our bird watcher backs out. Our plans are coming unraveled. Our road trip is postponed indefinitely. However, Barb, my problem solver, offers a solution.

We can take the birds along.

Well, we’ve taken kids, dogs, and cats on road trips, but never birds. It’s probably doable, but just barely, I’m thinking, but Barb has it worked out to the last detail.

We have air conditioning, so the birds will be comfortable. The back seat folds, providing a flat surface. Still, what about the bird seed and water finding a way into the crevasses?

Not a problem. She has a huge beach towel from our last trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. She folds it several times puts it beneath the cage, and then pins it a few inches up on the sides. Handled!

I asked about lunch. “Will we need to buy cold cuts from a deli and then eat in the car? We don’t dare leave them in the car while go into Denny’s?”

“Of course not,” she assured me. “We’ll buy cold cuts if you like, but I’m suggesting we bring along the propane camp stove, a tea kettle, and a gallon of water. Every town has a city park and most of them have picnic tables. We can stop somewhere and each have a cup-o-soup.”

That sounds doable, so we got underway. The parakeets were better travelers than we ever dreamed. In fact, we both forget they are in the car, and I roll down the window, letting in then highway-speed wind.

“Good grief! We forgot about the birds,” shouts Barb. But not to worry. They were clinging to the foreword most perch, their neck outstretched like a pair of surfers.

By this time we’re in Arkansas. When we stop for fuel the two of them chat with each other in quiet undertones, but when I start the engine they screech at the top of their lungs as only a parakeet can and then leap to their favorite perch.

Shortly before noon Barb buys cold cuts from a deli and then we find a picnic table, just as Barb has predicted and we have our soup and sandwiches.

The road trip is a marvelous success, until a stray cat leaps into the offside window. The alarm is sounded and he is easily discouraged. With lunch finished, we reload our belongings and I start the engine.

The birds voice their approval. Indeed, the Arkansas Travelers are ready to roll.

and ,But then who have no one to care for them while we are away. As cumbersome as it’s going to be, they must go with us. It’s either that, or we stay home. And we really don’t want to do that.