He shrugged off his work clothes and changed into clothes clean enough to make his momma happy. He opened the door to the bird sanctuary and was greeted by a great load of squacking and racketing of cages. He made his way through a little path, occasionally stopping to say “Hello you cutey,” or “Jim, how’s that beak of yours?” or “Shandra, you smell. But you seem to be liking that new bird feed, huh?”
Finally he made it to his most prized position. The herm.
And the herm at the moment was sleeping, lying curled up like the sweet thing it was in a corner of the cage. Hector noted that it hadn’t touched the food yet. He picked up the dish and sniffed it – smelled fresh – jabbed a finger in it lick -- tasted fresh. He set the dish back in the cage again and checked the water – yup, fresh as the morning dew.
He took out the tape recorder, “Seven thirty a.m., start of day one. The herm is sleeping, hasn’t eaten yet.” He walked around the cage. She was still a mess all right. The one-night red hair dye was weeping out of that straw blonde hair, onto her tank top, cheeks and naked shoulders. A nasty bruise blackened her left temple. A mean streak of rash-burn grazed her arms, and pin pricks of blood seeped through the thin fabric of the tank top.
“Specimen in poor condition.”