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Story ID:3219
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family History
Location:Gilboa New York USA
Person:Romeo & Juliet
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There are strange and wonderful things about this world that we know little about. Mankind knows some things exist, but are at a loss to explain them. Every now and then something is witnessed in our lives that do not fit everyday logic, and yet we see them happening before our eyes and we know they exist from our experiences, even though all we are taught tells us it can’t be.

I have experienced this phenomenon several times in my life, and this describes one of them.

In the late 1980’s I became interested in birds. I became a collector of parrots. I found them to be intelligent and comical, and when not being noisy, endearing as can be.

Among those I collected were two macaws. I obtained both of them when they were babies and being hand-fed a formula. One of them was a Blue and Gold macaw. The other was a Bolivian Scarlet macaw. I named the Scarlet Juliet, and the Blue and Gold, Romeo.

Romeo and Juliet were kept together from the first day I got them. They enjoyed each other’s company and engaged in much mutual preening and grooming. It became obvious in their relationship that Juliet was the boss. She always took the best tidbits, sometimes right out of Romeo’s mouth. If Romeo was standing in her way, Juliet bit him to make him get out of her way. Most of the time the relationship was a loving one.

Both were beautiful birds. Romeo was huge in his size. He was the largest specimen of a Blue and Gold macaw that anyone had seen and he weighed an unheard of five pounds. One day I observed some lumps on his ample breast. There were several of them. I called for an appointment, put a large dog crate in the car, placed Romeo in the crate, and drove the two hours to the bird hospital.

When the bird specialist examined him, he diagnosed the lumps as fat tumors. There was really very little that could be done about it, and he warned that at some time in the future, these fat tumors could turn malignant. I brought him home and life resumed as usual.

In January of 1996 we lost our home due to a flood. We had to move. Accommodations for the birds were adequate, though not as ideal as they were accustomed to. In the summer of 2001, I found a large splattering of blood around the area occupied by Romeo and Juliet. Looking at the birds, I was able to discern that two of Romeo’s tumors had burst open and blood was seeping from them. A check with the vet revealed the tumors had become malignant and nothing could be done for him. In less than two months, Romeo passed away from his cancer.

I took Romeo to the pet cemetery I had established and buried him. Juliet seemed to miss him and her behavior was somewhat subdued from usual for a week or ten days, and then she perked up and behaved as usual.

About two weeks after Romeo passed away, Juliet suddenly stopped in her play. She looked at a space near her and she said in English, “Hi, Romeo. How are you? What are you doing?” After a pause of a minute or so, she said, “Bye-bye. Bye-bye Romeo.” Then she resumed her activity. I knew from her actions that Juliet was seeing Romeo. He had come to visit her. I could not see him and did not understand why. During his visit to her, the hair stood up on the back of my neck and head and I felt chills in my back. It was in midsummer and it was not cold. There had to be a reason.

A month later, the same thing happened once again. Again, it was obvious Juliet could see him but I could not. Yet I knew with all my being that Romeo was there, communicating with Juliet. Again, my hair stood on the back of my neck, as well as on my arms and chest. It felt prickly and uncomfortable, and once again I felt the chills up and down my back. Once again she told him “Bye-bye.” As soon as she resumed her normal activities, my hair lay back down and the chills subsided.

Six years have passed since the visits from Romeo to Juliet. There have not been any further visits. Juliet has never mentioned Romeo’s name again.

I never saw Romeo, but it was obvious that Juliet believed she did. There was something going on with my hair and the chills that were not normal. Just exactly what took place on these two occasions, I do not know and cannot explain. I am convinced that Romeo returned on those two occasions to say his farewells to Juliet and that their love for one another transcended the bonds of death. Others may not agree and think I have a screw loose somewhere, or at the very least, a weird imagination, but then, they weren’t there.


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