Today we welcomed a new member of our family into our home. He is very tiny, very cute, very loud for his size and has a mischievous sense of humour. He is active and chatty and really a delight to have around. And as long as we keep him caged he can’t really cause any trouble.
Oh – it’s perfectly all right. He’s a parrot.
My personal friends will know we have the beginnings of a petting zoo here at home: a huge dog, two cats, five doves, three hundred crayfish – and now a parrot.
Is he loud? Does he bite? Does he screech at 3 AM? Does he talk? Yes, yes, yes and no. Am I grateful for him? Yes. He’s a belated Christmas present for one of my granddaughters, and she is overjoyed to have him. He lives at our house instead of hers because my partner, who has extensive experience with parrots and the scars to prove it, will train him in etiquette, proper and seemly conduct and the other social graces expected of a bird of his breeding. I’m also especially grateful that my partner has those skills; I would have no idea how to begin training a bird to be a good pet.
He provided me with what’s probably just the first of many good stories. We brought him home in a huge rush, set up his cage and got him settled. I had to go downstairs for a few minutes. Suddenly I heard a huge commotion of squawking and screeching and flapping in the living room. Fearing that the cat had got at him through the cage bars, I ran upstairs. There, to my surprise, was Huey (yes, Huey) perched on the outside of the cage, laughing his head off at me. I couldn’t believe it – the cage had been securely locked and still was. “He may be good, but he’s not THAT good,” I thought, shaking my head.
It turned out on closer inspection that we had assembled the cage slightly wrong, leaving a considerable gap for our little opprtunist to take advantage of. Once that was taken care of, the problem was how to get a sharp-beaked parrot who neither knew nor liked me back into his cage. This actually turned out to be easy: I simply opened the cage door and in he climbed, cackling and laughing the whole way.
Yeah, I think he’s a keeper…