the NPRPF Rescue Awareness Bird passed over the Rainbow Bridge on July 3, 2003.
Hope is the Thing with Feathers
by Emily Dickenson
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops, at all.
And sweetest, in the Gale, is heard And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm
I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest Sea
Yet, never, in Extremity
It asked a crumb, of Me.
I'm Still Here
Revised by Kathy Heaton, to commemorate George's passing...
I was near you, by your bed last night; I came to have a peek. I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep.
I chattered to you softly as you brushed away a tear, "It's me, I haven't left you. I'm well. I'm fine. I'm here."
I was close to you at breakfast. I watched you pour the tea. You were thinking of the many times your hands reached out to me.
I was with you at my grave today. You tend it with such care. I want to reassure you, that I am not lying there.
I flew with you back towards the house. As you fumbled for your key, I gently touched you with a feather, I smiled and said, "It's me."
You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair. I tried so hard to let you know that I was perching there.
It's possible for me to be so near you everyday To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, and then smiled. I think you knew In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is over - I smile and watch you yawning And say, "Good night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide, I'll fly across to greet you and we'll enter side by side.
I have many things to show you. There is so much for you to see. Be patient, live your journey out... then come home to be with me.
NPRPF has lost our beloved Spokesbird, George. George passed away in his sleep early in the morning of July 3, 2003, of old age. He will be buried on private property in Magnolia, Texas, near our rescue facility. If you would like to make a donation to honor his memory, please mail it to: NPRPF, George Memorial Fund, P O Box 307; Altair, TX 77412. Donated funds will go towards helping rescued, abandoned and neglected birds. George was remembered at Parrot Festival 2004 when most of his friends were together.
George was a Scarlet Macaw who spent the first part of his life in the rainforest. He was shot down in the early '60s, as a very mature bird, and transported to the United States. The shooting left him blind in his left eye and permanently crippled in his left wing. A married couple purchased him and gave him a loving home for 28 years when they were forced to part with him due to their failing health. After spending a couple of years in a neglectful situation, George finally found his last home with me.
Despite the hardships he had suffered, George had quite a zest for life. Since he could not fly, I took him outside on nice days so that he could climb trees. He loved to go to the park, and although he had been known to chase an adult, he was always patient with children, as long as they didn't try to pet him.
In 2000, he was asked to be the Rescue Awareness Spokesbird for The National Parrot Rescue & Preservation Foundation. It was at our annual educational conference, Parrot Festival, that he made friends with Chris Davis. She shared his story with people all over the world when she wrote a beautiful article about him in the August 2000 issue of Bird Talk. Since then, she had kept readers updated on George through her column.
There was something about George that drew people to him. I have known a lot of very special birds, but never one quite like George. When people met him, they never forgot him. He had a way of looking at you that made you realize how deep the spirit lies in these beautiful creatures. His story has been an inspiration to many, helping people to see that hardships can be overcome. But there is no doubt that seeing his picture, or actually meeting him, had a more profound effect. One of his good friends once made the observation "I can see the rainforest in his face". In a way, that said it all.