“How are your canaries doing?” I asked Daniel in the kitchen at work. Daniel was preparing a plate of cold cuts and fresh fruit for lunch.
“Doing well. Except the female gets snippy with the male,” he said.
“How do you fix something like that?” I said as I heated a bowl of vegetable soup in the microwave.
“Trade one of them for another bird,” he said.
“Isn’t that a bit soon? You just got them two weeks ago. Surely this match can make it with a little bit of bird therapy,” I said.
Daniel chuckled. “Birds are funny. When they don’t get along, they fight all the time.”
“Maybe they’re two females.”
“No, they’re not.”
“Are you sure? You said the other day they were young birds.”
“The male is, you know, already doing his come-on to the female,” he said taking his lunch plate to the lunchroom. I followed with my soup.
Daniel and I joined Mark and Leslie, two other colleagues, at the table.
“Daniel’s going to have baby canaries soon. He’ll be needing homes for them,” I said to Leslie as I took a spoonful of soup.
“No birds for me. I’m done with animals,” she said.
“I trapped a mouse last night when I got home,” Mark said.
“Is he dead?” I asked.
“Yes,” Mark said laughing. “A nice black little thing. You don’t want to know how I did it.”
“That reminds me of a toad I once had as a child,” Daniel said. “I kept him indoors with me, and one day my mother called out, ‘Daniel!’ and I knew I was in trouble. I found her in the laundry room pointing to the laundry basket. I picked it up and there lay my toad, flat as a pancake.”