Now I like parrots, they are intelligent and colourful and for the most part quite cheerful. However, they dislike me with a passion, I don’t know why this, but even the most docile African grey can transform itself back into an ancient ancestor and flip into velociraptor mode at the very sight of me.
I had a girlfriend who had a parrot and it was called Freddie and he seemed to like me because when we first met as he would come to the side of his cage and allow me to stroke the top of his head. This apparently was unusual as Freddie had previously shown a dislike to other would be suitors to his owner’s affection. In fact, my girlfriend was very impressed but none of us had any knowledge of Freddie’s real intentions.
After a few days of leading me into a false sense of security things suddenly took a turn for the worse as Freddie’s real plans were revealed. On this particular day my courage and confidence knew no bounds and I was eager to show off my latest party trick which basically was me allowing the parrot to groom my eyebrows through the bars of the cage. My girlfriend was suitable impressed as Freddie gently nibbled and tweaked away until almost in slow motion his head turned sideways and close up I saw his beak open and then close over the bridge of my nose.
For the next few seconds all hell broke loose as Freddie attempted to pull me through the bars, the less impressed girlfriend tried to prise his beak open as a stream of life blood flowed down my face. Then tiring of his game he suddenly let go and started preening himself like it was just a normal everyday thing. I swear he had an evil grin on his beak.
After that I allowed my eyebrows to grow wild and free and Freddie no longer liked me as he would shriek at me when I visited and to his pleasure my girlfriend and mysef split up a month later.
Another instance of the rage that I can produce in the parrot world was when we visited someone in Spain. They had two of the things that were allowed to fly around the house, I can’t remember what type they were but they were fairly small as parrots go. At first it was ok as they landed on me and sat on my shoulder or my head which everyone thought funny. I was quite happy with this mysef until I tried gently I might add to remove one from my head as its claws were scratching me. Outraged by this it closed its beak around my thumb and nigh on took it off. This spurred the other one into action and not to be outdone it pierced my ear in exactly the right place if I had wanted to wear an ear ring. The owner had to remove them and from that day forth they had to stay in their cage whenever I was present. They shrieked at me when I walked into the room so it was fairly obvious what the outcome would be if they were allowed to be free.
I have had several other minor displays of horror when parrots have set eyes on me. There was an old ladies African Grey that nearly decapitated itself trying to get to me and a few times when I have had to leave a pet store as my presence evoked chaos.
Now I live in Spain and to my horror there is a local population of parakeets which can number up to 30 or so. When I walk across the nature reserve I am aware of them watching me and waiting. Daphne De Maurier would surely have gained inspiration for the sequle to “The Birds”
If I ever go missing and after a search they find my lifeless body I am pretty certain you will find a few brightly colored feathers nearby.