Thursday, December 18, 2008

I met a parrot

I don't know horse.
I don't know bird.
I know a lot of cat and some dog.

Today some of that changed. Birdwise. Well one in particular, a green and orange conure parrot that sat on my lap as Sandy McIntosh and I discussed the design of the next Marsh Hawk Press book catalog. Pixie kindly groomed my hands and asked most politely for me to pet the back of his head and under his wings. We danced together, we clicked at each other. Really, it was like we were old friends by the end of the meeting.

Damn but parrots are smart. Sandy showed me the parrot's toy bag filled with chew toys. The pillows he likes to hide under, the ladder he proudly struts to his home, where the door is always open. On the roof of his home he nibbles delicately from a dish of fresh fruit and eyes me one side of his head at a time.

Sandy said he once accidentally put a cup of coffee on the top of the cage. Pixie knocked it to the floor. Here is someone who knows what is his and demands respect. I can understand that. Violators will be hurled at their own expense.

I have learned that parrot tongues are far softer than their beaks. That the feathers are not as soft as a cat's belly fur but far softer than the coat of a wire haired dog. That they can bite through chicken bones and this one will live to 40 or more. That a world of personality can fit into 4 ounces of bird.

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