Pens, Writing, and A Couple of Birds


Did you know that I have cage mates? Well, they think of it that way. Though my workspace/cage is crammed to the brim with ink, paper, books, art supplies, and the usual stuff that goes in an office, there is a high shelf devoted exclusively to a pair of Society Finches. We are an odd threesome.

Both birds are physically challenged and best suited to cage life. In fact their kind do not exist in the wild. Whether by chance or design, they first appeared in aviaries in China more than three hundred years ago. They are considered a domestic finch and quite gentle though not inclined to interact with humans.

My pair can usually be found cuddled together on a perch, a content if not happy couple. They are not loquacious birds but do chat up the locals inciting a delightful riot of calls. They have also been known to scold me from time to time should I be inattentive or fail to meet their concept of a proper schedule or even skip my veggies since they partake of them, too. Thus the arrangement is of mutual benefit.

Even though Thing One and Thing Two complain little, the dynamics of a full social life are absent. In fact Society Finches have been known to hang out with friends to the exclusion of all else, even essential activities like procreating and raising their young. Such a social creature needs a larger flock so soon we will add another cage mate or two.

What does that have to do with pens and writing? Having things around us that bring joy and inspiration are of immeasurable value. My finch friends with all their tweets, twirls, and curious expressions, receive food, shelter, and care. They even toss me seeds from time to time as though to share the wealth. In the great outdoors, they would perish. In my home, they thrive. In return they oversee my work, chide me when I am lazy, and distract me when I need it most. They even make me smile and that is priceless. I wonder if I ever have the same effect on them…



  1. Nice musings 🙂


  2. Too often I busy myself to notice how life often “presents” us simply before our eyes.

    I enjoyed this post very much. Thank you.


  3. I ended up surfing the net to read articles about society finches, and then about other finches. More than interesting really. Since I have three cats, farm cats moved indoors,keeping finches is impossible for me at this point, but I’ll check in to learn more about them, and fountain pen inks too.


    • That’s so cool that you went to the effort to learn more about finches. Society Finches are easy to care for and live with especially compared to some of the other birds people keep indoors. Maybe someday you will find a place for a pair in your home.

      Cats and finches aren’t a great mix to be sure. Many dogs with finches are trouble, too. I’ve managed the latter but only by keeping my birds out of reach. However, my Shetland Sheepdog learned to accept both a budgie and a cockatiel. All interaction was closely supervised and Abby was remarkably tolerant.


  4. I just came across your blog for the first time tonight. I really enjoyed the posting about your finches. I had some zebra finches many years ago. I loved having birds. That is until my cat knocked down the cage one night and got one of them. That was quite upsetting, even though I did rescue him in time. It proved easier to find a new home for the birds than the cat. 😉

    One thing I found quite funny about your posting — the names of your birds! The same names given by an author I read recently for her ex husbands! What a hoot!



    • Welcome to my blog! Dr. Seuss gets credit for those memorable monikers in The Cat In The Hat though I can easily see them working well for former flames as well.


  5. There is something charming and victorian about both cage birds and fountain pens. 🙂


    • That’s funny. The cage sits atop a Victorian highboy chest. 🙂


  6. What a charming post. I do think you should name the finches though!


    • Thing One and Thing Two are names but most often I say, “Hey kids!” No one feels left out that way. Sometimes I call them Old Girl and Big Guy. However, they don’t mind what I call them so long as they get fresh food and water daily. Did I mention that Society finches are very easy companions?


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