Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Ghost of a Parrot:

A parrot used to live in a house near us, a house heavily shaded by front-yard trees. The parrot was a fine mimic but was known to be extremely shy; it would not utter a word if it knew it was being watched. Occasionally I caught a glimpse of the silent bird on the screen-in front porch, but mostly I walked by trying to appear oblivious, listening carefully for its startling sounds. Its owner used to take it to work at the local auto body shop where the bird, perched in a very public place, never uttered a word. Consequently it learned to imitate the shop's owner's voice saying "That damn bird can't talk!"

Recently I've been hearing similar sounds at this house again. I risked a glimpse through the trees to spy - merely - a lady of rather uncertain age speaking loudly into her cellphone.

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