THE FOURTEEN POUND BUDGIE
by
Mike Harding

  I've this thing about budgies. I've got a thing about tortoises as well but not as bad as the thing about budgies.
The thing about tortoises is that you can avoid them... unless you get a particularly fast one. But tortoises are horrible; really, when you look at them. They are like Vincent Price with a bus shelter on their backs. I picked up a tortoise once and I shook it and it fell out... they are really horrible in the nude, like gherkins with legs on. The only good thing about tortoises is that they make good pets for dogs with-no teeth 'cos you can throw them and if the dogs don't fetch them back, they can come back on their own. And at least a tortoise will smile a bit. You can always see a tortoise grinning a bit when it's going for a piece of lettuce, if you've got any imagination. But a budgie never grins. It just sort of sits there all the time glaring at you and shifting from one leg to another, muttering.
But I've had this thing about budgies since I was a kid. We had this budgie when I was a kid and it was the Khengis Khan of budgies. It was the horribilist budgie in the whole world. It had torn all its own feathers off so it looked hard and it had got a ball point pen and it had written `Hell's Angels Cheekie Boy Chapter' on its chest. Because it had no feathers it couldn't fly, so me dad had made it a pair of wings out
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