My father’s secretary was visibly distraught one morning when she arrived at the office and explained that her children’s parrot had escaped from his cage and flown out an open window. Of all the dangers the tame bird would face outdoors alone, she seemed most concerned about what would happen if the bird started talking.
Confused, my father asked what the parrot could say. “Well,” she explained, “he mostly says, ‘Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.’”
In good weather, my friend Mark always let his yellow-naped Amazon parrot, Nicky, sit on the balcony of his tenth-floor apartment. One morning, Nicky flew away, much to Mark’s dismay. He searched and called for the bird, with no luck.
The next day when Mark returned from work, the phone rang. “Is this Mark?” The caller asked. “You’re going to think this is crazy, but there’s a bird outside on my balcony saying, ‘Hello, this is Mark.’ Then it recites this phone number and says, ‘I can’t come to the phone right now, but if you will leave a message at the tone, I will call you back.’ So I'm guessing this is your bird?”