Why I, a Papillon (or Continental Toy Spaniel), wish to become a Rainbow Lorikeet


I’ve seen them. Oh, yes. I’ve seen them alright: dozens and dozens of them flittering from tree to tree, shaking figs onto the paved ground, flashing their technicolour flaps at the wind, and trilling like a bag full of whistles. And I give them my best every day – I pant and yap and shake my collar until I’m wet at the blaze; I practise my plucky bounce over the prickly fern and attack the wall right under their green-feathered underparts.

But do you think they pay attention? Not a scratch! They don’t even bother to take the time to crap on my bat-eared head.

And I’ve had enough.

I’m sick of being ignored. Sometimes they’re there, and then they aren’t. It drives me trixy trying to work out where they go. I wish I were one of them just to find out; just to see what they see, to discover what the crazy noises over the fence that drive me mad actually are. Oh, I want it so bad!

Day in day out it’s the same thing: I run about in circles, whipping my tail and nipping at flies. I do the rounds: smelling the hose, the sandstone steps and the clothes line, hoping to cop a whiff of something other than my own piss or that of the elusive feline. And then there are the ceaseless bowls of salty gravel and those suffocating grope sessions. I truly think I’m going insane.

But if I were with them… oh, boy! I’d be swimming through the leaves faster than any of them; I’d be so bright, and covered in colours that haven’t even been named yet; I’d be the loudest yodeller in their buckshot chorus and, best of all, I’d shoot off, up and up, over the fence, through the curtain and out of this rectangle universe like a rainbow comet.

Maybe if I keep jumping and calling, they’ll hear me; they’ll share all their secrets and teach me their queer strudel language. But probably not. They’re not like the humans who come stomping with their fleshy paws outstretched at the tinkle of a collar.

No, I don’t expect my friends to ever come to me. This time I have to go to them.

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