She is the loveliest of women, so kind and generous, that it is only fitting that something as tender as canary would be her undoing. Her children had begged her for a bird, a bright yellow bird to sing their mornings open for them. She had resisted their pleas for as long as she could, but finally the canary had come to live in a bright golden cage by the kitchen window.
The children loved their bird. Sometimes they would take it out of the cage and it would perch on their fingers and sing. Such a sunny fellow!
One morning the canary wasn’t so chipper. The children left for school with heavy hearts. By mid-afternoon the bird was listless, and my husband’s aunt was beside herself. She looked around her house for something that might help the canary. Aspirin made her feel better, maybe it would work on the little bird?
Half a tablet was crushed and was administered to the canary. Well! After a few minutes he had perked right up, and by the time the children were home from school, he was a regular Placido Domingo.
My husband’s aunt congratulated herself on her veterinary skills, that is, until about a week later, the canary looked more peaked than ever. When the children were at school, their mother ground up another aspirin and administered it. She went to clean up another part of the house, always with an ear out for the happy chirping to recommence.
It never did. When aunty came back in the kitchen the canary was on its back, its last breath not even carrying a sigh.
My husband’s aunt did what any self-respecting, canary-killing mother would do: she ran to the pet store and bought a duplicate. The she grabbed her hat and gloves and set off for confession.