Read Pickles The Parrot Returns: My Continued Adventures with a Bird Brain Online

Authors: Georgi Abbott

Tags: #pets, #funny, #stories, #humour, #birds, #parrot, #pet care, #african grey

Pickles The Parrot Returns: My Continued Adventures with a Bird Brain

BOOK: Pickles The Parrot Returns: My Continued Adventures with a Bird Brain
11.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Georgi Abbott

Copyright 2011 Georgi Abbot

Smashwords Edition

Cover By


Thank you for being so sweet, so talented,

And for doing such an awesome job on

Both of my books!

This Book is Dedicated to My Mom

Zoe Clemens

Thank you for your encouragement.

If I have talent, I got it from


~ ~ ~

And, of course, my husband


I couldn’t have done it without you babe.

You’re my inspiration.


At the time of this writing, 2011, Pickles is
9 years old. We got him from a breeder when he was exactly 3 months
old, already speaking a few words. For several years, we owned a
flyfishing shop and Pickles accompanied us to work most days. We no
longer have the flyshop but have been fortunate enough in our
careers for one or both of us to be able to spend most of our time
with Pickles.

Pickles has playstands and/or rope/boing
set-ups throughout the house and he’s usually in the same room that
we are in. His cage is set up in the livingroom with a playstand
made of tree branches and attached to a table, right next to his
cage. He is out of the cage from the moment we take him out in the
morning, until he goes to bed at night – and he decides when
bedtime is. He isn’t usually clipped but does not fly, as a rule,
unless startled.

He has an outdoor aviary but only spends time
out there if we are in the yard to supervise him (fear of theft).
From the aviary, he can overlook most of the yard – small trout
pond, many trees and shrubs that are grown for wild bird habitat
(of which we get many) and pedestrians can be spotted between the
perimeter trees however, it’s difficult for them to see Pickles –
which makes for some sticky situations. We all (including our 6
pound, rust colored Min Pin, Neeka) spend a lot of time puttering
in the yard or sitting pond side in spring, summer and fall.

We live in Logan Lake, British Columbia,
Canada – a high altitude (3500 feet), semi arid small town of about
2200 people. We have long winters with snow and short growing
seasons which sometimes make it very difficult to have a successful
garden. Trees and shrubs are slow to grow and fruit trees are
especially hard to fruit before the frosts come.

Pickles is opinionated, head strong, cheeky,
demanding and bossy but he can also be sweet, cuddly, friendly and
fun loving. He likes new people and will readily chat it up with
them and also sit on their hands or knees. He’s a well-adjusted,
intelligent Congo African Grey with well over 100 words in his
vocabulary. He is content to sit in a room with us, sit in a room
alone and chat to himself or be left in the house alone and is
basically a happy bird.

In my first book, ‘Pickles The Parrot’,
published in the fall of 2010, we skimmed over a few issues we had
over the years but mostly it was humorous stories about life with
Pickles. This book is basically the same but we will delve a little
further into his/our every day life, some issues relating to health
and behavior and how we deal with them. It’s not a book on advice
for your parrot but hopefully it will give you some ideas. Each
chapter will begin with Pickles’ past FaceBook posts, and his
perspective on life, and then I will take over.

Humorous stories about Pickles are peppered
throughout this book and are not necessarily in chronological
order. I have kept a journal about Pickles since day one but mostly
his antics are scribbled on scrap paper only to be lost and then
found again months or years later. By rewriting his stories, I am
able to recall all the details from my journal or scraps of paper
so that they are accurate, even though they may have occurred years

Pickles does not talk and make sense at all
times. He’s pretty smart but we don’t have fascinating events and
conversations every day. The stories you’ll read throughout the
book are an accumulation of things that have happened in the span
of 9 years. Pickles does entertaining things every day but, while
they are amusing and interesting, they’re not always book worthy so
it took years to get enough stories for two books.

Chapter 1

Mommy likes my poop. She's
always picking it up and then she saves it in a container under the
kitchen sink. After awhile, she takes it and puts it in a bigger
container outside. Once a week, a big truck comes by and I think he
takes it to a storage place or somewhere safe cuz I think she's
afraid it will get stolen.”

Do you ever poop and a
little bit doesn't come out?  It kinda just hangs there and
waves in the air?  And your mommy chases you around to make
sure you don't drop it somewhere?  And that just makes you run
faster?  And along the way, it picks up dust and stuff? 
I do.”

My mommy's a little loopy,
her mind is kind of soupy

She’s quite
the quack, I won't take it back

But at least she cleans up
my poopy”

So, I'm sitting down below
on the corner of my cage apron, all fluffed up and content when
suddenly I have to poop.  I let one fly on the carpet below
& asked for my snack.  Mom said - you don't get a snack
for that, there's no paper there.  Okay fine.  I stuck my
head in the cage door and pulled out the paper from the bottom of
my cage, dragged it out, over to the corner and dropped it
below.  Now, I realize the poop is now below the paper but
really; it's just a matter of semantics. Paper - poop, poop -
paper.  What's the difference?  You wanted paper so now
you gots paper.  Give me my snack!”

Mommy gets dizzy when she
stands up really fast.  When I stand up really fast, I
poop.  Good thing mom doesn't.”

Admit it, you humans are
fascinated with our poop.  Always looking for it, wiping it up
and saving it in Kleenex, practicing poopology to learn more about
what it means when it's a different color or texture.  And
you're always taking pictures of our butts and plastering it all
over the Internet.  This is why you put our food in deep bowls
instead of plates, so you can cop a peek. Don't bother denying

Mom pulled the hair out of
the hairbrush, threw it on top of the full garbage under the
sink and washed the brush.  Later, mom took me for a walk on
her hand and half way through I had to poop so she held me over the
sink.  I missed the drain (usually I get a bullseye) so mom
wiped it up with a kleenex and when she opened the cabinet door to
throw it in the garbage, she screamed!  I didn't know
what she was screaming about but I wasn't about to hang around
to find out so I beat it out of there, fast as my wings would
carry me!  Then I heard her laughing and she came to find
me but when I saw that dead animal in her hand, I ran for
the hills again.  I don't know what kind of things
live in her hair but maybe if she washed it more often
she wouldn't find ugly rodents nesting in there.”

I pooped on the counter and
mom said "Jeez Pickles, how'd you like it if I pooped anywhere I
felt like pooping" and I said "I don't care - you're the one that
has to clean it up so how'd YOU like it?"  I haven't noticed
her pooping anywhere so I think I made my point.”

Pickles talks a lot about poop. He’s
interested in it, I’m interested in it and it’s a big part all our
lives. To him, it represents snacks so each time he goes, he alerts
me with “Poop on the paper” and then lets one fly. If he does
indeed poop on one of the mats that we keep below a couple of
perching areas, he’s rewarded with a pine nut and he knows that if
he poops elsewhere, he doesn’t get a reward. That’s okay with him
because now it becomes a source of amusement.

When he’s pooping for snacks, he squeezes
them out so often that he basically runs out and then he’ll start
saving it up. Once he’s got a nice load ready, you can just see it
in his eyes. He suddenly straightens up, eyes wide as if thinking
“Whoa, I think I got enough!” He starts shaking his butt, but this
isn’t your regular Grey butt shake, his whole body will vibrate
violently as he grips his perch tightly and bends backwards and
down so far that you’d think he was doing push-ups. Sometimes he’ll
lose his grip and have to right himself to start all over

When he finally lets it go, and before it
actually hits the ground, his head is cocked to watch its descent.
Then he leans forward and stares admiringly at his work of art.
After he’s finished inspecting it, he fluffs up with wing flaps and
shakes his tail in good cheer. Job well done! And a snack to

I’m sure other parrots do this and I have to
wonder what is so attractive to them about their own poop. The
sound of the plop? The size, shape and texture? The pretty colors,
depending on what they’ve been eating? Obviously, those things are
important to us parronts for determining their health but even we
don’t stare at it as long as they do.

Luckily, he doesn’t eat it and he actually
gets quite disgusted if a little nugget sticks to his butt and he
has to remove it with his beak. It rarely happens but God forbid he
gets a long hangy! I’ve watched Pickles run growling and screaming
in a rage trying to get away from a string of poop hanging an inch
or so from his back-end.

I’ve watched Pickles when we’re in the
livingroom and he’s sleeping on top of his cage with the playstand
between him and the couch. His eyes suddenly pop open, realizing he
has to poop and that he hasn’t had a snack in a really long time,
he scrambles across his cage, jumps on his playstand, traverses the
branches and encountering his large bell along the way – which he
can never,
pass without at least
slamming it with his beak – he smacks it as if to say “Not now!
Can’t you see I’m on a snack mission!” - but then politely
announces over his shoulder that he’ll “Be right back”, grabs a
branch by the beak and swings like an acrobat down a series of
other branches and toys, to the base of the playstand and hollers
“Poop!” to get our attention. A wiggle and a shake and out it
comes, onto the mat below. A long trek, but worth a pine nut.

I’m sure most bird owners realize the
importance of poopology, and it really is important to inspect
daily. It’s an important tool for watching for health problems that
we might not know about otherwise. Parrots are extremely good at
hiding symptoms of illness, probably a throwback from the wild. A
sick or injured bird is noticed by predators and shunned by flock

Pickles is trained to poop on paper, whether
it’s below his perch or if we’re holding him and ask him to poop on
an old TV Guide (which we sometimes get mixed up with a new one and
are stuck with it for the 2 weeks the Guide is good for) and he’ll
always tell us “Gotta poop” if he’s on us or the furniture. I can’t
remember the last time Neil or I were pooped on, it’s been years
but no matter how well trained a bird is, you still have poop to
clean up – off perches, toys, cage floors and sometimes their food
and water.

I think our non-bird friends are disgusted
and to tell you the truth, so was I before we got Pickles. It was
the one drawback to getting a large bird. I’ve had budgies and
cockatiels in the past and they just flitted around pooping
helter-skelter. The thought of a large bird doing that was
revolting to me. But very soon after Pickles joined our family,
people would ask, “Do they poop a lot? Are they messy?” and quite
frankly, I found myself pausing because I had ceased to think of it
that way. Naturally, you end up answering “Of course! They’re
birds!” and while they’re thinking “How disgusting”, I’m thinking,
“What’s the big deal?”

Poop covered mats littering the floors around
all Pickles’ play areas, discarded feathers and food cluttering the
floors, dark furniture that appears grey from dust dander and a TV
screen we can barely see through, all seem commonplace to us now.
I’m not proud, I’ll admit I’m a lousy housekeeper and I really
don’t care what people think when they come to our house these
days. I am officially one of those ‘bird people’. As Mark Twain
once said (and by the way, he’s my great, great, great – or
something like that – uncle
), “She was not quite
what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call
unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.”
Good old Uncle Mark had us pegged way back in the 1800’s.

I had a lady stop by the house one day for a
business meeting. Maybe she didn’t like birds, I don’t know, but I
was a little putt-off that when she entered the livingroom, she
never even acknowledged Pickles. I mean, it was hard to ignore him
because the minute she walked in, Pickles was doing his loud, happy
chirps and calling out “Good morning!” But she didn’t even glance
at him as she walked straight to the couch and took a seat with her
back to him and facing me in the rocking chair.

BOOK: Pickles The Parrot Returns: My Continued Adventures with a Bird Brain
11.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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