Full HonorS for Henry

Patricia Montali


I have always been afraid of birds. It
has to do with some infant trauma, my
mother says. The only reason it came
up was because my sister arrived home
one day with a green parakeet named
Phillip. She let him out of the cage and
with the beating of the wings, my scalp
began to crawl and I threw something
over my head and ran from the room.
Honestly, I wanted to like birds and I
tried all sorts of home therapy. I would
hold Phillip on my finger and stroke
his feathers. This was nice, but when
he flapped onto my shoulder or, worse,
my head, I would panic.
I finally decided the easiest thing
would be to avoid birds altogether.
This was easy to do until I got married,
had kids of my own, and was again
under pressure from my daughter, who
even looks like my sister, to have a bird.
Trying to explain my phobia, I told
my family this was a real fear. Sorry but
no birds, I said. I guess I must have
been talking to the walls, because on
my daughter's sixth birthday my husband
appeared with a blue parakeet
named Henry.

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