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My little girl’s finger pecked by a parrot…and it’s my fault

We as parents try to expose little Olivia to different experiences, people, food, culture and life whenever we can, and last weekend, we brought her to an animal farm called Farmart in Choa Chu Kang on 16th July 2016.

As we stay in Sengkang (north east side of Singapore), and Farmart is located in West side of Singapore, a taxi ride was about 30 minutes away, and to “catch” the feeding times of the animals, we were in a cab by around 9.30 am, so that we can reach there by 10.

It's a pretty nice place, compared to another smallish animal farm that we went to in Sengkang called the Animal Resort, and much more well planned and used to having multiple/crowd. There were pet shops, egg shops, food stalls and much more, but most of the shops open at 11 am, so it was pretty quiet except for a few visitors who also brought their children there.The experience was fairly good at the animal feeding areas, with:

  • large catfish in a small pond
  • bull frogs
  • terrapins
  • goats
  • rabbits/bunnies
  • parrots

And Olivia was initially scared of feeding the animals, choosing to see from a distance (we knew that she has been more cautious/scared of animals since young), and as I fed the animals, she too gradually developed more courage and confidence to feed the animals (of course I try to pick the safest animals and foods that were long to keep the distance from the animals).

…until I became over-confident that she could feed the parrots kuaci (sunflower seed) – the birds were very gentle with taking the sunflower seed from my hands and all the visitors, so I thought it was ok for her to try…but she dropped the sunflower seed (either because she was scared or by accident) and the parrot either was nasty or tried to catch the seed and snapped at her right index finger.

My heart lurched.

Its hooked beak had pierced skin, and lacerated 10 mm length x 2 mm wide x 0.5 mm depth; and being a specialist hand therapist, my mind started to race:

  • was her tendon torn?
  • is her joint damaged?
  • will it get infected?

Her finger was bleeding, and she was wailing and I was shocked…both at the incident and how stupid my decision was in the first place – the sunflower seed was too small, causing the parrot having to come really close and scaring Olivia to dropping the seed and to the parrot to peck her finger.

It was my fault. 100%.

She cried for about 3 minutes, and then went on to other things, but throughout the day she was a bit more protective of her right index finger, and complaining about it a little (by holding onto it and pointing to it – rightly so too, as it was swollen and red)

And I felt so bad throughout the day, and I was nursing her wound and ensuring that the mobility isn't affected and nothing more insidious festers (update: no infection, 100% mobility, no guarding of movement or finger which means its good and well used as normal) – but for me as a father, it shook me and my thoughts.

What happened if she had lost her finger?

Or if it got infected?

Or if it got fractured?

Sigh. I thank Jesus that it's a simple peck and the wound has healed well and Olivia is using her finger as usual. I am very thankful, and I will try to not be so stupid in the future, for my children's sake.

Gosh.