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Subject: Bone Thieves

Management sends a memo to African grey Parker and Pepper to stop stealing Mattie the dog's bone.

Patricia Sund

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

We were all having a lovely evening last week. Bill and I were eating dinner while watching the stock market hit the dirt again, and you had already been presented with a fresh and exciting array of bean mix, sprouts, nuts and other favorites.

You seemed preoccupied with your meals. Due to the shocking lack of noise in the room, we knew that you two were clearly enjoying your food. That is, until you noticed Mattie with a fresh-out-of-the-fridge marrow bone. Mattie has to watch her weight as she is a little moocher that stops at the neighbor's house to beg for treats if I don’t have my eye on her every minute. And our friend Nan occasionally drops by and loads her down with chicken treats if I’m not watching. So a marrow bone is a very special event for her.

Bone Thieves

What makes you think you can steal it from her? You two have some real gall, I must say. You stopped gulping down two perfectly lovely gourmet parrot plates to jump over from your playstands to your cages, and shimmied down to stride over to Mattie, who was innocently gnawing away at her treasured treat on the living room floor.

Parker, you were in the lead with Pepper following like a little toady. Did you really expect Mattie to simply hand over the goods as if you were muggers on the street? Bill and I were stunned with this latest turn of events! We looked at each other with our mouths open, not quite believing what we were seeing.

The drama unfolded: Parker, you edged closer and made a swipe at the bone. Mattie spotted you and made a slight adjustment in her position by swinging the bone around away from you. Parker, you countered by following the bone, Pepper at your heels.

I thought I should intervene, but Bill put his hand up. "Just wait a second, let Mattie handle it.”

Mattie had just about enough. She clearly wasn’t going to allow you to take her bone away. At this point, she simply picked up her bone and carried it into the kitchen. You were both left standing there in the middle of the living room floor — empty-beaked and looking shocked, confused and forlorn.

Well, what did you expect? First, you poop on her. Then you pelt her with your toys, douse her with water, and now you want to take away her marrow bone? I don’t think so. Even Mattie puts her paw down when it comes to her bone!

Parker, you occasionally get your own cooked chicken bone, and you crack it open lengthwise to scoop out the marrow with great relish. You enjoy those chicken bones and always appreciate them. May I point out that Mattie doesn’t get chicken bones? You and Pepper are allowed one every so often and Mattie is banished to the couch while you consume one. Neatness was never your long suit, and you scatter bone shards around like they were lawn darts . I don’t want Mattie to get ahold of one of those bones, so she stays on the couch with me or takes a sun bath on the porch while you have your bones. When you are through, I can then sweep up the shards.

Please respect Mattie as being "Boss of the Bone” when she gets her occasional bone, and cease this thievery, pronto! Your understanding of bone etiquette and propriety is appreciated. 

— Management

Read more "Memos to Parker & Pepper" here.

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Posted: April 8, 2014, 1:30 p.m. PDT

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