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Dear Parrots magazine,

Searching for Pepper

I hope you will print my letter, as I feel it’s the last chance I have of tracing Pepper.

In the late 1970s, we bought an Alexandrine Parakeet we called Pepper, while living in Saudi Arabia.  We think she was wild caught and had a broken toe.  We thought her a young male and when she talked, everyone was a cheeky/bad ‘boy’!

When we returned to Scotland, Pepper came too, and settled in with our five cats and a dog.  She had the freedom of the house.  After being with us about 15 years, she started to lay eggs.  That’s when I heard of Sweethope House Hotel in Eskbank, where they had five male Alexandrines and super aviaries.  We eventually sold Pepper to the owner.  It broke my heart to leave her, but thought I was doing the best for her.  How I have regretted doing this for many years!  She settled well with her chosen mate.  A few months later, I went to visit her and you can imagine my shock when I saw all the aviaries empty, the owner had sadly suffered a heart attack and was in hospital.  His family had sold all the birds.  Once he was home, he managed to find out who Pepper and her mate had been sold to and gave me the details.  Mrs Grace Ross of Musselbuergh allowed me to visit Pepper and her son showed me to the aviary, telling me she still went through her repertoire early each morning.  I stressed to them that if ever in future they were parting with her (and her mate), I would buy her (or both) and bring them home with me for the rest of their lives.  I did once learn how she was when I phoned, but thereafter – no response.  I even sent an SAE in a Christmas card once.

Not long afterwards, I was in a serious RTA and had to have a leg amputated.  I still occasionally wrote.  No letters were ever returned, so I thought Mrs Ross was still at the address I had.  I recently went to that address and discovered she had moved 14 years ago.  I advertised in Edinburgh Evening News and West Lothian Courier and got a call from Mrs Ross saying she had sold Pepper to a man in Fife who was a breeder.  She couldn’t remember his name and said her son wouldn’t either.  After further ads in four local Fife Newspapers, I thought of specialist magazines and advertised with you and Cage & Aviary Birds.

I’m hoping and praying this will do the trick.  I’m broken hearted and full of guilt for ever parting with Pepper.  She would be 37 plus now, if still alive, and I just want to know how she is.  Can anyone give me information?

Mrs Hazel Fraser - West Lothian



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