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A fetching white cockatiel, Alida had fallen ill with West Nile Virus and the vet was at a loss.   She was the companion of a friend, so I offered to try a new, and even to my mind odd, alternative healing method to see if we could alleviate any of her symptoms.

Highly gregarious, the bird had ceased to interact with her humans, preferring the quiet of her cage to joining them for meals.  She’d even stopped singing and this was their greatest concern.  She’d been withdrawn for months.

I sat down with Alida’s picture and pulled out my oddball materials.  I worked for about an hour then went back to my life.  Some days passed and one day I ran into the human at a store.

“How’s Alida?”  I asked.  I was just starting out and being so new to the work, I tended to brace myself for disappointment and this day was no different.  Please, some good news.  Anything, I’ll take it.

“She’s good,” the human said, and then something in her face changed.  “Katie,” she said, “when did you work on her?”

Hm.  When was it?  I thought for a second.   “It must have been Tuesday morning,” I told her.  It came into focus.  “Yes, around ten o’clock.”

As it turned out, the human was sitting at the dining room table that morning, eating a late breakfast and drinking her coffee.  The bird had been languishing all morning;  the day was no different than usual and the human had resigned herself to the fact that Alida would probably never recover.

“She just started singing,” the human told me.  The bird warbled away while her person stared in astonishment; finally the human stood and opened the door of the cage.  “Alida flew down to my plate and started eating my breakfast,” she said, “like nothing ever happened.”

At this point several days had passed so I asked her,  “and now?”

“She sings,” her person said.  “She just sings and sings and she won’t shut up.”



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