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Bongo Marie and the Cornish Game Hen
Story & Illustration by Sally Blanchard


Bongo Marie
This story about my African grey appeared in the first issue of the Pet Bird Report. I am convinced after living with Bongo Marie for over 20 years that she has a sense of humor. Her laughter is almost always appropriate. It seems to me as if some African greys have a superiority complex, as if they think they are better than other parrots they live with. Certainly Bongo Marie has always acted as if Paco, my female double yellow head Amazon, was not her equal -- as if green was an inferior color. They both have lived with me for about 20 years now and will never be friends. Bongo will occasionally call Paco's name until Paco responds. Then the grey will tell the Amazon to "Be Quiet!"

A few years ago, Bongo Marie's cage was right next to the dining room table and Paco's cage was right near the door. I was fixing dinner and had just taken a Cornish game hen out of the oven. Bongo Marie climbed down the side of her cage and eyed my dinner quizzically. Suddenly, she threw her head up and in a frantic questioning voice exclaimed, "OH NO, PACO!?!?!" After I stopped laughing. I explained to her that the bird on the platter was not Paco, "Look Bongo Marie -- that's not Paco. Paco is right over there." She looked towards Paco and in a very indignant voice said, "oh no," as if she was disappointed. Then she laughed hysterically with her very maniacal laugh as if to let me know she had been joking all of the time.
 

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