Friday 14 January 2011…    Turning white

This word is not pronounced to rhyme with tile. It’s the Irish spelling of the name Sheila, and that’s how you pronounce it. Síle was Miri’s daughter, one of those three that I’ve already said Miri produced. Of the other two, Julie died young, and Zachary will come up again in the spring. I’m ashamed that my memory isn’t absolutely positive about when these three hatched, and I can say with only a 90% degree of certainty that it was in April of 1995.

Síle was a very light grey, and had her family’s happy nature in a double portion, as her father was also her grandfather. All zebra finches have happy natures, as far as I’m concerned, and maybe it’s my biased mother’s eye that leads to me to believe that the line of my Romi and Juliet was an even happier crew. Or maybe not. Maybe they really were.

As the numbers in my finch family were lessened by age and death, by early in 1998 I had only one possible mother left, and it was Síle. I would cage her mostly with her uncle Pepper, and though she and Pepper did try more than once to make a family, she would always peck the eggs open after a few days of sitting. I didn’t know whether this was because she knew the eggs were infertile, or whether she was simply not mother material. Whichever it was, it resulted in the fact that when she died in January 1999, she left behind only her brother and her uncle, effectively ending a family that had begun in 1991. I would try one more time in 2001 to keep this family going by getting a new female to pair with Síle’s brother, but I had waited too long, and it didn’t work. Síle was the last lady of Juliet’s big family that I said good-bye to, and there were never any others after her.

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2011 by anne nakis, all rights reserved.

(part of the book All My Stars)

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