fiendish beasts simply weren't to be found!  It was then that I noticed the Senegal staring,  As his eyes flashed with anger I saw he was glaring
Towards the side of the room at an overturned pail.  I followed his gaze and saw a flash of white tail.  Holding my breath as I approached with great care,  Was it possible both could be hiding in there?  I snatched up the bucket and the villains were exposed, They knew they were busted and for a second they froze,  Then the Cockatoo shriek and scrambling of feet,  They raced for their cage in hasty retreat.
I slammed the door shut as I trembled   with rage,  "Don't you two ever, ever come out of your cage!"  They stared at me smugly cheeks puffed with contentment,  Their mission accomplished they ignored my resentment.  "I'll clean up tomorrow." I said aloud with a sigh  As I walked toward the steps one 'Too said "bye bye."  As I turned with a grin I felt suddenly calm,  Their sweet little voices could act as a balm.  For along with their mischief, they brought love and fun,  It was hard to stay angry despite what they'd done.  My jangled nerves and life's hectic pace,  Had made me forget what was in my face.  I didn't need gifts, fancy stuff from the store.  I had all I needed, my birds and much more!
My dear friends and family, my health and my spouse,  Everything that mattered was right here in this house.
So Santa I thank you but I do not need a lot,  I'm learning to be grateful for all that I've got.
If you come down my chimney to leave something new,  Just leave me some padlocks so I can lock up the 'Toos!!

reprinted from the West Valley Bird Society
November 1998 newsletter

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the flights,  Not a bird was stirring since I turned off the lights.
Clean dishes were stacked by the freezer with care,  So in the morning they would be filled with fresh healthy fare.  The babies were handfed, the pet birds out to play,  Everyone was settled - I was done for the day.
When down from the basement there arose such a clatter,  That I ran for the stairs to see what was the matter.
I raced down the steps and turned down the light,  Glancing first to the left and then to the right.  It was then that I noticed the now empty spot,  In the cage where the Cockatoos should be but were not!  "The Goffins are missing" I yelled to my spouse,  While I shuddered to think what they'd do to the house.  My fears were well founded I soon came to know.
As I surveyed the destruction in the bird room below.  Feeding doors had been opened, the dishes all tossed,
Bags were ripped open their contents all lost.  The marauders unfastened from the cage tops each toy, which they tossed at the occupants below with such joy.  The other birds sulked as they viewed the whole mess,
This Cockatoo duo had created such stress!  I searched through the room, my frustration profound,  Those two

Presidents Pen