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Showing posts from November, 1999

Intruder Alert!

My family have seen a dark side of me that was hitherto unknown. I was in my aviary and Jan and Sophia wanted to show me off to a visitor. The man walked quickly to me and stretched out his hand. That made me furious! I put up all my feathers and growled at him. The visitor, who didn't know a thing about parrots, didn't realize how angry I was and started to pat the wire-netting. I SCREAMED and SCREAMED! Jan and Sophia jumped up a foot and Hilke who was downstairs thought I was being slaughtered. Once again it was made clear how close my roots still are with my cousins in Africa.

One Year Old!

Today I have become ONE YEAR OLD! Think of it! When I came to live with the family I was five weeks old: a bald and helpless little baby. Now I am a strikingly handsome (if I may say so myself), fully feathered, strong youngster... still a bit dependent on my human parents but getting to be a real person. Needless to say my family is proud of me.

Nothing Like a Nice Mess

I love sitting on Sophia's knee for hours while she is reading or watching a film. Naturally I hold a piece of willow wood in my claw and rip it to pieces. When I get back in my cage, the whole floor is covered with tiny pieces of wood. I don't understand why Sophia bothers to pick them all up, because I know that tomorrow there will be the same mess again.

Busy Times

Don't disturb me, I am busy, busy, BUSY. I have to remove the rind of my perches and destroy the endless supply of wooden blocks. No time to write, no time to talk, so little time... Overheard Jan say that he should have given me fresh willow wood much earlier, but from now on he will give me fresh branches every week. Looking forward to that.

Perch

Jan went to the country side and saw a huge willow. He cut off one of the branches and took it home with him. Now, I have a complete new set of perches and an endless supply of little willow blocks. Nice!

Sharp Nails

My toe nails are getting much too long and sharp. When I perch on a hand, sometimes my nails penetrate the skin. Sophia tried to file my nails. She can only do one at the time, because for me it is a nice sporty game to grab the file with my beak and hurl it away as far as I can. Sophia moans and groans every time she has to go after it. Sometimes I think that she has no sense of humor.


Wheeoooo!

The family noticed that I am getting a funny set of sounds of my own. Every morning, Jan switches on the TV in my room on a children's channel for about half an hour. I love the cartoons. I copy all the whieooo's, aaahhhh's, ieeeeaaaiiii's and other sounds. I whistle and yell and scream, but in talking I have not taken a fancy. Still one word: "hoi" ("hi").

My Own Language

Jan noticed that although I don't use human speech, I do have a language of my own. For example, if a family member comes in my room and greets me, I stretch my wings one at the time. If they leave, I ask "Weeee-weet?" and they tell my that they will be back soon. Before Sophia switches off the light at night, she always says "G'night honey!" and I respond by shaking all my feathers at once. If I am not yet on my night perch, I quickly climb on it. Strangers wouldn't notice this "parrot language", but I have lived with the family Van der Nent since I was five weeks old so they know me through and through. Would you care to listen to a sample of a typical conversation with Sophia (she speaks Dutch, I speak Parrotian)? Enjoy!

Weekend

Weekend again: the days I wake up Sophia. I still love cuddling under her blankets and peek out to check if everything is still the way I left it. I love to lie still and have my head and neck scratched. I wouldn't have a clue why people say that I am spoiled.

Naughty Me

I am getting naughtier all the time. Gone is the quiet sweet-cheeked baby, welcome to Mr. Know-it-all-but-accept-nothing! Fortunately, my family members like a lot of spirit. Secretly, I think that they all are very self-willed themselves. I just inherited it from them.