I don’t understand why humans get all upset when I eat. I do what I’m supposed to do: I grind up the seeds and nuts first, then let most of it fall to the ground where other creatures can eat also, and I always leave the skin for someone else down there. My humans make a big fuss cleaning it all up. Now I ask you, what are the dog and the other little creatures supposed to eat?
And don’t get me started about the fuss they make when I make a dropping. This, too, helps the ground in the forest. And if they don’t want me to do it right where I’m standing, then give me a branch to stand on. Those flat surfaces hurt my poor feet, not to mention how tired I get walking on a perfectly straight and uniform size branch in my place. I’d prefer a nice irregular branch from a tree.
But living with humans isn’t all bad. My dad gives me lots of special treats, and when he eats, I taste everything on his plate because some human food is really tasty. Pizza crust. Ummm. Yummy. But some humans in my flock get upset when they see my droppings around when we’re eating. I don’t understand that because I didn’t do anything wrong, and if I can, I back up to the edge of the table and let it drop to the ground. I’m very clean, and I always wipe off the outside of my beak and bite something to clean the inside. It’s important to have a clean beak, isn’t it? It’s not my fault that all I have is their shoulder to wipe on. They just complain about the hole in the shirt. Give me some bark to chew on, then!
And always the complaints about the noise when dad goes away, and I call him because I’m lonely. I’m bonded to him, and when we’re bonded together, we should always be together, 24/7. It scares me when he goes away for a long time and I don’t see him. Why doesn’t he let me go along? I love it when we cuddle together at night for an hour or two and watch images in that strange bright window; it’s my favorite time, but I hate it when he takes me back to my place and makes me spend the rest of the night alone.
But I’m not always sad when I call out. Sometimes I just like to sing or call for fun. My human flock does that too, but they tell me to shut up. I just ignore them. We birds like to use our voices, especially in the mornings and late afternoons.
I found a nice piece of flat bark to chew on, but later dad had a fit, and yelled at me saying that I ruined the cover of his new book. What’s a cover, anyway? What else would someone use that flat bark for? And speaking of chewing, I like those chewy vines that I find in dad’s area. I chewed some of those, and it was fun, but he got all upset again, saying I ruined his something by chewing the wire. What’s a wire? Does he mean that chewy grey vine?
I guess owning a human is OK. I try to be a good master, but dad doesn’t always obey. I love him anyways because he treats me with love and kindness, like any other member in our flock. Our flock has one Conure (me), two Budgies, and seven humans, including dad, the one I own.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OWNING A PARROT. You can’t have a parrot as a pet. A dog, certainly, a cat, maybe, but a parrot, never. Quite the contrary; you are the pet, and parrots vary in their ability to make good masters. Be warned – being owned by a parrot is not for the faint of heart.
Dr. Joanna Burger, “The Parrot Who Owns Me – The Story of a Relationship”