|(sound of a large
crowd in the Olympic stadium. Along with the distant voices of the
crowd, there is the occasional screech of a parrot.)
Red: Well, the
Pionus team was certainly disappointed in those final scores, Howard.
I've rarely seen flock of birds so down-in-the beak. But they
certainly carried themselves well, don't you think?
Red I do. But Pionus are truly dignified birds and they always
display superb sportsbirdship. And up next we have the Macaw team
coming for this final Food Flinging event. The Macaws have
traditionally given a good showing in these competitions but the Apple
Toss is not their strongest event. Do you think there's any hope
for a medal today?
Red: Yes, I
do. Both Jesse and Pakshi Davies were strong in the preliminaries,
so strong that even the Toos know these are the birds to beat in this
they come now!
(The crowd noise grows and applause
sounds. There are several screeches of "good bird!" from the avian
Here's Pakshi Davies hopping out of the entry tunnel, and right behind
(The crowd roars and applause is
wild. A chant begins of "Jessseeee, Jessseeee, Jessseeee")
Davies! Just listen to that crowd, Red!
Jesse has always been a crowd favorite. She really knows how to
please an audience.
(The crowd becomes quieter)
Howard: Pakshi steps up to the line
now, picks up the slice of apple with his beak and climbs the ladder to
the competition perch. Oh! (sound of the
crowd crying out in empathy) Almost lost it! Those
apple slices are slippery, Red and if he drops it now, there's no chance
for a medal. No - he's fine. He's transferred the slice to
his claw to get a better grip.
Red: Smart bird, that Pakshi.
That claw clasp maneuver isn't new, though.
(the crowd is quiet now, feeling the tension of the moment)
Howard: That's right, Red.
I believe the credit for it goes to Paulie Conure. Pakshi lifts
his left claw and carefully takes the apple slice into his beak.
He flaps his wings and stands still, looking intently into the
distance. Now he's slowly pivoting to the left, then back to the right.
He pivots again and... and... Yes! (crowd
Roars again) He flings the apple full force,
tossing his head high as he goes.
it lands! (roar of approval from the crowd and
"Good Bird Good Bird" squaks are heard over that sound).
The marshals are running across the field and they place a small flag
just where the apple landed. The measuring tape is out and...
It looks good!, it's over six feet! It's very good, almost Pakshi's
second marshal is out with his tape measure and now he says something
into his cellphone. We'll wait on the scoreboard
(the crowd roars again) six feet, 2.75
inches! A very good fling from Pakshi Davies.
Red: Now it's
Jesse's turn. She walks quickly to the line, bends down and picks up her
slice of apple with her beak. She lifts her head and shakes the
apple...adjusts it with her claw. She looks around, at the crowd, at the
line and then in the direction in which she must throw the apple. She
checks the wind, noting that it is wafting slightly from right to left
as she stands. Jesse jogs up and down on the spot, then shakes her
wings. She takes a few deep breaths, then mounts the competition perch.
One more deep breath ( the crowd is now totally
silent), and... she lunges (the
crowd roars to life again) hurling the apple slice high!
Its a great throw,
(the crowd can be heard yelling "NO"!) it's going
out of bounds and it.... OH! It hit the marshal on the head!
(the crowd gasps and grows quiet again)
The marshal must have lost sight of the apple in the sun!
He's lying on his back now but he's just moved his arms so I think he's
going to be OK. Yes, the medics are signaling that he's fine.
(polite applause from the crowd)
Red: What happens
Howard: Well, in
the ancient days of Olympic sports, of course, a mistake like that would
lead to only one thing...
Red: the cat?
Red. But these days, according to international competition rules,
one out-of-bounds throw (for each competitor) could be declared a "no
throw" and she could be up again. But we'll have to wait until the
official gains consciousness to learn his decision.
Red: We'll take a
short commercial break and be right back. Still ahead: the
Antique-Chair Chewing event. Stay tuned!