Cīsō and the Human with the Strange Google History

Submitted into Contest #73 in response to: Write about someone who is given a bird for the holidays but doesn’t know how to take care of it.... view prompt

17 comments

Christmas Happy Funny

You still remember the day your Google history changed forever, the Christmas where another being entered your perfectly messy home.

As a writer, you needed to do a lot of research, you told yourself, as you Googled ‘how to make homemade bomb with febreze can’ and ‘febreze can explosion radius’ and other things the Secret Service would be concerned about. But this all changed, when your mother decided that you were living a disappointment of a life (you starkly disagreed), and got you a bird for Christmas.

Writers aren’t meant to take care of things. They can barely take care of themselves, with their aha-moments and sobbing over a character development session that took a turn for the worse, or whatever it is that these sentimental beings do.

As one nearly always does when one is overwhelmed, you looked for two things: something of comfort, and the nearest device (the iPad on which you waste countless hours watching cat videos or whatever it is that you sentimental being do.)

Resisting the urge to go to YouTube, you start googling.

pet bird name ideas

meaningful bird name ideas

google translate

how to take care of a parrot

what toys do yellow cockatoos like

what color do yellow cockatoos like

best sale for bird toys

do i have to buy special food for birds

can i feed my bird goldies crackers

do goldies crackers have avocado content

what are yellow cockatoos allergic to

what to do if my bird eats something allergic

how to know if my bird is allergic

yellow cockatoo illnesses

how to avoid yellow cockatoo illnesses

At 1 AM and after thoroughly freaking yourself out, you settled on the name ‘Cīsō’ because it meant ‘scream’ in Gujarati (according to Google Translate) and your bird had been screaming this whole time, so it seemed like a good fit until you woke up in the morning at 11 AM and decided that it was a PERFECT fit, because you probably would have continued sleeping until 1 PM (like your usual schedule) and Cīsō had woken you up with a particularly shrill shriek and you made him quiet for a bit by appeasing him with a Goldie’s cracker, which (as you had Googled in the night before) did NOT have avocado content and would not kill him.

Your life is now:

Wake up (Cīsō wants a cracker and to be let out of his cage to flap around your tiny flat)

Start working (wear noise cancelling headphones because more than fifteen crackers would be bad for a human, let alone a bird)

Lunch (Cīsō doesn’t like cabbage)

Work again (but this time Cīsō is napping)

Tea time (quietly whisper to your mom as to how you’re SO GRATEFUL)

Spending time with Cīsō (you’ve taught him how to not attack people so far)

Working again (noise cancelling headphones)

Sleep (Cīsō is a very considerate bird and is quiet once he sees your blanket is out and you are sleeping at your desk because you bed is covered with paper and bird poop)

***

Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.

I MEAN

Everything changed when your mom came over to visit.

From the moment she entered, you knew you had to be careful with your mom’s and Cīsō’s interactions. Here they were, two strong personalities bossing around a poor standby (you). Sure enough, they butted heads.

That week, a fight emerged in your flat. It was between your mom and Cīsō, and as you expected, your mom won. Cīsō was reduced to a quiet, well-mannered bird that didn’t start screaming as soon as you stepped towards the kitchen. At least, for the time your mom was staying.

The next few weeks, Cīsō was very very careful whenever you opened the door, fearing that the short lady with the beehive hair would return. But, bless you, he’d forgotten all about it within a month, and returned to his old habits.

Christmas week came by. One day, when Cīsō was inside his cage, you remembered nostalgically the night you stayed up to Google things about birds. Your train of thought was rudely interrupted by a text message. The tension in the air was so thick, even Cīsō would have difficulty biting through it.

I’m coming to your house for Christmas. Tell Cīsō darling that I’m bringing him some lovely broccoli.

You gulped.

“Cīsō, Mama’s coming home for Christmas. And she’s bringing you broccoli.”

The bird recoiled at the sound of the word. He had no idea what broccoli was, but he decided he didn’t like it.

You glanced up from your screen. “You might even like it!”

Cīsō did not like how the human who gave him food was talking. He screeched in your direction to feel like he was in power again, and pecked out another bead from the toy you bought him only last week.

Only four beads left. Only four days left.

***

Your mother arrived, with one suitcase, a bag of broccoli in one hand and a new video game in the other (writers needed lots of breaks and lots of inspiration).

When she arrived, Cīsō was sitting on your desk. He physically stopped, reared his head in her direction, then to you. He didn’t screech, instead, he hobbled back to his cage like an injured old man and stayed there for the rest of the evening. (“Aww, he’s become so disciplined! You actually did something good!”, she remarked, and for your ego’s sake, you ignored her.)

Cīsō would definitely remember the short lady with the beehive hair for a different reason now. Your mother showered him with broccoli and he liked it, so now she’s ingrained into his memory as the lady who first gave him something better than a cracker.

If I said that he didn’t start screaming from the moment she left, or didn’t destroy any more toys, or became a quiet and well-mannered bird even after your mom left, I would be lying.

One thing that I’m not lying about, however, is that you honestly did love him. He did scream and he did break things and he did poop on your bed: but he also loved you. He just… showed it in another way.

(I think. He could’ve been a maniacal bird who wanted to take over the universe, but it’s not like I know.) 

December 23, 2020 17:22

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17 comments

Maya W.
19:04 Dec 23, 2020

Hey Priya! Nice work! You made me laugh out loud a few times during this story, and that doesn't happen much, so props to you! I do have some constructive criticisms, though - you jump out of second person a couple times which seems to read like breaking the fourth wall. I'm not sure if that's intentional or not, but it's something that should be clarified if not fixed. Also, the ending didn't need to be in parenthesis, it sorta takes away from the story. Also also, I feel like the main characters could be further developed. But all in all, ...

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13:27 Dec 24, 2020

Heya, Maya! Thanks for the critics, I’ll be sure to make the changes! And yes, the fourth wall breaking wasn’t intentional, but I’m not sure how to clarify/fix it... I’ll look through the story again and fix those mistakes. Thanks for taking the time to review my story, it really helps me to identify my mistakes and grow from them! Yeah, I’ll try!

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Maya W.
15:07 Dec 24, 2020

Of course! And if you can, feel free to leave a review on one of mine, if you have the time!

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Andrea Magee
11:00 Jul 07, 2021

Such a cute funny story!

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Ana Govindasamy
08:08 Feb 12, 2021

Ahah I love this! Solid ATLA reference right there. Loved it!

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08:47 Feb 12, 2021

Haha I wanted to meet more ATLA fans so I just hid a “secret” message LMAOOO

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Ana Govindasamy
09:11 Feb 12, 2021

😂😂😂 ATLA is the best :D

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LOL this is so funny! You did great!

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18:15 Dec 30, 2020

Thank you! It means a lot to me ^^ Inspiration was my bird so props to him :’)

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Your bird is actually like that? You must have a lot of weird and funny memories, then! ;)

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19:29 Dec 30, 2020

He hates me but loves my dad :’) No kidding, he actually has a hate/maybe-like relationship with me. He always screams when he sees me but he whistles for my dad and my mom and anyone else T-T Luckily my cat likes me most so I’m happy ehehe

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Two of my three kittens like me, that's my cat's Cutie and Banana, but Luke Skywalker (no lie, check my bio, it's in there, too) doesn't like me much. He must think I'm Darth Vader or someone LOL

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08:14 Dec 31, 2020

My cat says to tell to your cats- *single child laughter* LOL that’s sad tho

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should Tanjikku continue?

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05:34 Jan 05, 2021

ABSOLUTELY!!!

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