The Talking Parrot

Mrs. Thompson was packing. She was gonna move in an old people’s home and had a dilemma: she had Polly who was a talking parrot and was not allowed to bring it in with her as they had a ‘no pets’ policy. Mrs Thompson had no family so she thought about who could she trust from her neighbourhood to live Polly with?

Now, there were these three girls that usually visited her Lilly, Jenifer and Annabelle. All three girls were sweet and caring but which one to choose without upsetting the others? Mrs Thompson had an idea… She called the three girls and told them that she decided to give Polly to one of them. The girls were very excited, each one hoping to be the one to keep Polly. Mrs Thompson also told them that in order for her to choose which one of the girls will take the parrot, she will give each girl a trial run: each one will have the parrot for a week and during that week will teach the parrot a greeting.

The first week, Lilly had to teach Polly “Good morning!”. She was very dedicated. Had the parrot in the room with her, always repeating “Good morning”. Sometimes her mum would call her “Come here!” to help with chores, but Lilly just dismissed her with a “Sorry, I can’t.” By the end of the week, her effort was rewarded and Polly could say “Good morning!” She was very happy and she took the parrot back to Mrs Thompson with her mission accomplished.

The second week, Jenifer took Polly and had to teach it “Good afternoon!”. She also took her responsibility very seriously and kept the parrot next to her bed and spent all her time teaching it “Good afternoon!” When her mum would call her “Come please ” to help, most of the time she would reply: “Not now, I’m busy!” Nonetheless, by the end of the week, Polly could say “Good afternoon!” She was so proud of her achievement and hoped that she would get Polly at the end!

On the third week it was Annabelle’s turn to take Polly home and she had to teach it to say “Good night!”. She put the parrot with its cage on the kitchen bench top so she could teach it to say “Good night!” as she was doing her work. She had to do her chores and often run and help her grandmother who was in a wheelchair. Whenever her grandma would call her “Come here please” to come and help she would answer “Coming grandma…” Despite all those interruptions during learning, by the end of the week the parrot could now say “Good night!” She was so excited and couldn’t wait to see who was gonna get to keep Polly.

Mrs Thompson was a bit stuck because all three girls met her condition. Which girl was she going to choose? She decided to tell  the girls to ask the parrot. Lilly went first and said to the parrot: “Come here…” and to anyone’s surprise the parrot answered “Sorry I can’t “. Lilly looked down embarrassed. She remembered that those were her exact words when her mum used to ask for her help, while she had Polly over at her house. Next was Jenifer to ask Polly to come to her. To her surprise, when she said “Come please…” Polly answered “Not now, I’m busy!”. That’s right, Jenifer’s words when replying to her mum while she had the parrot over. Annabelle was next and when she asked Polly “Come here please” The parrot answered “Coming grandma!”

Mrs Thompson knew who to give her beloved parrot and Annabelle was one happy girl that day. Lilly and Jenifer learned the hard way that the words we speak live a strong influence.