Dancer - My Little Maori WarriorWhy on earth did we call a one-legged bird Dancer? Well, he did not always have one leg. It had to be removed, because of his energetic zest for life, and the fact that he placed himself into a fight with a bigger, and more robust bird, a Golden Mantle Rosella.
Now you would have thought that a piece of his anatomy missing would take a huge chunk of his pride, and bravery too, but no! Dancer had a cast iron character and superstrength.
Dancer was a Kakariki, also known as a New Zealand Parakeet. He was a plain looking green bird, with a red patch on the head, and matching red patches on the cheeks. But what really stood out were those lovely red eyes.
Dancer's red eyes changed shape, and depth of red whilst he was winding himself up into a frenzy, ready for his military assault. Dancer would perform a Maori dance known as the "Hacker". For those of you not familiar with this dance, you can watch New Zealand's "All Blacks" perform the dance as part of their pre-match warm up.
Dancer would start by standing fully alert, then he would start to swing his head and body violently from side to side, eyes flashing like red warning signs, with drilling sounds that gradually got louder as the dance got faster. I thought that it was only Dancer who would perform this ritual dance, but speaking to other owners of Kakariki's I found that this was not the case. I wonder who did this dance first - the Maoris or the Kakarikis? If one copied it off another, who copied who? It has been said that the Kakariki does the dance because the bird has the reincarnated soul of a Maori Warrior.
I do not know what to think of any of the ideas above, but what I do know is that Dancer had a warrior's strength and courage right up to the last few moments of his life. He seemed to enjoy living his life in the fast lane, as well as the adrenaline buzz that he got out of putting himself into dangerous situations.
I shall always remember him, and wish that I will met another little Warrior like him, some day soon.
Goodbye Dancer. You can stop fighting now.
January 21st 1997.
Return to Core Page