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Bold Tommy's home, after flying the nest

PUBLISHED: 07:36 21 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 22 October 2010

LORNA MARSH

Going on a boating trip should have been enough of a tweet for little Tommy.

Going on a boating trip should have been enough of a tweet for little Tommy.

But when the five-year-old budgie decided to spread his wings in search of wider horizons he had no idea how much of an adventure he was letting himself in for - or the trauma he would put his owners through.

So important is the bird to his owners George and Margaret Tame that they could not bear to be parted from him when they went for a holiday on the Broads. So, rather than leave him at home, they took Tommy along too.

However, that decision was almost one they regretted.

The appropriately green and yellow feathers flew when Tommy escaped his cage and jumped ship via the open sunroof near Hoveton - only to be reunited with his owners through the miracle of modern technology more than a week later.

Fearing him gone forever, Mr and Mrs Tame's daughter and son-in-law Janet and Keith Peterson, who were also on the trip, nevertheless put a plaintive message on the Norfolk Broads Forum for fellow members to keep a look out for the cheepy chap.

Along with several messages of reassurance and advice, two were posted four days after the original saying a bird matching Tommy's description had been found and a notice put up in a house in Horning - four miles from where he was last seen.

By that time the four had gone back home to Braintree in Essex, but on Monday Mr and Mrs Peterson travelled the 90 miles back to Norfolk just on the off-chance that the bird was Tommy.

And as luck would have it the bird tale had a happy ending with the budgerigar happily reunited back home - nine days after his disappearing act.

It is not the first time the budgie has tried to flex his feathers. He came to the Tames originally when he was found in their garden.

Mr Tame, 84, who also lives in Braintree, said that it was testament to the helpfulness and kindness of the close-knit community that existed on the Broads.

"I really honestly feel it is a miracle. My wife was absolutely grieving for him and inconsolable. When he went I thought 'well that's the last time we see him'. It is absolutely marvellous to have him back, I am not a softie but he is one of the family and the moment we were reunited with him was wonderful.

"I just want to say a big thank-you to everyone who helped, we really are much obliged. I don't think you would ever get that kind of co-operation anywhere else."

Tommy was found in the grounds of Hoveton Hall by staff and Lord Blofeld himself drove him into Horning in the hope that someone there might know who he belonged to and eventually gave him to the woman who placed the lost notice in her window.

She in turn gave Tommy to a friend to look after who, in another twist of fate, lives within 100 yards of the Peterson's mooring space and

keeps her boat in the same dyke as theirs.

Mrs Peterson said: "We thought it was an absolute impossibility that we would find him, it is so desolate where we were and I really didn't think anything would come of it. It's restored my faith in human nature."


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