This story actually began about a couple of months before we left on our vacation. Four Lineolated Parakeets (linnies) in New Brunswick were being bullied by a larger parrot. The two males had already lost toes, and one of them was missing a large chunk of his beak. Concerned that this might be a forerunner to more such incidents, the lady who owned the five birds was trying to locate someone who would be willing to adopt all four of the linnies. She was asking a very reasonable price, and she was even willing to throw their huge, beautiful cage in on the deal!

As linnie breeders who were looking to add two more breeding pairs, we were also interested in helping these four keep the remainder of their toes and beaks! We made sure to go and visit them as soon as we arrived in New Brunswick, and it was love at first sight. Splash, the sky blue male, took to me immediately. My older son fell in love with the cobalt blue male, Stormy. He was the one with the hole in his beak, but he was also a splitting image of my son’s own bird, Mexico. In fact, it turned out that Stormy and Mexico are full brothers! My youngest son immediately latched onto the green female, Skittles. She looked and acted exactly like the green female that he had recently lost to a rare medical condition, and, well, who wouldn’t love Sky, with her bright cobalt blue head and her independent nature??? As for my wife? She fell in love with them all!

Our only dilemma was how to get these birds back to Ontario. We were just at the beginning of our trip and would be spending the next three weeks traveling through New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in a tent trailer. We didn’t want to take these wonderful creatures with us, as we knew we wouldn’t be able to provide them with a safe environment. And then there was the cage. It was BIG! 4’ x 3’ x 2’! No way could we fit that in our van or in our trailer! What to do?

As is our habit, we prayed about it, and sure enough, God provided the solution. The cage could be disassembled, and to our amazement, it fit neatly down the middle of our van, between the boxes of extra food and clothing. Even more importantly, the owner was willing to drive the linnies, along with their cage, to the home of a mutual friend near Shediac, New Brunswick. As this would be one of our last stops before leaving the province, we would only have two sight-seeing days, followed by three days of constant travel with the birds. We had purchased two special bird-backpacks to carry them with us when we got out of the car for gas and lunch, and we were pretty sure that we would be able to keep them safe the rest of the way home.

And so it was that on our last day in the Shediac area, we picked up our four new birds, and our tent trailer became an oversized aviary. The babies were required to travel in two cat carriers while in the car, and every opportunity to get out of these cramped quarters (remember, they were used to a 4’ x 3’ x 2’ cage!) Was welcomed with “open wings”. Letting the birds free in the trailer also gave us the chance to get to know each other, and my boys began wearing interestingly t-shirts. Strikes of bird droppings beautified their attire much like the way Picasso adorned his canvasses. Maybe we could make a fortune from these?

While traveling in the van, the linnies would sit comfortably on the perches in their cat carriers. We decided that they must like Acadian music as much as we did, because every time we played one of our newly-purchased CDs, the birds would sing along! The boys were happy to hold the makeshift cages on their laps, and though this couldn’t have been very comfortable for them, they never complained. They just seemed to enjoy being in the company of linnies again. They did hold their books and Gameboy a bit closer to their faces than usual . . . I wonder why???

Once safely back home, we introduced the birds to their new “siblings”, and were happy to see that they all seemed to get along well. In fact, we are expecting eggs any day now from Mexico and Sky, as well as from Stormy and Skittles. All the trouble was worthwhile, and now we can all rest assured that there will be no more missing toes!

These birds may have been stressed by the fact that a larger bird was bullying them, but their cries didn’t go unheard. God was preparing the way for their safety. We don’t go to New Brunswick every year, but just when these birds needed a new home, God worked it out that this is where we had planned to spend our vacation. If God takes care of such tiny creatures, how much more does He care for us! “What's the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail — even numbering the hairs on your head! So don't be intimidated by all this bully talk. You're worth more than a million canaries.” (Luke 12:6-7 The Message)

If you are so precious to God, why worry? He has already rescued you from the bully of sin, and if you have accepted Him into your life, then you have already experienced this rescue personally. “We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we're in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God's plan is that we all experience that rescue. Glory to God forever! Oh, yes!” (Gal 1:4-5 The Message) You can rest assured He will come to your rescue when facing the fierce trials of life as well. “God knows how to rescue the godly from evil trials.” (2 Peter 2:9 The Message) All you need to do is trust in Him rather than in yourselves. He is faithful!

Do you need a trip to heaven?

P. S. If you would like to see pictures of these beautiful birds, visit our website at http://www.lineolated.com 

Rob Chaffart