Tag Archives: Phoenix Landing.org

Guest Post: The Crone and Her Familiars


A guest post by writer Frances Wood:

I grew up with dogs. Inherited a cat when I was in my 30s. Gave my heart away – forever – to a border collie named Zephyr who died of her old age when I was barely 50. And now that I have white hair and something of an attitude, I’ve adopted a parrot.

And not just any parrot: a rejected parrot; a rescue parrot. A gorgeous guy (see photo) who has enough attitude for a thousand menopausal women – which is sort of the definition of a parrot. Just like a lass approaching puberty, I was attracted by his beauty. A lumpy and land-bound human, I was envious of his wings. Being a literary type (remember Treasure Island?) I let my imagination wander in the direction of old-lady pirates. I mean, why not? Haven’t we all known old ladies who would have made marvelous pirates?

What I didn’t know – or perhaps don’t remember from my early reading – is that parrots don’t need humans to make themselves complete. Parrots are perfectly piratical all on their own.

It’s humans who need the dressing up. We need familiars: dogs to hug and share our secrets with when we are little; cats to scorn us when we’re older and maybe a tad too sure-of-ourselves; that one special pet who steals a heart away and then gives it back with love and memories; and a parrot to remind us what we really are.

Because this is something I’ve discovered in my crone age: we are small. Tiny, but infinite. Fortunate in that we possess the kinds of shoulders that are capable of bearing beauty.

Phoenix Landing.org is the wonderful group I got Taji from. Like so many pet rescue societies, they do marvelous work.

Photo Above is Taji on his perch. Behind him is Rosemary, the main character in Becoming Rosemary, Frances Wood’s first novel.

Photo Below is a picture of Frances, taken when she visited her dad in California. To learn more about Frances and her writing, check out www.francesmwood.com.