By GABBY MUGANG
CHEETAH is the name of a wild cat with a spotted fur similar to the leopard found in the African continent.
But in a small village called Gungu in Jiwaka, Cheetah is the name of a little talkative cockatoo.
The white cockatoo is handsome and charming. It talks nicely to everyone and especially kids are its favourites. When small children come around the little parrot would greet them with the chant: “Hello koki, hello koki.” Hence, the kids would get very excited and also reply with ‘hello koki, hello koki.’
This makes the cockatoo more excited and it would laugh, scream and dance, flapping its wings and jumping up and down. This gets the kids on their feet. They too would follow every action of Cheetah’s. This makes the cockatoo happier and crazier and the fun and excitement stops only when the children say good-bye and leave.
At home Cheetah is a non-stop talker, it talks and talks. It also loves singing. Cheetah’s favourite songs are My hands are clapping and Jesus loves me this I know. The handsome can also imitate people laughing.
Now about imitating, Cheetah is a real pro! It can copycat people speaking, pigs screaming, dogs barking, roosters crowing, cats meowing and birds whistling.
Now about birds many times this little imitator tricks them. The cockatoo would hide in the trees and watch when other birds come around. Quietly it would whistle at them. Taking Cheetah as one of their kind, they would reply and look around. Cheetah would stay very quiet and then give a very loud scream and a very mean laugh, sometimes really scaring the birds away! This little copycat guy is sometimes really mean and sneaky. He acts like a boss or a little king and thinks that no bird should come and play around his territory.
His favourite word is ‘Nelson’ which happens to be his “daddy’s” name. Every day the cockatoo says ‘Nelson, Nelson, Nelson’ until one time his dad became very angry and changed his name to Pinde. Realising that the cockatoo began saying ‘Nelson Pinde, Nelson Pinde’ this time calling out both names which really shocked his dad.
Oh and Cheetah knows the names of other family members too. Dad Nelson has other brothers named Manfred and Aki and a sister named Ogac. The chatterbox parrot knows their names very well and sometimes when hungry it would call out to his uncles and aunt for food.
Cheetah’s much-loved place is up in the trees as it loves relaxing in the cool breeze and eating fruits and seeds of trees. The tiny cockatoo also loves eating other foods like peanuts, corns, pineapples, guavas, passion fruits, bananas, sugarcanes and sweet potatoes. If the family fails to give him food, Cheetah would go to their gardens and help himself to whatever he sees, sometimes making the family so mad.
Sometimes Cheetah thinks that he is the only animal to be given best treatment and that he owns everything at home. At times he gets jealous of dogs and cats at home and fights with them until one time the dogs gave the tiny parrot a good beating. That was a good lesson for this little jealous guy and so nowadays Cheetah always maintains a good friendships with the dogs.
Cheetah has a naughty side to him too as snipped power lines at home once. This landed him in his cage several denying him freedom to move around freely.
But Cheetah is always the best! The handsome parrot is really unique and admired by everyone at home and in the surrounding community. Everyone in the family loves and adores Cheetah so much and always gives him the best treatment.
He was only six months old when adopted into the family and it has been living with them for 14 years now and is sometimes regarded as the last born in the family.
The little talkative cockatoo is always grateful to be embraced into a nice family and will live with them the rest of its life.
- This story is one of a collection of short stories which will come out in a school journal and distributed to schools throughout the country. Gabby Mugang is an author and freelance journalist. Her first book titled Mugang Mugarewec Bitenggere –A Pioneer Missionary to the Highlands of New Guinea is still out on the market. Interested readers can order copies through email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 76474157.