When I mess up a trick in Skatebird, my budgie plops off the board, rolls motionless across the floor, and eventually comes to a stop. In this frozen state, he always reminds me of the morning when I was a kid and found that my budgie Ricky had died overnight and fallen off his perch onto the cage floor. There he lay. Dead. Slightly turned on his side. Whether he died on the perch or the floor, I don’t know. He died without a skateboard.
Ricky has been quite old. Actually, all of our budgies grew old. We have always taken good care of them. They still die eventually. The budgie in Skatebird doesn’t look like Ricky in color. Instead, he looks like our first budgie, Rocky.
I remember when Rocky entered my life. My sister and I were standing in the hallway talking with our parents, who had prepared a surprise. In the middle of the conversation, a whistle suddenly sounded from my sister’s room. The two of us fell silent, stared at each other, ran into her room and found ourselves face to face with Rocky.
At first, by the way, we had been told that Rocky was male, which was not true, but we didn’t mind. Rocky remained Rocky. She was trusting and sweet and we had a lot of fun with her. Until she became ill at an old age.
Let’s say simplified that she had a tumor at the anus. Her feces no longer fell on the cage floor, but collected in this lump. Her last days we both spent together in the bathroom above the sink. Several times a day I would take her off the perch, hold her in my hand, squeeze the lump and clean it. My sister was out of town for a few days at the time, so I took care of Rocky alone. I was still very young. But it was natural for me to take care of her.
Rocky was getting weaker and weaker every day. She looked worse and worse. We went to the vet. She explained to us that the life of the budgie consisted only of agony. Euthanize. She would not survive much longer anyway. Rocky was lying half dead in a shoe box, which we had made as comfortable as possible with blankets, sand and handkerchiefs. This box was to be her coffin. I talked to her a little more, cuddled her, said goodbye and gave the signal to the doctor. I stayed in the room. I wanted to stay by Rocky’s side until the last second.
The injection worked immediately. Rocky made a sound with her last breath that I have not forgotten to this day. A soft, gentle, calm whistling sound. The opposite of her first, loud whistle with which she had introduced herself to us at that time. I still remember both sounds today. Arrival and departure. A new life and its end. I experienced both. Both I will probably never forget.
When I played a budgie in Skatebird for the first time, both sounds came back. Along with countless memories. Memories of Rocky, Ricky, Meggie and Lennie. Four budgies. Four stories. Four lives. Four deaths.
All died without a skateboard.
In Skatebird you control a bird via skateboard through the rooms of a human to clean them up skating. Meanwhile, you can put hats on the birds.
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