I enjoyed these stories because they were a great, humorous break, and gave me a chance to engage both the birds and our online friends. Unfortunately, my inspiration ran dry when Chloe died in 2017, and I couldn’t find ideas to sustain the series. It turns out that Chloe was the central character to “Anipal Land.” I eventually decided to retire the series.
I was excited when I got an idea this past weekend for another story; one that featured both Zack and Bubbles in a way that highlights their unique personalities. I thought, perhaps I need to reformat and write these stories again. I followed this idea through and a new concept was formed: “Parrot Pals.” These short stories will include friends from Facebook and Twitter in new adventures and shenanigans for a new season of life.
I open “Parrot Pals” with Story #1, titled “Welcome Back, Parrot Pals.” This is about Zack and Bubbles emerging from Quarantine to reunite with friends and have new adventures in the post-COVID world. Or, in Bubbles case, out of this world (Twitter pals know what I mean – the rest of you will find out soon).
I hope you enjoy it!
Welcome Back Parrot Pals
“They’re here!” Zack and Bubbles rushed to the entryway to open the front door.
“Hi Zack! Hi Bubbles!” Morty, Keito, Dusty, Rocky, Kiki, and Kato Q cheered from the front porch.
Their toes clicked across the floor to the snacks set up in the kitchen.
“It’s great to get together again!” Morty said. “Quarantine made me bonkers. Do you know what I’ve been doing? I’ve been chasing rats out of Mom’s garden with an ax. They’re tearing it up!”
“Morty, you shouldn’t be doing that!” Bubbles said. “I can swing the BOOM up to your home to set Alexa to do that.”
“Set Alexa to do it?” Morty asked. “That would be great! She could do the dirty work AND get out of my way!”
“Let’s do it now!” Kiki said. “I’m up for an adventure!”
“I’ll do you one better,” Bubbles said. “Mommy’s stuck with her manuscript, and I was thinking of flying to Neptune to check out their multipolar fields and set some probes to scan the Alpha Centauri system. Anybody else want to come?”
“I will!” Keito said. “The pantry and linen closet are boring. How long will it take?”
“Thirty minutes, maybe an hour if we don’t gawk too much,” Bubbles said. “I made some upgrades to the BOOM during quarantine.”
“Upgrades?” Rocky asked.
“I made an interdimensional drive. I can get their instantaneously, like on the scifi shows,” Bubbles said.
“Dare I ask how?” Morty asked.
“Parts from peoples’ workshops around here,” Bubbles said.
“Bubbles, you raided the neighbors’ workshops?” Zack asked.
“I didn’t dismantle anything,” Bubbles said. “It was all older stuff. These humans don’t realize what treasures they have right in their own backyards.”
Keito and Kiki cheered. “Let’s zoom in the BOOM!”
“Alright! Suit up, ladies!” Bubbles said.
“Um, wait,” Zack said as the girls hurried to where Bubbles hid her spaceship in the woods behind their home. “Uh oh.”
“Uh oh, what?” Morty asked.
Loud clucking was heard seconds later, followed by five chickens being hurled out of the spaceship against the back deck of the house.
“Goodness!” Dusty said. “I almost went out there with them!”
“Give it a few seconds,” Zack said.
Sure enough, the sliding glass door whooshed open. Bubbles glowered at Zack, giving him the classic parakeet stink-eye.
“Zack, how many times do I have to tell you that it’s a spaceship, not a chicken coop!”
“A spaceship?” one of the chickens asked. “You mean those controls were real? We could have flown off any time we wanted?”
“Oh dear, quarantine has been tough on you guys,” Rocky said.
“No, this is pretty normal around here,” Morty said.
“That’s true,” Keito said. “So are we going now that the BOOM is chicken free?”
“Indeed,” Bubbles said. “Anybody else want to go?”
“No thanks,” Morty said. “I ran out of bubble wrap.”
“I’ll go!” Keito said. “We Quakers should stick together.”
“That’s right!” Bubbles said. “Morty, your rat problem will soon be history, Alexa will be busy for a while, and mommy’s manuscript will be written in no time!”
“Wait!” one of the chickens chased them across the yard. “Are you hiring?”
“What do you do?” Bubbles asked.
“I’m a chicken. I lay eggs and try not to get eaten.”
“Good enough. Get on board.”
Kato and the girls boarded the ship and disappeared in a whirl and flash of light. Morty, Rocky, and Dusty, stared in awe.
“So,” Zack said. “Can I interest any of you in investing in my new venture of competitive chicken racing?”
They laughed. Morty pulled them in a big wing hug. “Welcome back, parrot pals.”