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Avian Rescue in Cyber Space

It's late Monday, March 23rd, 1998. Kid's are in bed, and now it's my time. So now what? Where do millions of Americans head? The Internet. Yes folks, television is out. That futuristic contraption that amazed the world in the 1950's is just doesn't seem to hold our attention the way it used to. So what happened? What's the big deal with the Internet anyway, and what could it possibly have to do with a subject like avian rescue?

Ten minutes in my chair and you'd know. It's the wave of the new millennium and there's good reason why. Once those electric pulses hit that phone line, and my modem gets it's first signal, the world is at my fingertips. It's like having a whole library contained in less than 3 square feet of my front room or study.

First I check my e-mail box. It's full. Twenty-three messages sent through my phone line without a stamp. There's one from Florida, and even one from my friend in Germany! Who are these messages coming from? They're people from around the world that share the same interests I do,.... our feathered friends.

Then the one I really want to talk about. It's from Northern Washington State. It reads like this: Subject: Fwd: [Avian Rescue]

"Dear friends. Chico needs our help. Chico is a Yellow Crown Amazon who is wasting away at a Petsmart in Tukwila, WA. ........He is not getting proper nutrition, and looks terrible, emaciated, feathers are dirty and patchy. I talked with the employees on duty and they informed me that they are not allowed to feed him the fresh fruits and vegetables he needs and deserves........" The letter continues on, and ends with one last plea for help. But what can I do, I'm hundreds of miles away, besides if I did contact my fellow avian friends on the phone, 99% of them are heading off to bed, and the long distance charges, (even at the "dime-a-minute" rate), would force me to file bankruptcy. But, unlike that box sitting in the entertainment center, I have the ability to actually respond to the information fed to me on the computer. This bird needs my help and the quicker I spread the word, the better off he'll be. The least I can do is offer him 10 minutes of my time.

Quickly I reach for the mouse, and point my cursor to the upper left-hand side of the screen. With one click, my address book opens in a small box, revealing several hundred names and number/let- ter combinations which will electronically route information to a specific location, much the same as your seven-digit phone number. With another click, I pull down the menu and select the "forward to all" option. My hard drive makes a few noises, and beeps twice...Then nothing ....2min, ...7min, ... 9min

Then I hear the familiar ding that tells me someone has sent me a message. I quickly open the message file....Sure enough, it's an answer from one of the recipients.... She got my message.....she has also passed on the message to more friends, but now, she has added some information of her own to the letter. She found the phone# to the Corporate offices of Petsmart.

1-800-.... now about five-hundred people have the info and are passing it along like wild fire.

The message here is this. Don't mess with a cyber-bird bud, 'cause we'll be on you like flies on ....well you know!