Epitaph to a Parrot - by Theodore Stephanides (1896 - 1983)
For thirty years he talked in feathered pride
For thirty years he talked before he died.
You say that parrots do not really know
The meaning of the words they speak? Just so,
I grant you that you may be right - but then,
The Parrot - by Edward Lucie-Smith
The parrot is a thief.
Is safe in earshot
Of that bird.
He picks it up.
He turns it round.
He tries it out for sound
And then he says it,
Loud and clear,
And all the neighbours
Know you swear.
The Parrot - by James Elroy Flecker
Now if you'd train a parrot, catch him young
While soft the mouth and tractable the tongue.
Old birds are fools: they dodder in their speech,
More eager to forget than you to teach;
They swear one curse, then gaze at you askance,
And all oblivion thickens in their glance.
Thrice blest whose parrot of his own accord
Invents new phrases to delight his lord,
Who spurns the dull quotidian task and tries
Selected words that prove him good and wise.
Ah, once it was my privilege to know
A bird like this . . .
But that was long ago!
Mother Parrot's Advice to her Children - Ganda, Africa Translated by A.K. Nyabongo
Never get up till the sun gets up,
Or the mists will give you a cold,
And a parrot whose lungs have once been touched Will never live to be old.
Never eat plums that are not quite ripe,
For perhaps they will give you a pain:
And never dispute what the hornbill says,
Or you'll never dispute again.
Never despise the power of speech:
Learn every word as it comes,
For this is the pride of the parrot race,
That it speaks in a thousand tongues.
Never stay up when the sun goes down,
But sleep in your own home bed,
And if you've been good, as a parrot should,
You will dream that your tail is red.