Wordcount: Daily = 1,741 , Total = 21,961Percentage: 43.9% (109% of target) 20,004
Took the laptop to work today, since the weather was detrimental to walking and by taking the car, I could carry more with me. On monday I get an hour long lunch break, anyway. Sat in the library and wrote - although the chairs were not too comfortable for it and I was just starting to get into the story when I had to go back :( Still, it helped me get my daily word count, which I have further added to on the following morning, as well as doing a little editting to make it flow better.
Tiriki's in a cage now, and seems to be in the process of befriending Josh. I didn't know Josh even existed until he popped up yesterday to help his father. He's maybe 11 or 12 years old, and quite a lonely kid. His parents got divorced a few years ago, and he was living with his mum, but now she's got a new boyfriend who doesn't like him much (or maybe she's busy working overseas as a journalist or photographer, I haven't decided yet) and he's been sent to stay with his father for the time being. Maxwell writes papers for an Aviculturalist magazine, that is true - he's also illegally breeding kaka in his backyard. Tiriki will get to meet the kaka as soon as he's ready to come out of his 6 week quarantine.
Josh has taken to visiting Tiriki and talking to him. Not that the kea is giving him advice or anything - Tiriki isn't particularly interested in the woes of being a human pre-teen, but sometiems it is quite good to have something to talk to, even if it doesn't answer back. Hell, I used to talk to myself or my soft toys when I was upset, and since Josh has been studying parrot intelligence, he's going to try a few experiments on Tiriki.
Whether or not he is instrumental in Tiriki's Great Escape remains to be seen, but when his father is finally caught and arrested for his illegal bird smuggling operation, he will have to go back to Christchurch and live with his mother. Who will hopefully have either broken up with the boyfriend/be back from Africa by then!
Josh's visits were a different matter. He spent a lot of time with Tiriki, sitting in a chair and talking to him, or occasionally tapping away at some slim black device that he perched on his lap.
“I asked dad if you were sick,” he said, “cos you don't do much except sit there and look miserable and he said that he thought you were just bored. The bite wound is healing nicely too,” he added. “Anyhow, so I did a bit of research on the 'net,” he tapped the device perched on his lap, “and found out that keas are really intelligent – among the smartest animals in the world, as smart as a four-year old, apparently. And I figured that if we were to lock a toddler up in here by himself, he'd be pretty bored too. So, I've come to keep you company. Dad says it's okay, as long as I keep the lab-coat on and don't leave your cage door open.”
Tiriki, roused from his apathy, hopped closer to the bars, studying the boy. The kea could not judge the age of humans, but he did know that Josh was young and not yet of breeding age. In all likelihood, he mused, he's probably not much older than me. He was slight and slender, with a thin face and his fleshy, useless beak was long, for a human's, but nothing compared to a kea's. His head-fur was dark and curly, and often out of control and his eyes had a mischevious glint to them, which, combined with the general scruffiness, reminded him of Raweke.
He sighed, missing his friends. He wondered if they missed him too. Do they think I'm dead? That Pakari has killed me? I bet he's crowing that victory to the skies. With those thoughts came memories of Hiwa, and his heart fell into sorrow again. He craned his neck, trying to see what Josh was doing on his slender black box. Noting his interest, the boy held it up so that Tiriki could see the screen.
It took him a while to figure out what it was that he was looking at, but when he did, he blinked in surprise – there were little keas in the screen!
“I'm watching a documentary on you guys,” Josh informed him. “See?”
Tiriki tilted his head to get a better look, watching as the tiny keas proceeded to dismantle a car – far swifter than he and his gang had ever managed.
“Pretty crazy, eh?” Josh asked. “Have you ever attacked a car like that?”
Tiriki bobbed up and down, nodding with his whole body. Perhaps there was a way I can make this boy understand me, he thought.
“I thought so,” replied Josh. “It must've been pretty wicked, being up there in the mountains. Did you have trouble finding food? I bet you liked to hang around the cafe. There's always kea around there when we stop on the way to the coast.” He paused. “Did you have friends? I bet you miss them.” Sighed. “I don't have many friends. It's hard, cos the school here is real small, and the other kids think I'm weird – cos I prefer reading to playing sport and stuff. I wish I could go back to Christchurch and live with my mum.”
Tiriki, bored now, turned his attentions back to the flat device. Poking his beak through the bars as he could reach, he tapped it with the tip of his bill.
Josh laughed. “You wanna see more of your kind?” He switched on another video.