One day, out of the blue, a former college student of mine asked me if I liked birds. I said yeah, particularly chicken, turkey, and the occasional Peking duck. Then she told me this was serious.

I was wondering if I was going to be the victim of fowl play.

She went on to explain that a close friend had died and that he had a bright green Mexican red-headed parrot. The problem was that nobody could get near it. Whenever anyone tried it freaked out and attacked them. The parrot wasn't eating either, and they were worried it would die.

At this point I'm scratching my head, wondering where this was going.

So my old student asked if I would be interested in a free parrot that apparently had berserker blood. I decided that maybe I would look at it, since I did like parrots and cockatoos.

We went over to the deceased person's house, and she explained how her friend had passed away. He had violently killed himself right in front of the bird cage. That was why the parrot was crazy, and to be honest, I couldn't blame it.

She went into the room first, and the bird starts up a racket that could've raised the...bread in the oven. It's shouting, trilling, and any other descriptive word that means horrible bad noises coming from an angry bird

Then I walked into the room.

The bird immediately shut up. It looked at me, and I returned the gaze. The parrot's name was Beaky, and it was a she-parrot. She started doing a goofy head-bobbing dance. My college friend was stunned as she watched the devil bird act sweet and happy.

Apparently I looked a bit like the deceased gentleman. We both had a bushy goatee and grayish hair. Apparently that was enough for Beaky. With plenty of trepidation, I opened the cage and offered a peanut to the very sharp looking beak of Beaky, who gladly accepted it and began to open it up to eat as though it was a normal day. I decided I'd give Beaky a home, especially since my oldest daughter had asked for a parrot at one time.

That evening, Beaky was sitting on my shoulder picking peanuts out of my beard that my kids had shoved in there. I guess Beaky made a friend or two.

/me misses...

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