This is a story of bird like no other – Thomas, the magical macaw.
“I saw Thomas when Thomas was an egg,” Robert Stapleton said. Stapleton has been Thomas’s caretaker for the past twenty-one years.
“One day, this van pulled up and out came Thomas,” Stapleton recalled about the first time he became Thomas’s owner when he lived in Colorado.
Thomas is unique; he is a bird of many talents.
“He’s got about a 25 word vocabulary – hello, goodbye bad – when he does something he knows he wasn’t supposed to do, he says bad.”
Stapleton said he never trained Thomas, the exotic bird just picked up the words on his own.
Thomas’s true beauty isn’t his vibrant colors; it’s his spirit of determination.
About ten years ago, Thomas suffered a bad fall from his cage. It left the macaw with a paralyzed right wing, but it didn’t stop him from pursuing a life of adventure.
“One day I was out running around with a little jeep, and he just climbed on top and off we went.”
“He used to pose with people all the time to get their pictures, and a couple of years ago, he just instinctively he started opening his wing and putting it around people,” Stapleton said.
“He’ll do animal sounds. He does a tiger, and then he’ll do a duck sometimes.”
Stapleton said when Thomas isn’t busy driving remote controlled Hummers and posing with people, he enjoys watching television classics like Gillian’s Island and I Love Lucy.
This macaw soars on wheels, and catches the attention of everyone around him, as he shares his message of strength and resilience. Perhaps Thomas is a lesson for us all – teaching us how we can find our wings and fly.
“One of the things we want to share is choose to change – and that’s change your attitude. Attitude is everything.”