One rainy summer we were visiting friends and during a break in the storm, Damien found two baby Indian mynas that had washed out of their nests in the deluge. The friends we were visiting showed him how to pour soapy water on the lawn to bring up earthworms and he spent the rest of the afternoon squishing mud out of the worms and feeding pieces to the babies every time they opened their mouths. When we were leaving, I wasn’t going to take the birds (have you any idea how much work baby birds are?). I then tried to convince a five year old Damien (yes- five) that their mothers would come back. He was all but hysterical until we put them in a box and into the car. They were then raised on Pronutro (breakfast cereal) and when they could feed themselves, friends of the family took one and Damien adopted the other- he had already named it Zeus. Damien taught Zeus to talk, cough, sneeze, copy the different door squeaks at home, bark, meow and copy fire engine sirens. And Zeus adored Damien. Only Damien could put his hands in the cage and when Damien came near Zeus the crazy bird would get all fluffy and sweet and croon at him. Zeus died earlier this year- in the middle of the night in a very tearful Damien’s own two hands- we assume of old age. Damien was very heart sore and sad, and he misses Zeus, but he got over it. We buried Zeus nice and deep in the garden where the cats couldn’t get at him.