The Clock House

Alright Penelope, it’s alright. Here we are. Welcome home. It’s alright, Penelope. Heaven knows that car ride wasn’t easy for either of us. But I promise you, you will be safe here, and we won’t be getting back into the car anytime soon. Oh I’m so sorry to see you so upset, please settle down. Shh Shh. Yes, what do you think of your cage? It served Arthur very well. Very well, for many many years. Yes I know, you would love to go soaring out that big window, wouldn’t you? But it is not in your best interest, my dear, all right? Let’s get that straight right away. The food is much better in here, and you’ll have a much longer life this way, especially in our climate.

Now, this window will get much chillier come winter time. And, yes, I will do all I can to keep you comfortable: we’ll put up plastic sheets on the window, and I have an insulated night-cover for you that Arthur just loved… we’ll start using that around October, but it will always get a little chillier in the winter months, there’s no two ways about it. But the window is worth it, don’t you think? Yes, I agree, the view is quite lovely, Penelope.

You’ll appreciate it when I’m out in the garden, if you’re anything like Arthur. You see, my dear, I spend thirty minutes out in the yard three times a day, every day. In the summertime, silly, not in the winter! Yes, ninety minutes, and I know it might seem like quite a while to be away from you, but I’ll always try to be in view. I never want you to feel lonely or abandoned, Penelope. This is your home now and I am here for you, and you’ll be here for me too, just like my Arthur was. I promise to keep you safe.

Routine is the key to that, Penelope, so I won’t stay out a minute past my time. You see this? It’s called a watch and it tells me when to wake up, when to go outside and garden, when to come back in, when to cook dinner, when to sleep. And I have bigger watches in every room of the house called clocks, so I know that even if I lose track of my watch, I’ll never lose track of the time. So you see, there’s no need to worry, my sweet little angel. I’ll never forget about you.

Now, we’ll have to decide, you and I, if flying around the house is a good idea. I keep up to date with the latest budgie news on the computer, and I can tell you, everyone is very divided on the subject. I never let Arthur fly about the house, he was strictly a caged bird, and I think he preferred it that way. Poor Arthur…

I have a confession, Penelope. Arthur he– he flew away. I let my guard down, I never thought he’d leave me. His door must not have latched after breakfast and as I was going to the garden… He had never had the chance to fly freely before, and so he took it when he could.  I searched and searched. I know he must’ve gotten scared, and cold, he must’ve been hungry for his dinner. But he never came back. And it was all my fault.

I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to get another budgie. I didn’t want to put anyone else at risk. But my therapist, that’s the nice woman I visit once a week, on Thursdays, she encouraged me to try again. She talked me into it. She talked me into you. And I don’t want you to feel afraid my dear, because I promise you, I will never let anything bad happen to you. And I won’t make the same mistake twice. If you trust me, and if you’d like to, I will let you fly about the house. Safely, of course, with all the windows closed. Right after lunchtime, perhaps? We’ll take care of each other, won’t we my dear?

(A watch alarm beeps.) Oh my! Do you know what that means, Penelope? That means it’s time for our lunch! Three square meals a day for each of us, plus a treat after dinner. I think you’ll find dessert to be the most wonderful part of our day. And before you go wasting your time, Arthur already tried mimicking my watch alarm! You can’t fool me, I’m too bright for you, bird brain!  I hope you don’t mind a little teasing now and then, Penelope. It’s all in good fun. My way of saying I love you. But if you’re feeling sensitive you let me know. I lived with Arthur for so long… I shouldn’t assume all birds share his sense of humour.

Oh dear, I’m behind on lunch already. I’ll be right back. Penelope, you’re looking more at home already.

Your next location  is 8502 106th street. Keep walking to the end of this block. Look across the street to your next location, right on the north west corner.