In Search of a Friend

kitten-hunting-in-tall-grass-sheila-fitzgeraldPhoto by Sheila Fitzgerald

My Real Memoir

Trees, chickens and geese. These were my friends. I loved them, but there was something of a communication barrier. The trees were great listeners, and happy to cradle me in their arms all day, but they said very little. The farm fowl were frequently in a fowl mood (sorry). I was fascinated with insects, but they were indifferent to me. Mice were fraidy cats, or rather afraid of the many cats that called Frieda’s Magical Garden home.

I was almost five and needed someone to play with. For a while, I hung out with a horny toad, but after a month or two he disappeared. I suppose he’d met a sweet horny lizard girl and moved away to start a family (they grow up so fast).

My baby sitter Frieda raised and sold parakeets. They lived in big walk-in cage behind her house. I’d let myself in and stick out my arms, hoping they’d land on me and nibble affectionately at my ears. But they mostly just want out.

So I set them free!

I watched with delight as half of Frieda’s 200 or so parakeets flew out the door and into the orange grove behind the house. It felt good. I was the Great Liberator of Keetkind!

Frieda didn’t agree. That was the only time I recall ever hearing her yell. Over the next few days, she and her husband Alfred plucked most of the compliant critters out of the trees and returned them to their home, where Good Ol’ Frieda cared for them and gave them three square trays of seeds a day.

Then I found two feral ranch cats wandering about in the unplanted field. They were fresh out of kittendom like me, but didn’t immediately see me as a kindred soul.

So I captured them and trapped them under a milk basket on Frieda’s front porch, putting a brick on top for good measure. When Mom came to pick me up I insisted they’d “followed me home.” So that night, she and Dad agreed to let me keep my furry new black and grey friends. I gave them the wildly inventive names of “Blackie” and “Greyie.”

Blackie and Greyie liked to eat. That was pretty much it. And then, a month later, they ran away. What can you say? The gypsy life was in their blood.

Once again I had no friends, or at least not the interactive type. Then, a few months later, I spotted a weasel in our back yard. No, it wasn’t my first friend.

But it led me to her.

My Real Memoir is a series. To read the next one, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to In Search of a Friend

  1. Pingback: Attack of the Giant Spider and Other Tales from My Childhood | Mitch Teemley

  2. Eva Hnizdo says:

    Sounds like fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lokesh Sastya says:


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Lee/Lady Quixote says:

    The only friends I had at age four were my doll babies, a rolling pin that I played with in the sandbox, and the walnut trees, too big for climbing but great for shade and walnuts. When I was six, we moved to a new house where I had a squirrel friend. For real! Then a black and white stray cat came along and had a litter of multicolored kittens in the woodpile. The cats all liked to eat, too, and they purred when I pet them. Sweet!

    Unfortunately, my squirrel friend left the neighborhood when the cats moved in. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  5. robstroud says:

    What a nice telling of a wonderful story. It reminded me of getting parakeets for my children while in LA visiting a friend who raised them in a large home aviary. He gave me a pair, and the only small box he had available for transporting them back to Sacramento–a Kentucky Fried Chicken meal box.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t drive on that trip; I flew. You can imagine what the people around me thought as I sat there with the KFC box on my lap, with all of the skittering and occasional chirps, coming from that fried poultry container.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. You sure know how to keep your readers coming back. I just moaned like my children used to when I quit at a cliff-hanger spot. Great story, Mitch, I can’t wait for the rest.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Awwwwww. The only friends I had at age four was a barbie doll and a dog (lucky) he died in a car accident 😭😭😭I still miss lucky. We were super close

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lizzy Timlin says:

    I look forward to the sequel!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Poor Frieda–she had to stay on her toes with you! How many episodes have you written now about young Mitch? And you’re only up to age four? The Teemley Memoirs will need to be a boxed set! (But they’ll sell like hotcakes–such fun reading!)

    Liked by 3 people

  10. gpavants says:


    Love it, want to hear more of it. I love your ideas and comic timing. Great minds “clink, clank, clunk” alike.

    In Christ,


    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had few friends growing up. I am an only child. Now at 80 I miss having brothers and/or sisters. My kids are close to each other and are friends for life.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You’re lucky you survived the Great Parakeet Liberation! I’ll just bet Frieda was yelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ann Coleman says:

    I look forward to reading more! I know I was lucky as a child, because I had a friend right next door, and another one across the street. We’re still friends now, as a matter of fact, all these years later!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. haoyando says:

    LOL. That’s very funny.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. oneta hayes says:

    Mitch, I have no bird nor kitten story to tell. I’m showing up here to tell you I enjoyed “Healing River” a lot. It was an excellent movie; a worthy tale to teach us how one woman played the part of Jesus with hand outstretch and a heart moved with compassion. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Oneta, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed Healing River! May I encourage you to share it on Facebook or other social media, and to leave a brief review at Amazon? (The more reviews it gets, the more they recommend it). Also, you can rate it from 1 to 10 stars on IMDb (link below). Note: IMDb only recognizes the rating if you rate a few other movies, as well. Thanks and blessings, my friend!


  16. lilyofthevalley777 says:

    Another comical story Mitch, you know how to bait us to come back for more. Love it! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. lilyofthevalley777 says:

    Oh and your pursuit to liberate the parakeets reminded me of my little sister about that age that wanted to take our neighbors goldfish for a ride in her red wagon, and in the process flooded their basement.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. lilyofthevalley777 says:

    She started out with taking the hose in their basement and filled the wagon with water then poured the goldfish 🐠 in. She just wanted to give them a ride and some sunshine, which had to have been in the summer, because we lived in rainy Seattle at the time. In her great excitement, she left the water hose running inside their house, (who knows what 4yr olds great ideas are in real time?). Wait a minute, I must have been her accomplice if I was an eye witness to this unfortunate but in hindsight, a funny incident…but she was the one who got in trouble. Not me, uh uh…as Sargent Schultz would say in Hogan’s Heros. “I know nothing. I see nothing….!” Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: Weird Eddie | Mitch Teemley

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  21. Pingback: Cats I Have Known and Loved | Mitch Teemley

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