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On a wing and a prayer

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Muffin, a Goffin Cockatoo, lives with New Castle residents Nick Neal and Sheri Burgess.
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Nick Neal (center), holds Muffin, a cockatoo who got stuck in a tree Tuesday evening on 23rd Street in New Castle. Local business Margison Graphics came to the rescue, using their bucket trucks to reach the distraught bird. Also pictured, at right, is Neal’s grandma, Sheri Burgess, as well as a couple little girls who live in the neighborhood.

By KATIE CLONTZ - kclontz@thecouriertimes.com

Nick Neal and Muffin, his pet cockatoo, were out for a walk Tuesday evening when things suddenly went afoul. 

“She had her leash on (around her ankle) and it’s a new leash she doesn’t like yet,” Neal explained. “She jerked it out of my hand, flew up in a tree and bit it off.” 

The incident happened around 7 p.m. on 23rd Street in New Castle. 

Muffin, a Goffin Cockatoo, has lived with Neal and his grandma, Sheri Burgess, for about a year.

“She’s a rescue,” Neal said. “I used to live in Anderson. She was abused by her previous owners. She can’t speak anymore and she’s missing a toe. She’s scared of new people, but she’s come so far.” 

By the time Muffin realized where she had flown, she was too afraid to get down. 

“She was up there screaming hysterically, going off like a car alarm,” Neal said. “She was petrified.” 

Clearly upset, Burgess called around for help. Neal tried climbing up the tree after Muffin, but couldn’t get high enough to reach her. Neighbors also tried to help get Muffin down but had no luck.

Then something wonderful happened. Local business Margison Graphics arrived with not one, but two bucket trucks. They took Neal up and he was able to rescue a rather distraught Muffin, who had been in the tree for over an hour. 

“She was waiting for me,” Neal said. “She walked toward me. It worked out perfectly.”

Neal had high praise for the business that saved his bird. 

“God bless them,” he said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have my bird. I couldn’t be more grateful and appreciative.” 

Bryant Margison, owner of Margison Graphics, said Tuesday’s rescue was a first. 

“The lady (Burgess) called our shop and asked if we would help her out,” Margison said. “She was pretty upset, so I went out and did it ... She had us take her grandson with us in the bucket. The grandson and the bird knew each other and it made the transition a little easier.” 

As a way to say thanks, Neal and Burgess got Good’s Candies to give Margison Graphics, as well as the neighbors who tried to help save Muffin.