A parakeet or budgie from the Bun Karyudo humor blog.

A Post for the Birds

Many people know them as parakeets, but in their native Australia, they are called budgerigars (or just budgies), and now I have one. To be more accurate, my wife and sons have one. They simply turned up with it in a cage the other day and dared me to do something about it. I was shocked, of course, and as I peered in at the little fellow on his perch, the thought crossed my mind that I should at least try to negotiate him down to a goldfish. But then I remembered the water would run out through the bars, so I gave up.


My sons spent much of that evening trying to decide on a name for him. The process would have been far quicker had they been willing to listen to any of my first-rate suggestions, such as Igor, Splotch or Beakula. They didn’t even like Budd G. Reegar—one I thought gave him a little class. In the end, they decided on Pochama, which is apparently the name of a Pokémon character. This is a bit of a mouthful for me to remember, however, so I’ve taken to just calling him Po. I’m hoping he doesn’t notice that in his native Australia, the word means “chamber pot.”


Regular readers may be a little surprised about the sudden arrival of our little feathered friend given that I’ve sometimes said on the blog that we’re not allowed to keep pets. In fact, this is only broadly true. The actual situation is that we are allowed to keep pets—just not anything interesting, like a cat, a dog or an aardvark. Small, boring pets, are completely acceptable as long as they don’t make too much noise. Fortunately, when my wife and children got Po’s cage and equipment, they showed tremendous foresight in not buying him an electric guitar or a drum set.


However, I’m still not entirely convinced we need a bird, especially with a family budget as tight as ours. I’ve been trying to remain philosophical about it, though. I tell myself that either he’ll eat only a little, in which case, we won’t have to spend much on millet, or he’ll eat a lot, in which case we won’t have to buy a Christmas turkey this year.


© Bun Karyudo and the BunKaryudo Blog (2017)

(All Rights Reserved)

164 replies
  1. derrickjknight
    derrickjknight says:

    Good name, Po. It reminds me of the time in France when three of my grandchildren ‘adopted’ a local dog. I suggested a well known two-word phrase in English. They youngsters abbreviated it to Po.

  2. Ally Bean
    Ally Bean says:

    A bird, huh? I’m not immediately charmed by birds, all those feathers– but if Po fills a need in your family dynamic, and you can keep from eating him, then have at it. Will enjoy subsequent posts about him.

  3. anotherday2paradise
    anotherday2paradise says:

    You’ll have to teach Po to talk. Budgies can be a LOT of fun. They run backwards and forwards along their perch, they climb up and down the bars of their cage. They love to look in a mirror and chunter to themselves. If you let Po out of the cage, he will sit on your shoulder or head and use it as a chamber pot. Enjoy! 😀

  4. dave ply
    dave ply says:

    Parakeets are actually much noisier than cats, so you’ll get an interesting pet after all. And if the kids don’t keep up with the bottom of the cage, Po (as in chamber pot) might be an apt name…

  5. Vicki
    Vicki says:

    After they’d had to clean out his cage a zillion times, the bird may be relegated to greener pastures than your apartment I think. Pets of any kind need a great deal of regular care.

  6. nrhatch
    nrhatch says:

    Since you’re getting philosophical anyway . . . I think you should call him Master Po:

    Master Po: Close your eyes. What do you hear?
    Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
    Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
    Caine: No.
    Po: Do you hear the grasshopper which is at your feet?
    Caine: Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
    Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?


  7. windowcolquhoun810
    windowcolquhoun810 says:

    So you’ve got a little bit of Australia in your home Bun. Don’t forget to greet him with, ‘g’day mate’ every morning. He will feel so much better, should he become homesick. Looking forward to hearing about Po from time to time.

  8. Donna Florack
    Donna Florack says:

    The worst part about birds is the mess they make. My husband came with six cockatiels when we married. My in-laws were probably thrilled I took them all away. That was almost thirty years ago. The birds are no longer with us. Hubby is. I also inherited my mother’s lovebird when she died. That was 12 years ago; the bird’s 21 now. I must be doing something right. I was never a bird person. Somehow they keep finding me.

  9. Ellie P.
    Ellie P. says:

    “Electric guitar or drum set” – GUFFAW!!!
    Okay. Just promise me one thing: while you have the bird, do NOT get a dog. Trust me on this.
    We had a budgie named Billy, when I was a kid.
    Later we got a dog named Queenie. She was a helluva lot more interesting than Billy.
    Billy died of, we think, neglect. Mind you, he was 8. He’d had a good life, as budgie’s lives go, I guess.
    But maybe it could’ve been better.
    So don’t get a dog.

  10. Susan Scott
    Susan Scott says:

    you could get a tiny tinny little piano for him to tinkle his toes on 6 x 3 inches … he may turn out to be a musical genius and your sons could accompany him with their musical instruments. Who knows, you could conduct the orchestra! Thanks Bun, great post – lots of smiles this way come 🙂

  11. patriciaruthsusan
    patriciaruthsusan says:

    We used to own a lovebird. He was active when out of his cage and anything counted as a toy. He was my daughter’s bird but adopted my husband who was retired and home all day. He seemed to only like the sunflower seeds in the mixed seed. I told the family “do not” buy him a bell for his cage. He used to ride around on my husband’s shoulder. 😀 — Suzanne

  12. Jill
    Jill says:

    Does Po mean chamber pot in Australia? I’ve never heard that, but then the only chamber pot I’ve ever seen has been in the antique shop! Hope you are enjoying the new member of the family. Budgies are lovely pets. Hopefully yours will spend a lot of time out of the cage.

  13. joliesattic
    joliesattic says:

    I always loved budgies. I had a pair once and my kitty snuck up on the cage and one of them instantly dropped dead. He hadn’t done anything other than peak into the cage, but that was all it took. I was shocked. Count your blessings you don’t have a cat. BTW, if your budgie is young enough, he can be taught to talk. Your kids would have a ball with that.

  14. Robert Parker Teel
    Robert Parker Teel says:

    This was a good, useful post, BK.
    Since millet is increasingly on the menu at our house, and I don’t care for it, having a pet that I could feed it to, under the table, sounds like a great idea.
    I also applaud your proposal for an aardvark, sadly scarce in my neighborhood, which in Victorian times was always suggested as a pet for retired seamen with peg-legs, to prevent concerns re termites.
    The only vegetable they’re know to eat (meaning, the aardvarks, since seamen are fond of pea soup and pole beans), the Aardvark Cucumbers, is also interesting, because it too burrows, and the idea of a burrowing cucumber seems like a great concept.

    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      It is terribly sad the degree to which aardvarks have fallen out of favor as pets nowadays. The situation has become so serious, many reputable aardvark breeders have been driven out of business, leaving behind only the most unscrupulous of dealers. Nine times out of ten, those few aardvarks that are sold nowadays aren’t actually aardvarks at all but overweight chihuahuas wearing false ears and a snout.

  15. Peter Klopp
    Peter Klopp says:

    Well, I feel I need to add something to the debate (perhaps already over). But with further significant input to the rather curious name of your new feathered friend, your family may reconsider and rename their pet. I noticed that you found the name means chamber pot. In German Po is a real word. It simply means buttocks. So when company is coming perhaps from as far away as Germany, it would be very embarrassing to say: Come in. I want to show you my little buttocks. Hilarious!

      • Peter Klopp
        Peter Klopp says:

        Yes, Fred would be a good name and easy to pronounce and to remember. One more thought on the word Po lest you think that I am preoccupied with vulgar expressions. Po carries the least offensive connotation in the German language and is commonly used by little children.

  16. Hariod Brawn
    Hariod Brawn says:

    Due to my ignorance on matters Budgie, I’m amazed as to why they’ve never naturalised in Western Europe where they’re very popular pets. They’re more or less de rigueur here in Britain amongst the older generation, and an elderly lady friend of mine has a lovely pair (of budgies).

    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      I think it may be hard for the little creatures to survive out in the harshness of the Northern European countryside, where mirrors tiny ladders and cuttlefish bones are all disappointingly rare. Incidentally, I think your friend’s having a pair of budgies is an excellent idea, Hariod. That makes one for each shoulder.

  17. tric
    tric says:

    Memories. We had two budgies in my childhood. The first escaped out the back door and decided never to return to the fun of our kitchen, or the confines of it’s cage. The second, called ‘peeko’ never made it to the back door, the cat ate it!
    I hope you are listening…don’t open the cage. 🙂
    Actually I remember we did enjoy it and I even became quite fond of it, but preferred the cat and the dog. The goldfish I never got attached to at all.

  18. Mabel Kwong
    Mabel Kwong says:

    Now, I’m thinking, give them a bit of attention, bird will start singing. Maybe it won’t stop them. Maybe you will have turkey later this year for Christmas. Or maybe sooner during Thanksgiving… I hope cleaning up after this little budgie isn’t too stinky….

  19. Samantha
    Samantha says:

    I never got the whole Pokemon hype… Then again, I was just a little too old when it first hit the world. I assume Pochama is a bird-like Pokemon? I liked your options better (but who am I). Is Po a male? Will he start singing soon? Or does he already? 🙂

    I am excited you got a pet, but I just like all animals :p Are you going to train him? (I hear budgies can be taught tricks).

  20. da AL
    da AL says:

    Fun post! I’ve owned a couple of parakeets & much enjoyed them. One bit of advice for if he gets sick – for survival, birds don’t show illness unless they’re really sick, plus vets don’t know a lot about how to help them, especially when they’re really sick. Fortunately, they’re pretty sturdy little creatures.

    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      That’s useful to know. So far, when we let him out the cage to fly about the room, he looks pretty healthy. Certainly, it’s clear his ability to, um… poop is functioning normally.

      • da AL
        da AL says:

        we often let ours roam – they would chew on corners of paper as well as wooden picture frames. they’re messy eaters, so we kept a clear piece of plastic wrapped around the bottom thirds of their cages. they’re worth it all, tho, with their sweet song & fun natures. one loved to take bird baths when I cupped my hands under the faucet

  21. yvettecarol
    yvettecarol says:

    Wow, Bun, looking at your comment stream I’m thinking that answering all your responders must be nearly a full-time job! Cool post. I finally got time to read it. I love both names, Pochama and Po. Down here, Po (with a horizontal line on top of the o) is the Maori word for night. Perhaps your own whimsical allusion to the shadow of the cash drain this bird shall be on the family budget? 🙂

  22. Elliesofia
    Elliesofia says:

    Really funny read but eww, Bun, that last paragraph! Poor little Po! I’m glad I’m a vegetarian and wouldn’t dream of having him on a dinner plate. Seriously, really enjoyed reading this and it made me laugh x 🙂

    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Of course, I didn’t really intend to eat him, Ellie. I merely typed that when I was sitting next to his cage in order to encourage good behavior on his part.

  23. Poet Rummager
    Poet Rummager says:

    We used to have a pair of parakeets when I was growing up. They pooped a lot. You should have the kids line the bottom of the cage with articles and photos of Trump. That would be so much fun!

    At night, we’d put a blanket over the cage to keep them quiet. It worked wonders.

  24. Minuscule Moments
    Minuscule Moments says:

    Pets are a healthy way to teach children how to take care of something……well after four cats, three dogs, four chickens I realised, I seem to be the one learning lots about taking care of some things. I wish I had a Budgie!! Want to trade?


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