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Subject: Lumber Jacks

Management sends a memo to African grey Parker & Pepper to leave the tree alone and behave enough so Bill will build them a playstand.

Patricia Sund

Lumber Jacks

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

We have a lovely parrot-safe tree in a big pot on the screened-in front porch. It’s a pleasant place for you to mess around. You climb around in the branches and catch some sun through the leaves while serenading the entire neighborhood with the "Theme from Andy Griffith” over and over. (And over.)

For the longest time you were satisfied with this. I even hung a few toys on it from leather cords, and you were content to climb about and play with the toys. But you became a little bolder and began chewing on the tree to the point where I had to banish you from the tree until it caught up growing back branches and leaves. It finally complied and grew back its branches and leaves replacing what you cut down. Once again, you were welcomed onto the tree.

However, this time you ignored the toys I had scattered in the branches and went right for the foliage like it was made of cheese. And again, you got no tree time until it recovered.

Guys, I just don’t think this tree can handle much more of this cyclical heavy pruning. It’s beginning to look like a refugee from an outdoor-shooting range. Although I regularly feed it, and it is the burial spot for my friend Leeann’s tropical fish that end their days as the years go by, it looks simply dreadful.

Well, I have a plan and much like one of my ex-boyfriends, the plan is simple. But unlike my ex-boyfriend, I think this plan will work.

We all know and love our friend Bill. Not only does Bill love you very much, he happens to be very handy, and he has designed and built countless toys for you. He can make a toy out of hemp twine, a cereal box and some plastic water bottle caps that keeps you occupied for hours. He also replaces the bottlebrush wood branches of your playgyms when you chew down the ends to a pencil point, leaving them only fit for a wood chipper.

Perhaps if we all ask very nicely, and if you refrain from pooping on him for a while, we can talk him into designing and building you a playstand for the front porch. As you know, Bill is very creative and he comes up with toy features that are brilliant, so I’m sure that he can design a treelike play stand for you. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

However, there are a few things you will have to do to entice Bill  into making it for you:

1) Don’t poop on Bill, and don’t give him the "raspberry” sound when he tells you to pipe down.

2) No chewing on his favorite Key West T-shirt. He loves that shirt, and he has many other shirts he doesn’t mind you chewing up. However, "The Green Parrot Bar” T-shirt is off-limits.

3) Say, "Thank you” when he comes over to make your breakfast. He likes polite parrots, and he taught you to say,"Thank you” when he asks you "What are the magic words?”

If you are very well-behaved, polite parrots and not the marauding hoodlums looting and pillaging everything in your path like you are with me, we might be able to persuade him to build you the tree stand. After all, he agrees with me about one thing: If you two are happy, we’ll be happy.

Please keep this in mind over the next few weeks. 

— Management

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Posted: January 15, 2014, 6:45 p.m. PDT

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Subject: Lumber Jacks

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