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U3A Writing: Billy

…Billy loved my grandma who had a very large bun on top of her head; she would fly down and settle in it like a nest…

Sybil Downs tells us of an adventurous female budgerigar.

Some people wouldn't believe a budgerigar could be part of the family but our Billy certainly was.

Billy, however, was female. Never having had a budgie before, we didn't know how to sex them. Billy might never talk but she was good value. She did not believe in staying in her cage but always waited for the room to be empty to feed and drink and no one could close the door on her.

She loved to escape outside where she would sit on the wireless aerial. When we took Betty, my teddy bear, outside and put her on the lawn, Billy would always dive down. She loved plucking Betty's hair out. To catch her we always threw a towel over her.

Billy loved my grandma who had a very large bun on top of her head; she would fly down and settle in it like a nest. Then she started pulling out the hairpins, but she always escaped before Gran's hair fell to her waist.

During the war we were lucky to get an egg each a week, and as soon as the meal was placed in front of us Billy would fly from her perch on the picture rail and march across the egg yolks. When her legs were well coated she would fly back to her perch and strip the yolk from her legs.

You always made sure your yolk was eaten before she had cleaned her legs; otherwise she would swoop down and help herself again. It was hard lines if Billy got your egg ration for the week.

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