Yesterday I went outside when I heard an unusually loud cacophony of crows right outside my window. I saw two crows perched on a telephone wire shouting very loudly at a lone wild parrot perched on a perpendicular wire eighteen inches away. As I got closer I realized I was hearing three crows squawking, but only two crows were present. After a moment the two crows grew silent, yet the parrot continued on with its perfect pitch mimicry of crow alarm sounds. It was funny to watch, and unusual to see a wild parrot apart from its flock. I told my friend Catherine “Perhaps the parrot just went out on its own for a lark.”
It made me think of political talk shows, and how they all usually end up shouting at one another. I thought “The way to stun your opponents would be to start talking very loudly above them, saying what they are saying. Then one of them would stop and say “Did you just say what I just said?” And then you would say “No, YOU just said what I just said!” The talk show host would interject. “Wait. I’m confused. Isn’t one of you a crow, and one of you a parrot?” And then you would shout, rotating your head 180 degrees “No, YOU are!” And fly away.
As I walked back inside the two crows were still perched on the wire. I imagined that I could hear one say to the other one “That little guy must admire us a great deal, learning to speak
The other one drawled “Don’t kid yourself, Poe. These green birds don’t belong here. They are trying to steal our place in the palm trees.”
At twilight each night the flock of wild parrots soar over this neighborhood. Without fail. They are chirping and squawking so loudly one could almost imagine they are laughing at us mere mortals below them.
I want to raise my fist like Homer Simpson, and shout “Speak English you silly Birds!”
But oh, I know in my heart of hearts I would give it all up, and learn any language, if it would enable me to fly.