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Management sends out a memo asking African grey Parker to not chew holes into the new lampshade.

By Patricia Sund

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Memo: To Parker & Pepper
Dept: African Greys
From: Management
Subject: Lampshade

Parker, in case you might not have noticed, I have replaced the lampshade that was on the floor lamp next to your play stand. It is brand new and cost me $49. I am hoping that it remains in the state in which it is now: clean and without any holes in it.

Perhaps you don’t remember the old lampshade. It was dark beige, and the cloth covering it had a charming burlap texture to it. It was, at one time, a beautiful lampshade. It also served its intended purpose; sitting on the lamp and shading the bulb on the base that looks like a wooden camera tripod.

The African greys, Parker and Pepper, chewed on the $49 lampshade.

Did you not like the way the lampshade looked in its original form? Did you feel you could improve its appearance by artistically punching little beak-shaped holes in it and ripping it off the wire frame? Did you feel it would look more attractive lying on the floor? I assure you, we have enough “shabby chic” around here as it is.

I am sending this memo to you Parker, because you and I both know Pepper had nothing to do with this particular caper. She doesn’t possess the urge to destroy quite as enthusiastically as you do and, if I may point out, her play stand is on the opposite side of the room. So I will not have any toe-pointing and innocent looks going on when it comes to who is responsible for this. You can’t blame Pepper for this one, and you must learn to be responsible for your own actions.

Parker, I realize you have an artistic streak in you, and I’m sorry I haven’t had the time to teach you to paint as I promised. I’ve tried to play classical music for you and Pepper, but you seem to prefer the Blues CDs Laney Rickman from the Bird Endowment sent us with the ripping ballad, “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” from the musical, Oklahoma; and inexplicably, that heinously annoying song, “Banana Phone.” As I have said so many times: When it comes to you, there is no accounting for taste.

You know how I feel about a well-rounded education. I believe the arts are a very important part of everyone’s life including yours and Pepper’s. But I think deciding on a project on your own is a bit beyond your reach and, in the future, you should leave that to Management. If you feel the need to chew or “redecorate,” might I suggest that you select something from the vast army of toys, wood pieces and leather objects that I have made available to you for that very use? You have scads of toys that I make and purchase for you, and I change them on a regular basis. You have foraging toys, bells, balls, ropes and swings. I occasionally provide you with a veggie kabob full of carrot chunks, broccoli florets and pepper slices to play with and munch on. Why must you insist on redecorating a lampshade when you could play with and destroy so many other toys? Well, we won’t worry about it anymore, and it won’t happen again because I repositioned the lamp. Where it is now, you’d need ropes, a climbing ax and little climbing boots with spikes to get to it.

In the future, please refrain from attacking and chewing on the furniture. Your compliance will be noted and very appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

 — Management 

For monlthy information about pet birds and parrots, subscribe to BIRD TALK Magazine by clicking here.

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Reader Comments
I love the "Lampshade" article by Patricia Sund! You can almost picture in your mind the antics Parker is doing!
Stacey, Jacksonville, FL
Posted: 8/26/2012 9:26:24 PM
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