WHEN Pom Pom the cockatiel went missing from the Hub Preschool at Waratah, the little ones were devastated. “He first showed up at our preschool quite a few months ·ago,” the centre’s director Nicole Denzin said. “He knocked on the back door literally. He was at the door tapping and knocking. We tried to find the owner but couldn’t. So, he’s been our bird for months, probably since the beginning of the year.” 

The children adore Pom Pom. He’s become a celebrity bird. Each day after preschool ends, he goes home with a family for the night. In an unfortunate accident, during one of these adventures, Pom Pom flew the coop. Problem was Pom Pom was due to go home with a family for the weekend. “I thought, ‘I better go and get another bird’,” Nicole said. 

The replacement bird, also a cockatiel, was put in Pom Pom‘s cage. The children caught on quick-smart. “Where’s Pom Pom, where’s Pom Pom?” they cried. 

The preschool staff tried to reassure the kids, saying “Pom Pom’s not here but this is Pom Pom’s friend”. 

“It was so awkward,” Nicole said, giggling. The centre posted about the missing Pom Pom on lost pet Facebook pages.  

“The next day we had a phone call from the beautiful staff at Callaghan College, who said Pom Pom had been attacked by some other birds,” Nicole said. “He must have flown onto one of the student’s shoulders because he’s quite tame,” she said. “They grabbed him and took him to the office.” 

Nicole headed over to the school thinking Pom Pom might not be in great shape. “But he was fine,” she said. Nicole got a gift card for the students to say thank you for saving Pom Pom, who is now back at the preschool where kids regularly fawn over him. 

The replacement bird, which the kids considered somewhat of an impostor, is now at Nicole’s place. “I’m training her just in case,” she said. “Who knows, we might have two birds that we borrow out now.”