BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) – Have you ever met someone and years later looked back and wondered how you ever lived without them?
Well, for Joe Pirouski, his entire world changed when he met his friend Charlie.
It was Saturday morning in Bloomington and time for Joe to head to the farmer’s market. He doesn’t have anything to sell.
What he has is free to see and his name is Charlie Bird.
A ukulele and some custom Charlie songs set the back drop while Charlie dances, squawks and entertains the children and kids at heart.
Joe just happy to play his part.
“A lot of people think I bring him out to entertain them but in reality I’m entertaining him so that I can live with him a lot more peacefully,” Joe explained.
But, it wasn’t always this way…
When the two met years ago, a very bored and frustrated Charlie had picked his beautiful feathers right off.
“He was happy where he was, but there wasn’t enough social interaction or contact with people,” Joe said. “As you can see he loves to be surrounded by people. When I started doing this the feathers started coming back pretty much immediately…gradually he started becoming happier and happier…”
That’s when Joe’s life changed too. The attention that brought Charlie’s feathers back brought shy Joe Pirouski out of his shell.
“If I go somewhere without Charlie I’m just another old man in Bloomington, but when I have Charlie it’s like taking the king around with you…” described Joe. “Even though I’ve raised kids before myself I didn’t have to haul them around everywhere or be fearful they were going to destroy my house when I came home…”
Joe might make it sound like caring for Charlie is a burden and maybe at one point he felt that way. But, one afternoon it all changed.
“You know I thought it was just a bird I was feeling sorry for and taking care of and then one day he was actually taken from my backyard. I got him back obviously. It was then that I realized he really does mean something to me because I was upset…”
The two go everywhere together now. From bike riding, to sledding, even on the water… they are inseparable.
While Joe finds himself at the center of attention because of Charlie, Charlie’s happy because of Joe.
“He’s a part of my family and he’s a part of Bloomington.”