New Entries and new illustrations to the Animal Superheroes post compelled me to post this again at the

“Top O’ The Heap!” Enjoy all of the newest contributions!


KRYPTO!

Krypto is found at this fabulous site!: http://fortheloveofthedogblog.com/just-for-fun/its-a-bird-its-a-plane-no-its

There have been quite a few animal Superheroes. I’m not talking about the Lassie and Rin-Tin Tin type dogs that were really smart, brave and the Boy Scouts of the animal world. These were wonderful heroes, but they were totally normal dogs. They didn’t have X-ray vision or supersonic smell capabilities and they couldn’t fly. I’m talking about fictional Superhero animals like “Krypto,” Superman’s dog.

There are quite a few animal Superheroes. Two of my favorites were Fearless Fly and Atom Ant. Okay, okay these guys are insects. Picky, picky, picky…

Yes, I used to watch both of these itty-bitty superhero cartoons.

And then there were these guys:

Yes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…but they were popular after my time. All I know about them is that they ate pizza and that’s only because I once ran into the marketing guys that were putting together the Pizza Hut ad campaign for the franchise on a transcon from L.A. to JFK. We were on a DC10 if that tells you how long ago that was.

But where is the Superhero Parrot? How come nobody ever came up with a “Super Psittacine?”  What would his name be? What’s the story behind his super power? I have SOOO many questions! Hmmm.

I think it’s time to remedy that pressing issue and there’s only one way to solve this dilemma.

Yes, Parrot Nation is having a contest!

Here are the rules:

1.)  One entry per person, but collaboration is allowed. If the winning entry is a collaboration, we’ll work out the details for the prizes.

2.)  Neatness and spelling make a difference.

3.)  Write a description of our parrot hero including his “Superhero” name. If you can cobble together a photograph of your own “Superhero Bird” using photoshop, all the better! A drawing or other medium would work. Can’t do photoshop but like play-dough? Have at it!  Creating some sort of visual would go a long way in securing the win. (By the way, we here at “PN” love capes!) But I’m really going for a great backstory. Where is he or she from? What is their “Credo.”How did he get his superpowers? Does he have a sidekick like Batman has Robin? Superman and Krypto? The Green Hornet and Kato?

4.) The winner will receive a personally autographed canvas bag from Dr. Irene Pepperberg at the Alex Foundation. Irene and The Alex Foundation was gracious enough to sponsor this contest. I think Alex was a real “Superhero” in the Avian World and this contest is dedicated to him and the work and research Irene is currently doing.

For some inspiration, I give you a clip of two of the favorite Dynamic Duos of the 60’s:

The contest ends at noon on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011. That’s two weeks from today. I will be posting your entries as they are received at Facebook as soon as I have a minute. A “roundup” of all the best entries will be posted here at the end of the contest. To post the “visuals” to me, just send them to me at Facebook and post them on my wall, or email me here and I’ll send you an email address where to send them.  And remember, the winner will receive a canvas bag personally inscribed to you and autographed by Irene Pepperberg!

I wish you all of the superpower luck in the Superhero world!

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Our first entry from Kelly Sampson from Arizona. Her entry is “The Green Flash!” Check out her Eclectus and his superpowers! Click on the image for the link to the Flash’s website to see the entire art piece. So far, Flash is Stylin’ the Bird Superhero World!

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We have submission #2! Arby Macaw from Ventura, California has this FABULOUS entry! Now this is tasty! He looks just amazing! What a dude!

I’m the “Arbonator.” I’m from the future and have been sent back as a half-cyborg to help fight Parrot abuse and injustice. If you’re a bad guy watch out! My credo is “I’ll be Raaaaak” and I mean it. I work alone and don’t have a side kick or a sissy cape. My bionic-beak is enough to discourage abusers and save the day!

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Facebook Public Figure, Sirocco the Kakapo has submitted this compelling passage for our nifty contest. We love Kakapos and are proud to feature Sirocco here at the Superhero Contest! You can find Sirocco at Facebook here: “Sirocco the Kakapo.”

Skrraark! I’m Sirocco the kakapo and I am, without a doubt, the most super parrot!
Gerald Durrell said that ‘If naturalists go to heaven… I hope that I will be furnished with a troop of kakapo to amuse me in the evening instead of television’.
Douglas Adams (author The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) said kakapo are as affectionate as a dog and as playful as a kitten. He also said we have a song like an unreleased collection of Pink Floyd studio outtakes, but I’m not sure if that’s a compliment!
Kakapo are large (the heaviest in the world), flightless and nocturnal parrots. You could add to that incorrigible, amorous and extremely rare. Did you see the famous clip of when I tried to mate with zoologist Mark Carwardine on the BBC television series Last Chance to See? Worth a look!

Last Chance to See

You can catch up with me for conservation news and kakapo fun at Twitter:

Spokesbird

Good luck with trying to find a parrot more super than me!

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Tracy Hilka of Bella Embroidery submitted this charming story of a Superhero pigeon and his sidekick, a worm named Timmy. Enjoy this homespun tale of dropping anvils and saliva-covered worms!


My superhero bird is going to have super powers! By day he’s just a normal pigeon living in the park!  But when crime breaks out, he hides behind a park statue and becomes a SUPER HERO! His super power is that he shits anvils! He flies over cities dropping bombs on criminals!  He’s name will be Horatio. He wears a leather flight helmet and goggles! His goggles have sites in them to help him aim. He sees a guy stealing a car….tracks him…aims…and drops an anvil poop on his head! When the police arrive they always find the anvil and know that Old Horatio was saving the good citizens again!

Like all good Super Heroes, Horatio has a side kick. Horatio is a worm named Timmy. Timmy saw Horatio changing behind the statue and KNOWS his real identity! BUT he has kept the secret and the two have become partners! They get into all kinds of shenanigans together! Like the time Horatio had to pretend he had eaten Timmy, when people saw them talking together out of costume in the park!! Horatio couldn’t have people think he was a friend to a worm after all! That would have definitely blown their cover!! But when the people left and Horatio spit out a saliva covered Timmy, laughs were aplenty!! Timmy can normally be seen sitting on Horatio’s back as he drops his anvils! He wears a leather helmet and goggles too! Although it is just for looks!! Yes Horatio and Timmy are fun for the whole family!!!!


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Melissa Kowalski entered her little guy in the contest! Get a load of this “Superbird’s” head!

“Hello, you can call me “Handsome” or “Pretty Bird.”  A long time ago, I bit my person’s husband, drawing blood.  When I realized I liked the taste of it (helps keep my feathers nice and red, too), I bit him every opportunity that I got.  Finally, he divorced my human.  I was happy he was gone.  But then, I kept noticing subtle changes in my appearance whenever I looked in the mirror in my cage.  First, feathers starting dropping off my head.  I’d never been a plucker, so this was a mystery.  Then my beak started shrinking and become softer.  Huh, soft bill, what?!  Then my beak and mouth separated.  How new and strange to smell from a different place than where I eat!  Outer ears started growing, too.  When it was all said and done, I looked in the mirror and realized what had happened.  All that delicious blood contained DNA which co-mingled with my own during digestion.  Now I know why vampire bats are vampire bats, and lorikeets are lorikeets, and never the twain shall meet.  I embraced my new identity, though the others in the bird room did so reluctantly.  One day, hopping around in the human’s playroom, I found some of Ken’s sunglasses and tried them on.  Then I knew, with great looks comes great responsibility.  Thus, a super hero was born.

“Loriman the Great” was created to serve womankind all around the world!  Singles, divorcees, widows, … ah heck, even married ones!  I am every woman’s dream.  Cute, cuddly, soft, sweet, and charming.  And don’t forget, it’s OK to fall in love with me because I’m half man!  My super powers are my charm and good looks.  My job is to mend all the lonely hearts out there, one or two women at a time.  Here, I am pictured with the divorcee who let herself go after her husband left.  She’d been depressed, overeating, and turning into a couch potato.  Then I let her have my heart.  Now she’s finally getting up out of bed and smiling!  Once she turns around completely, I’ll be flying out the door on to my next mission.  Could YOU be next?”

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Our latest entry in the “Superhero Contest” is from Sukey who lives in California! I think Sukey has it going on here! Love this entry due to the mortarboard and the spectacles! Oop, can’t forget that snappy bow-tie. How Pee-Wee-esque!

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Here we have a WONDERFUL submission from “Under My Wing” Parrot Refuge. Paula Ashfield is the Director there and this submission illustration was designed by board member and the graphic designer, Lauren Bax.  Read the story of Lance here: Family calls a rescued bird their hero. Now come on…this is a Superhero; and it’s not fiction. Love this submission!

Here at Under My Wing Avian Refuge, we have a REAL hero living among us – Lance: the SUPER-too! Back in November of 2010, early one dark and cold morning, something awoke Lance, the patron bird of the sanctuary – it may have been his SUPER-ior senses or just his animal instinct that awoke him – but whatever it was, Lance knew something was terribly wrong. He woke his sleeping family, who realized the smoke alarm was beeping. A problem with the furnace in the utility room adjacent to the living quarters of more than 130 birds had caused an explosion sending smoke, soot, ash and other toxic debris throughout the house. But because of Lance’s actions, no human or avian lives were lost – a major catastrophe had been averted because of one SUPER bird! The sanctuary has almost fully recovered from this accident, and all the birds are still happy and healthy!  Thank you Lance, you are our SUPER Hero!_______________________________________________________________________________ 

Patricia Kalmar has submitted an amazing entry! I’m loving this due to the richness in detail and description! Beautiful work from the story-telling right down to the “Tomato-red talons!” Excellent entry!

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Let me be honest. I haven’t read this yet.  I haven’t had time. But I will! I can tell you this: I’m totally loving the illustrations! Bart, “Bart, Bully and Friends” have become a force to be reckoned with!

BARTMAN, BLOOMER BOY, IRON BURD & HELLO KITTY GURL, SAVE PARROTDOM!


Our Superheroes!

Splatface!

Here is the story:

BARTMAN, BLOOMER BOY, IRON BURD & HELLO KITTY GURL, SAVE PARROTDOM

By: Nancy Fasino, Barbara Altenberndt, Kathy Scheulin & Jennifer Sopranzi

The unrest began slowly when word leaked that Splatface’s minions had broken into Bartingham Palace and stolen the Rainbow Twizzlers. The RT’s (as they were known), were kept under tight security in Bartingham Basement but as bad luck would have it, one of the security Conures was a double agent in Splatface’s employ and with the help of some tainted cashews, he disabled the other security Conures and let the minions into the super secret Basement where they made quick work of the locked foraging puzzle inside which the RT’s were kept.

Legend held that if the RT’s were ever to be removed from Bartingham Palace, the years of peace and prosperity would come to an end and anarchy would reign which is why Bartman and Bloomer Boy tried to keep it as quiet as possible while they hatched a plan to recover the RT’s. However, rumors were becoming persistent and small pockets of unrest and rioting had begun to break out in certain areas of Parrotdom. It was at this point that Bartman and Bloomer Boy sought out Hello Kitty Gurl and Iron Burd to help them devise a scheme to recover the RT’s from the diabolical and rather disgusting Splatface.

Bloomer Boy gazed out the large bay window. He could see the parrots gathering in the Palace square and knew that the marigolds recently planted by the gardeners would soon be trampled. He turned to Bartman- a  muscular and profoundly astute African Grey. “Barty” he sighed, as he tucked a package of marshmallow Peeps snugly into the snack department of his magic bloomers, “I think it’s time to pay a visit to Hello Kitty Gurl- she’s our best contact with Iron Burd, and it seems that word has gotten out despite our  efforts to keep this under wraps.” “It’s also been awhile since we’ve donned out super suits and I’d best make sure mine is clean and ready”.

Bloomer Boy, a multicolored Jenday Conure, waddled to the closet and taloned through his choices. There was a jaunty orange cape and several one piece unitards with his famous BB logo emblazoned on the chest. He chose  the cleanest one and struggled into it, then perused his reflection in the full length mirror. It was not too bad a fit- perhaps a bit tight in the tummy, but he could always wear an ampere belt. He sucked in his breath and noticed with dismay that the seams along the crotch had split. Okay he’d try not to display this part of his anatomy even though his meaty thighs were the base of his powers. Within his plump, feathery bloomers, he was able to store countless tools of the super trade- any equipment needed to invade, evade or escape during a daring escapade. Next to the grappling hooks, rappelling lines and lock picks, he expertly packed several muffins and peanut butter treats- being a superhero was hungry work.

While Bloomer Boy rummaged, Bartman rang his faithful houseman /manager /chauffeur /chef, Jeeves on his iPhone. “Jeeves? I’ll be needing my super suit freshly pressed….yes- Right away.” “Then bring the car around – don’t forget to pack the picnic basket for Bloomer Boy.” “ We’re heading over to see Hello Kitty Gurl.”

Bartman took the next few minutes to preen his extra special pink feathers which were his secret weapon. No birdie who gazed upon them was able to tell a lie or conceal information and at this critical juncture, Bartman and Bloomer Boy were going to need all the information they could get.  Splatface was out there somewhere with the RT’s and as sure as parrots like peanuts, there was an informant out there just waiting to spill the legumes.

“C’mon Bloomer Boy,  Jeeves should be downstairs with the car.” “ It’s time to see Hello Kitty Gurl and get this quest underway.”

Hello Kitty Gurl was up early as usual preparing sweet potato cranberry muffins for her early bird special. She’d brewed pots of her best selling almond hazelnut coffee and the mango tea was being steeped.  Her shop sat on the corner of Eclectus and Amazon avenue, one block from the town square and right next to the city park. It was small but tidy, with several tables and chairs all draped with hello Kitty tablecloths, a long counter with perches made from all natural guava wood, comfy perches in the windows and a large Boing perch hanging at the end of the counter for orders on the fly. There was even a small gift area at the far end of the counter with two free standing shelves filled with her beloved Hello Kitty merchandise. She’d just unpacked a new shipment of mugs, food bowls, beaded toys and her best selling item, the Hello Kitty Bell on a Stick.

Each day specials were listed on the large chalk board above the pastry cases. Menus were not an option since so many of her clientele were prone to paper shredding.  Nesters could be very destructive but they were hardy eaters and good for business- at least they were quiet, where as so many of her loyal patrons were screamers and loved to fling food everywhere.  It was a busy, sometimes frantic atmosphere but she loved it-  it was how each morning began at the Hello Kitty Cafe and Bakery but something seemed different the last few days.  She’d heard rumors and rumblings and even the Finch families seemed a bit more flighty than usual- something seemed amiss and it made her downies fluffy with anxiety. Before opening for the day she slipped quickly into the back room to check her list of supplies.  All the spice and herb racks were full and Hello Kitty Gurl knew how valuable these could be.  Just as the smell of cumin could reduce inhibitions, each had a use and power all its own. Yes, Hello Kitty Gurl had rare spices and herbs and she knew how to use them, but hopefully today wasn’t the day she’d need to.

It was a good thing Bartman had Jeeves pack a picnic basket for the 10 minute ride to the Hello Kitty Cafe & Bakery.  Bloomer Boy ate everything in it on the drive and then began shredding the basket itself. When they pulled up to the cafe, Hello Kitty Gurl was waiting at the door with a two deliciously warm Bart Claws and an almondmochafattefrappacinowhippy.

“I had a feeling I’d be seeing you both today- the rumors and rumblings are getting louder and it’s not Bloomer Boy’s empty crop,” she said. “If you can perch tight until the breakfast flock has flown, we can talk in my back room and see if we can’t get Iron Burd on video chat. I think he’s still in his beachside mansion with that little Sun Conure bimbette from Parrot Bay.”

Bartman and Bloomer Boy exchanged knowing looks while Bloomer Boy polished off both Bart Claws. They settled into the corner tree stand to work on the outline of a plan while waiting for the flock to disburse.  They were all too aware that time was running out and they needed to act fast if they were to retrieve the RT’s from Splatface and keep Parrotdom from falling into complete anarchy.

Billionaire and devastatingly handsome King Crayon (aka Iron Burd), studied the figures scrolling across his super high tech computer screen. There was something wrong–deeply wrong. Twizzler futures were down. Why, Bloomer Boy alone consumed enough Twizzlers to keep the stock price on a perpetual upward flight, but for the last two days the stock had first stalled, then stumbled, then began a slow decline. The King bent forward until his beak almost touched the computer screen.

“You’re going to need glasses if you sit so close to the screen.” The King heard the soft, sultry tone of his sleek, sexy and brilliant assistant, Baby. She shimmered up to his desk. “What’s up?” She asked.

“It’s these Twizzler futures. There’s something wrong. They are down.”

“Down?” Baby looked shocked. “Is Bloomer Boy sick?” Now she looked worried. She had a bit of a crush on Bloomer Boy.

“Not that I’ve heard.” “Even if he was, he would still eat enough Twizzlers to keep the stock price up. No, somebirdie is manipulating the stock.” “This is serious- he could bring down the whole market, crash the economy and threaten the free world.” “I’d better don my Iron Burd suit!” The King jumped up and reached for his high tech remote control Iron Burd suit device. One little click and birda bing, birda boom- he would be suited up like a giant metal bird warrior.

But before he could activate the remote device, Baby snatched it from his hand. “Hold on there superhero.” “Before you start shooting from the wing, why don’t you try to find out what’s really going on and who is responsible.” “I think you need to contact Bartman.” “Why don’t you head over to his place and talk to him?”

“Aw, can’t I wear my Iron Burd suit to Bartman’s place?” whined the billionaire industrialist and high tech superhero.

“No way- you know you always end up breaking the furniture when you wear that suit.” “Now just be a good billionaire and head over to Bartman’s house to find out what he knows.” “I’ll go with you- I’ll even let you drive the Conuremobile.”

Almost as soon as Iron Burd and Baby buckled into the Conuremobile, the 3D video screen began it’s Conure screech announcing an incoming call. Baby connected the video call while Iron Burd peeled out of the Iron Cave.

“Baby? Iron Burd? Bartman here.” (Barty leaned over to Bloomer Boy and Hello Kitty Gurl and said, “Wow- this BeakTime Video Chat is really clear!”)

“Bloomer Boy and I are with Hello Kitty Gurl at the Hello Kitty Bakery and Cafe. What’s your ETA?”

“Lift the screen! Lift the screen!” Baby squawked. “ All I can see are his bloomers!”

“That’s better. Jeez Bloomer Boy, what’s that all over your beak?”

“Whaamufsopt?”

“Nevermind, we’ll be there in 10.” Baby took a quick glance at the air speed indicator on the Conuremobile and said, “Make that 5.”

“We’re in Gurl’s super secret back room. Do you remember the password?”

“Pink tiara?”

“Yeah, that’s the one.” “We’ll see you shortly- oh, and I hope you’ve got some food with you.” “Bloomer Boy has nearly wiped out the pastry counter.”

“I’ll see what we can do. Catch ya in a few.”

Iron Burd turned to Baby, “I suppose we’d better stop at Starbeaks on the way.”

“I heard that,” Bloomer Boy grumbled.  He patted the emergency Peeps hidden safely in his pocket, “Hello Kitty Gurl has plenty of pastry left- don’t you, hunny?”

She threw him a sharp look over the top of her pink rhinestone glasses. “We do as of now, but Iron Burd won’t be here for another five minutes, so I suggest you give your pie hole a union break and tie on your thinking cap.”  “We’ve got to figure out where Splatface is holed up and my female instinct tells me that if we can find him, we’ll find the Rainbow Twizzlers.”

Splatface- just the thought sent a repulsive shudder through them, and even Bloomer Boy’s stomach roiled at the memory of the villain’s disgusting visage. Rumor was that an unfortunate lab incident had destroyed his face and body turning him into the very image of a steaming pile of excrement. Others said that it had happened earlier in the nest- that his egg had cracked, allowing avian waste matter to fuse permanently onto his developing embryo. Or perhaps he simply never bothered to preen. Regardless, it had created a monster and left him bitter and revengeful.

Hello Kitty Gurl used a stool to reach highest shelf of her exotic spice racks. She pushed aside the Tasmanian rosemary, stretching her talons to the dusty back corner where a small glass bottle of Haitian nutmeg rested. “Ahh, here it is- I’d almost forgotten these.”  She climbed down and pulled a long grater from the side drawer, plucked a fat nutmeg from the narrow vial, and began skillfully grating it into a pot of mango tea.

“These were a gift to me from a stewardess who flies regularly to Haiti,” she explained. “One of her Haitian passengers laid an egg during flight and she saved the day by quickly creating a nest from shredded headrest covers.”  “The passenger was so grateful she gave her this nutmeg and told her it was magic.”  “Of course my stewardess friend thought it was nonsense and gave it to me for the shop.”  “Now, we’ll let this steep a bit” she said, and placed four teacups on the table.  “But I remembered a tale my old granny told me of the magic nutmeg from the Caribbean- sure it’s a bit of voodoo, but the legend goes that if you drink it in tea, it will help you to solve anything that’s puzzling you- perhaps even unlock your deepest mysteries.”

Bartman inhaled the pot’s heady odor- “Mmmmm,  I’m feeling smarter already”, he quipped.  Just then the door opened and Iron Burd and Baby burst in. They scanned the scene and Iron Burd smiled, “I guess I didn’t need my super suit after all- it’s a tea party we’re having eh?”

Hello Kitty Gurl winked and pulled out two chairs, “Take a load off you two and have some mango tea.” She poured a cup for each, ignoring all baffled expressions and daintily sipped her own tea with a pinky talon extended.  Bloomer Boy attempted to copy her style but only managed to spill hot tea down the front of his super suit and onto the lace tablecloth.

“Why how strange,” remarked Baby- “I’ve suddenly remembered where I misplaced my cuttle bone three years ago- it’s in the picnic hamper stored in my cage basement!”

“Sluuurrrp-sluuurrrp… hey- it just came to me that I left my lava lamp on and buried it’s under my doona- hope it’s not a fire hazard,” blurted Bloomer Boy.

Bartman eased back in his chair and pulled his cape from under his rump. “I think… I think I know where Splatface is hiding!” He sipped more of the tea and closed his eyes. “I see it clearly- he’s in a warehouse near the Avian Sewage Processing Plant… on Cloaca Street.”

“Exactly what is going on?” asked Iron Burd. “Dang- I’ve just realized I forgot to take my ‘chop bag’ out of the freezer- now what will I have for dinner?”

“Bloomer Boy, Iron Burd- focus!”  “Bloomer, you’re always leaving your lava lamp on which is why I installed an auto shut off switch on a timer.” “Iron Burd, no birdie will be having dinner tonight if we don’t find Splatface and recover the Rainbow Twizzlers in the next two chapters.” “I added some iocane powder to my tea (I’ve built up a tolerance over the years and Hello Kitty Gurl had some stashed behind the nutmeg), which has enabled me to see exactly one hour into the future.”  “If we don’t get over to Cloaca Street in the next 60 minutes, Splatface will have flown the coop to Avacado City, where no parrot ever dares tread.” “The RT’s and peace in Parrotdom will be lost forever!”

With that, Hello Kitty Gurl’s rhinestone bell on a stick began quivering. “I sense it too. We must get over to Splatface’s underground nest box right away. “

“Bartman,” directed Iron Burd, “you take Bloomer Boy with you on the African Queen cycle and I’ll take Hello Kitty Gurl with me in the Conuremobile.”  “Baby, I’ll need you to stay here as our communications base.”  “If we don’t make it back within the hour, high tail feather it out of here as far away as you can go-  there will be nothing worth staying in Parrotdom for if we do not succeed. “

With that , they were off. But not until Bloomer Boy inhaled the last few crumbs of pastry from the counter and licked his talons clean. “Twizzlers Ho!”

Just as Bartman was revving up the African Queen, Hello Kitty Gurl hopped off the back and ran back inside the cafe where she dashed into her secret back room. When she returned she was carrying a strange looking package but would not tell Bartman what was in it. With a whistle and a whoosh, they were off to Cloaca Street.

Hello Kitty Gurl sat quietly absorbed in her thoughts of what was to come, though she was confident Splatface could be defeated she felt she might upcrop at any moment. What if in all the madness she lost her sequined bow, what if Splatface’s excrement spattered on her rhinestone glasses, what if she broke a talon? She closed her eyes tightly and tried to focus on the list of herbs she carried in her bag- all very powerful but only if used correctly. Luckily she’d had no use for most of them other than her daily baking, but today she would learn just how useful that little garden off to the side of her wee bird house could be.

She fumbled in her bag checking her list of herbs.   Anise seed- wards off evil and increases the psychic abilities, she had thought of crushing them into a drink but knew Bloomer Boy would prefer his whole and there was no time for smoothies.  Barberry, would bar Splatface’s way in case he had any ideas of oozing his way around the Heros for a surprise attack. Eucalyptus was said to be very powerful at driving away the pestiferous, yes, pestiferous and who could be more so than Splatface himself. It also made a nice room deodorizer, that would be handy indeed.

Lastly was her own special blend of Hello Kitty, kitty litter. It was one of her top sellers in the gift shop due to its effectiveness at absorbing and binding poop for easy disposal and left a light, refreshing scent behind as well. She felt certain she could get these items close to SplatFace, but it would be up to the boys to deliver the litter and ultimately vanquish the disgusting refuse.

Iron Burd opened the Conuremobile door for Hello Kitty Gurl. “In you go, my lady. And don’t forget to buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

Just then Baby ran up to him. “Wait! Wait! You forgot your Iron Burd suit remote control!”  She tossed him the remote control device. “Good luck.  And take care of Kitty Gurl,” she called out as the Conuremobile sped off.  Bartman and Bloomer Boy followed on the African Queen cycle. Bloomer Boy’s orange cape flapped vibrantly in the wind as they sped through the streets.

The Conuremobile whipped around the dark, back-alley streets leading to Cloaca Street. The warehouse district around Cloaca Street was a smelly, dangerous viper pit where all of the scum from the bottom of the cage oozed and slithered on their way to making trouble for the decent, law abiding birds. As Iron Burd zoomed around the corners at breakneck speed, poor Kitty Gurl tightly shut her eyes, clutched her bag and tried not to think about crashing.

The Conuremobile screeched to a halt in front of a dilapidated warehouse. Even inside the climate controlled, high-tech Conuremoblie, the smell wafting from the warehouse was almost unbearable.

“This is it,” announced Iron Burd- Splatface’s hideout.” He sprang from the car and ran around to the passenger side to open the door for Kitty Gurl. Bartman and Bloomer Boy skidded to a stop right behind them. Iron Burd nodded at Bartman. “Glad you could make it. What took you so long?”

Bartman gave Bloomer Boy a dark look. “Bottomless Pit Boy here had to make a stop at Starbeaks for a little pick me up.”

Bloomer Boy tried to balance his doubleshotbutterscotchmochaextrawhippy and a scone as he levered himself off the cycle. “Whaaa? I need to keep my strength up, don’t I?”  “Geez, what’s that smell?”

“On no, guys, look at the warehouse door-  it has some sort of extra strong lock!” “How are we going to get in?” cried Kitty Gurl as she sprinkled some eucalyptus tea leaves over the crew of superheroes to drive away the smell wafting from the warehouse.

“Not a problem,” declared Iron Burd as he pressed the button on his remote control. In a flash the debonair billionaire industrialist and playbird had transformed into the iron suited superhero. “I’ll just use my super strength to smash the door in.” As he spoke he took a step and accidentally crushed the African Queen Cycle under one of his giant iron feet. “It’s OK!” he called. “I’m rich. I can pay for that.” And he headed with great determination toward the door.

With a thunderous crash the lock was blown from the door and a gaping hole was left smoking.  Bloomer Boy looked crestfallen.  “I was going to use my tri-molecular perforating laser cutter on that lock- geeze, were brute force explosives really necessary?”

“Follow me!” squawked Iron Burd as he pushed through the door like so much cardboard.  Bartman and Hello Kitty Gurl were fast on his iron clad talons but Bloomer Boy hurried to finish his doubleshotbutterscotchmochaextrawhippy and the scone without wasting a drop or crumb.

They were barely through the door when they were descended upon by Splatface’s minions.  A flock of evil mutant buzzards with serrated beaks and razor talons flew at the foursome. While Iron Burd ran interference shooting at the buzzards with his lasers and flame throwers, Bloomer Boy rummaged in his bloomers for his indestructible wire netting and remote control electrification wire. When he was ready, Bloomer Boy squawked, “Duck left, Iron Burd!” and he threw his wire net with the electrification wire attached. He managed to snare all but one or two of the freakish raptors and when he hit the power button on the remote control, the net lit up like 4th of July fireworks.  Bits of evil mutant vultures burst into flame and disappeared. Iron Burd quickly dispatched the remaining few mutants and threw Bloomer Boy an almond granola bar to munch while they followed after Bartman and Hello Kitty Gurl who had used the diversion to head deeper into the warehouse.

In the gloom of the warehouse they could just make out the sparkles on Hello Kitty Gurl’s pink rhinestone bow and quickly headed in that direction. Of course the smell and increasingly slippery floor was a certain giveaway as to the location of Splatface.

As the foursome met up to regroup, Bartman said, “I fear that was too easy.” “Hello Kitty Gurl, I think it’s time for some of your Anise seed.”  “We can certainly use it to ward off evil but we really need those psychic powers now.”

Iron Burd, Hello Kitty Gurl and Bartman crunched and swallowed theirs straight but as usual, Bloomer Boy had to put his into a Conure cookie that he pulled from his Bloomers. “I don’t know why you’d eat them plain when they’re so much better with a Conure cookie.”

Bartman just rolled his eyes before closing them to concentrate. It was Hello Kitty Gurl who spoke first. “I know what lies behind the gate.”

They leaned in. “Tell us Gurl,” whispered Bartman. She opened her eyes and they were filled with apprehension. A vision had come to her instantly and she was taken aback by the loathsome appearance of Splatface oozing on, in and around his throne. She’d never seen anything so disgusting, not even in the park when Robins had an unending supply of grubs and left behind mounds of pooh that caused unsuspecting joggers to slide around like ice skaters. She could once again feel the oatmeal in her crop begin to churn and swirl as though she may lose it at any moment.

“Uck, do you smell that?” “He’s there, behind the door with the crescent moon marked HIS!”  “But, there are trap doors in the floor leading to Splatface’s ‘throne’ that lead off to the sewage disposal unit… one wrong move and we’ll be carried away and sucked into the huge processing grinder.” “Hand me the flashlight with the glitter trim, Bloomer Boy.” “Now we’ve got to stick close together and I’ll lead the way.” She downed several more Anise seeds. “Let’s suit up and prepare to head out.”

Had they possessed knees, there would have been 4 pairs shaking as they ooched along the slimy route. “This is it.” She stopped and turned to Iron Burd. “It’s too small a space for you to suit up and zap your way in, Bloomer Boy- what do you have in the way of electronic crow bars?” Before he could answer, Bartman grasped the bars and began to pry them apart. It was impressive and he knew it.

Bloomer Boy was feeling a bit peckish by this point and began to ferret into the deepest recesses of his snack compartment. He had just taloned the marshmallow peeps when his foot slithered and he lost his balance falling into one of the trap doors. Immediately he was dragged into a strong current of horrid liquid waste. He gasped out a shrill panicked ‘squawrk!’ and the group turned just in time to see him swept out of sight.

This was most unfortunate, for as we know, most of the rescue equipment was stored in those infamous bloomers. But Bartman was a keen thinker- he swiftly removed his cape and threw it upon the reeking water. “Jump on!” “Quickly now- and hold fast!” The cape floated along the surface and Iron Burd was the first to spot the frantic Bloomer Boy. He reached out a strong wing and grasped Bloomer’s chubby waist. Bartman and Gurl helped to haul him up and into the cape’s safety. “You owe me a huge dry cleaning fee,” growled.

While Bloomer Boy tried to clean himself off with wet wipes, Hello Kitty Gurl reached into her bag to get the jar of Barberry to sprinkle around the edges of Splatface to prevent him from oozing towards them. If steeped for 3 minutes it also made a delightful tea that eased the discomforts of diarrhea and she felt certain that would be a plus, but there was no time.

Being the smallest, most fashionable and never having had her wings clipped, she knew she’d be the most qualified to fly around Splatface with the berries that would contain him while the others converged on him with litter, but the Barberry was gone. “EEEK! My Barberry’s missing- I packed it, I’m certain.” She looked around at Bloomer Boy, his beak covered in pulp up to his nares. “Bloomer Boy, you ate the berries?”

Suddenly the door behind the bars began to lower down on chains attached to the top. The greenish yellow light from inside was blinding. A strange squeaky voice beckoned them. “Come in, come in… I’ve been expecting you.”

When he spoke, Splatface’s putrid breath wafted throughout the dank room and Bloomer Boy very nearly upcropped the Barberries he had stuffed in his gullet. Behind Splatface, encased in Plexiglas and lit from within as if by a thousand watt LED bulb, were the Rainbow Twizzlers.

Bloomer Boy and Iron Burd began to slowly waddle toward Splatface in the hope of drawing attention from Hello Kitty Gurl who was busying herself rummaging in her pack for the Hello Kitty Litter. In the meantime, Bartman had unzipped his suit so his pinkie feathers would show enabling him, he hoped, to gain the code to the alarm attached to Plexiglas case holding the RT’s.

Just as Splatface began oozing towards Bloomer Boy and Iron Burd, Hello Kitty Gurl came flying out from behind them with piercing screech. “AiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiYAH! Take THAT Splatface!” She flung her magical  Hello Kitty Litter all around him which immediately clotted the ooze.

As soon as Hello Kitty Gurl flew back to them, Bloomer Boy and Iron Bird went into action. Iron Burd activated his Iron Suit and began shooting immobilizing lasers at Splatface while Bloomer Boy whipped out a jumbo spray bottle of Poop-Off and a triple roll (equal to 3 regular rolls!) of paper towel.

“Hold ‘im steady, Iron and I’ll start mopping him up- I think he’ll decide to talk to Bartman once he realizes he’s getting smaller and smaller!” yelled Bloomer Boy.

“I’ve got him, Bloomer.”  “Hey Bartman! Get your muffins over here and see if you can get this poor excuse for a poop to give up the code,” said Iron Burd.

Immobilized as he was and shrinking by the moment (Bloomer Boy was surprisingly efficient with the Poop-Off and the paper towel), Splatface could only manage to dart his eyes and utter disgusting gurgling sounds.

“Release his voice, Iron and I’ll get him to spill his crop and the code”, said Bartman as he stepped forward, pinkie feathers flashing.

“No…NO!! Not the PINKIES!! Anything but the PINKIES!” wailed Splatface. “I’ll give you anything you want!” “Join me and together we can rule the world!”

“Oh PU-LEEZE.” “Do you really think we’d go for that?” “Dude- what HAVE you been smoking?”

“Uh, I’ve been smoking kippers and salmon and ham… and ah, jeez– I can’t lie with those pink feathers staring at me…Cuban cigars!” “Alright? Cuban cigars!”  “Now, can we please just get this over with?” His voice began to slobber and gurgle, “That Poop Off is really starting to sting my edges.”

“You KNOW what we want, Splat.”  “Tell us the code to the Rainbow Twizzler box.”

“But..but…but…”  “It’s no use, Splat. Spill it.”

Splatface heaved a disgusting sigh of resignation- “1-800-BITE-ME”.

Before he finished getting the code out of his foul beak, Hello Kitty Gurl, Iron Burd and Bloomer Boy were entering the combination and with the final “E”.  The lock clicked open and the delicious aroma of Rainbow Twizzlers filled the room. The fragrance was strong enough to overpower even Splatface’s stench and it was all Bloomer Boy could do to keep from reaching into the package and gobbling them up.

As the foursome safely stashed the RT’s in Hello Kitty Gurl’s pack, they debated whether or not they should finish the Poop-Off job on Splatface. Bloomer Boy and Iron Burd were all for mopping the floor with him, but Bartman and Hello Kitty Gurl won the argument by pointing out that villains are never killed off by the super heroes because there is ALWAYS a sequel.

As they left the Avian Sewage Plant and Cloaca Street behind them, headed for the comforting confines of the Hello Kitty Cafe and Bakery, Bloomer Boy remembered the special package that Hello Kitty Gurl had run back into the bakery for when they set off to find Splatface.

“Say, Gurl. What WAS in that package?”

Hello Kitty Gurl batted her big white eye capsules at Bloomer Boy and said…”Well to be honest you guys, I wasn’t absolutely certain we’d be able to thwart Splatface since he’s stinky and slippery and as poop has little to no redeeming qualities at all.” “I did however see a commercial the other day for Rid X and you simply pour it in your septic system and these little natural organisms that look like Pac Man eat up all the waste jiffy quick sooooooo, I made a batch of Rainbow Twizzler cupcakes just for Splat- *giggle*”  “Even if we failed, he’d never be able to resist these yummy treats.”  “Where on earth– I know they were in here right before I went in to sprinkle kitty litter on Splat……….BLOOMER BOY???”

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Cartoonist Robert Seymour has graced the “Parrot Nation” pages with his work. Robert has a fabulous cartoon strip called “Bird Breath.” It’s absolutely brilliant, funny, yet dead-on with its honesty and poignancy. Robert offers this amazing contribution with wonderful art and with true “Superhero” attributes! Loving Robert’s work as usual!

“Super Parrot”

“Faster than a speeding frigatebird, more powerful than a harpey eagle, and able to leap to a conclusion in a single bound. Sees instantly through any charade, Speaks fluently in every known language, including Pig Latin. Draws his immense strength from power naps. He’s a master of disguise, but most commonly seen as a puffed up parrot in leotards.”

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This was sent to me from Pam Tomlinson from “Kids Defense Team.” She has a wonderful illustration of her Superhero. Talk about a muscular African Grey Superhero Dude! This guy named “Taboo” is seriously huge. Love the mask and the boots! Thanks Pam for a fabulous entry. And what a Super cause!

“We are doing a Super Hero theme because we are becoming heroes to so many children with chronic illnesses.  We send Teddy Bears to children with chronic illnesses. So I had a cartoonist make up super heroes of course I had to have Taboo made into a Super Hero also.”

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Hold the phone! We have one final submission from “Florida Parrot Rescue” that got their submission in just under the wire. I was out running errands and when I returned, I got their email with their submission. Email time? 1200 p.m.! So they made the deadline and I’m so happy for them! Here is their submission from Colleen Laurent. Love the map background and the wide variety of birds! Click on the illustration for a link to their website!

At Florida Parrot Rescue, we are flock of Super Heroes looking for our forever homes. We get rehabilitated and ready for action with the help of our trusty sidekicks, the humans. We train the humans to perform mundane tasks like fetching our food, cleaning the cages, and chauffeuring us to the vet for checkups. Occasionally, we let them dance like fools for our amusement.

When we properly train our foster humans we move on to our new forever homes. Don’t feel bad for the humans. There are always more birds ready to move in and take our place.

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Naturally my “one final submission” statement didn’t take into account Pringle Poirot’s entry that I received at 10:25 a.m. and missed due to the fact that I was combing through the Whole Foods aisles looking for spelt at the time.  So here is Pringle’s submission. I think this is an absolutely charming story and I love the illustrations! Meet Greystorm!

Deep in the jungles of Africa, the Wachowbe’lo flock keeps a closely guarded secret.

Once every few centuries, a very special parrot is hatched to them, possesing super-avian speed, strength and intelligence (and a weakness for papaya). They call it, the Watakyuti, and it has now been 500 years since the last one!

A handful of hatchlings, snatched from their nests, make their way to America, carrying with them, a certain genetic possibility…





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