When I was about 12, I was riding bikes with my friend Nicole. We were riding down the back alleys that ran behind houses and I found an old bird cage that someone had thrown out with the trash. Ever the rummager, I took it back to the house and cleaned it up. My Dad had told me stories of his pet parakeet, Tuffy, and I loved the name. So when I got my own parakeet I named him Tuffy, Jr.
Tuffy was cool. He would hang out on my shoulder or perch on my finger for hours. His best trick was his equestrian talent.
Growing up, my life centered around horses and riding, so one of my favorite toys was the Playmobil horse show set. I had a Jeep and trailer, horses with blankets, and lots of jumps. I couldn't find a picture of the exact set, since this was some 20 years ago, but this will give you an idea.
I would set up all the little jumps in a row, and Tuffy would go jump jump jump right over all of them. Tuffy could also say a few phrases, like "Pretty Bird". He turned out to be a really great pet for a preteen.
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