Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Sometimes we interact with other people; sometimes with other forms of life.  For example:

The other day at Avenidas I was making my way at my usual  s l o w  pace to a class on current events.  The young lady who leads the group (hi, Laura) saw me coming, and suggested I needed roller skates.

I agreed, saying I would need three skates; one for each foot, and one for my backside.


My little pink and black bird, Chipper, is not at all friendly -- never has been.  As the male bird in the house he apparently feels he can go anywhere he wants, which actually isn’t very far at all.  But he does like to get into Pepper’s cage (the doors are open during the day), which I allow if Pepper is elsewhere.

Now the other morning Pep was sitting in his cage eating, when Chip flew up from the ground.  He walked past the ladder to his own cage, and headed for the other one.

“Chipper, get away from there,” I said to him.  It’s not as if he ever paid any attention to anything I ever said, but he stopped and then backed off.  Okay, that could have been accidental.  But a minute or so later I looked up from my newspaper, and saw Chip once again walk past his ladder on the way to Pepper’s Palace of Properly Prepared Provisions (they each get the identical food), and again I said, “Chipper, get back from there.”  He stopped, looked at me, and turning around, went back to his own cage.  Frankly I was flabbergasted.  In the ten years I’ve had him, he has never shown the slightest inkling that he even knew I was talking to him!  Go ahead; tell me birds aren’t smart.  I don’t believe that.  At some level he knew precisely what I wanted.


  1. He knew what you were talking about all those years, only this time he agreed.

  2. Lol@ LynnM!

    I once had a friend with a very small parrot and she had me holding it awhile, perching on my finger, scrambling over my shoulders, the usual, and the thought hit me--hey, often does this thing poop?

    She told me, it seemed about that time, so with the little bird on my finger I held it a little away from me and told it "Go poop."

    Which it promptly did. To my friend's astonishment.

    And it wasn't a fluke, it did that forevermore. If you told it to when it wasn't ready to, it would make all the requisite motions and try. I toilet-trained her bird! She just needed to know it could be.

  3. Hey Alison, my collie (of course amongst the most gifted of dogs) knows the command as "Hurry Up." Her "mom" told us this was the command she used and it doesn't attraction as much attention from neighbors.

  4. Love the story about your "kids." However, my favorite part of this post was where you called me "the young lady..." Thanks for that!