Monday, September 11, 2006

Bird Witted

Hawthorne’s been chatty lately. Just as an FYI, he likes to let loose with words that are easy for a critter with no lips to say – words with hard, crispy sounds are easiest for him, so he makes up his own compound nouns like chickenwaffle or turkeycracker. He also likes higher tones and sliding up and down the vocal scale.

I’m not going to anthropomorphize him to the extent that I think he truly understands conversation. I do know that he associates certain phrases with certain people and certain times of the day. He also seems to be pretty good at understanding the sequence of question/response that we non-befeathered entities practice regularly.

Here are some little Hawthorne moments we’ve recently enjoyed:

(Doodle in kitchen getting a snack)

Hawthorne: I want some chirp wappies.
Doodle: What’s a chirp wappy?
Hawthorne: It’s a turkey nibble.
Doodle: I don’t have any. Where would I find turkey nibbles?
Hawthorne: On a cracker.
Doodle: Which cracker?
Hawthorne: Graham crackers.
Doodle: I don’t think we have any. No graham crackers, Birdie.
Hawthorne: Waffles.
Doodle: We’re out of waffles, too.
Hawthorne: Chicken.
Doodle: What kind of chicken?
Hawthorne: Chicken breasts.
Doodle: I don’t know that we have any cooked already.
Hawthorne: Wet chicken breasts.
Doodle: That’s nasty.
Hawthorne: (laughs uproariously)

(Hawthorne alone in kitchen, Bunny in her bedroom off the kitchen)

Hawthorne: BUNNY!
Bunny: What?
Hawthorne: C’mere!
Bunny: NO!
Hawthorne: OK. Brush your teeth and take a shower.
Bunny: Geez, no, I’m reading.
Hawthorne: GO TO BED!
Bunny: No, Hawthorne, it’s too early!
Hawthorne: Do your homework.
Bunny: I already did it, you whacky bird!
Hawthorne: C’mere!
Bunny: No, I’m reading! I already told you that!
Hawthorne: (sounding upset) I don’t have any hair.
Bunny: (busts out laughing, gives up and comes into kitchen) No, you don’t.
And you don’t have any pants, either! Silly!
Hawthorne: Aw. Uh-oh.
Bunny: You have soft gray feathers all over your body.
Hawthorne: Kiss the birdie.
Bunny: No, you’ll bite off my lips!
Hawthorne: You’re a sweetheart!
Bunny: MOM! The bird’s flirting with me!
Hawthorne: (chuckles) Almond. Almond for birdie?
Bunny: Honestly. Why didn’t you just ask for an almond in the first place?
Hawthorne: I’m whacky! (flaps wings, bobs up and down and laughs)

(Spawn, early in the morning, just exiting bedroom, which is within Hawthorne’s line of sight)

Hawthorne: SPAWN! C’mere!
Spawn: Hey, Chirpmasta, how’s it going?
Hawthorne: What’re you doing?
Spawn: Getting some milk.
Hawthorne: (makes blooping noises)
Spawn: (laughs) Yep, I’m thirsty.
Hawthorne: Thirsty birdie.
Spawn: Want some milk?
Hawthorne: (more blooping noises)
Spawn: (puts glass of milk where Hawthorne can slurp some up and he does)
Hawthorne: (belching noise)
Spawn: Pretty good, eh?
Hawthorne: Cheese.
Spawn: Tastes like cheese, or do you want some cheese?
Hawthorne: Cheese and crackers.
Spawn: MOM! Hawthorne wants cheese and crackers!
(Me: Well, give him some! Spawn gets a little piece of cheese and a cracker and holds them out to Hawthorne)
Hawthorne: (munches cheese, throws cracker on the floor of his cage) AWK!
Spawn: Not the right cracker?
Hawthorne: Graham cracker.
Spawn. Cheese and graham crackers? That’s yucky!
Hawthorne: Chicken.
Spawn: It’s 7 o’clock in the morning! I’m not making you any chicken!
Hawthorne: (makes a razzberry noise)
Spawn: No. No chicken. If you edge over here, I’ll give you a little poke, though (said in a very sweet voice)
Hawthorne: AWWWWK! Kiss the birdie!
Spawn: No bird kissing.
Hawthorne: Chicken.
Spawn: No, gosh darn it! No chicken and no bird kissing! It’s too early!
Hawthorne: Gimme a dollar.
Spawn: WHAT? I don’t have a dollar! What would you do with a dollar anyway? You’re a bird! You’re in a cage.
Hawthorne: (mumbles a little) Chicken.
Spawn: Oh, you’d use the dollar to buy chicken?
Hawthorne: Uhn huhn. (bobs head)
--at which point, Spawn can’t hold it in any more and laughs so hard he has to sit down on the floor—

Spawn: You sure are a smart birdie.
Hawthorne: You’re a sweetheart.


Anne on the Jersey Shore said...

Hi, BoS--
I appreciated your post mentioning Viennese coffee. Make mine mit Schlag, bitte sehr! I lived in a boarding house connected with AIS, and located right next to Grinzing near the Wienerwald (think it was Heiligenstadt). I was back in Vienna a few years ago and took the tram out to the old stomping grounds. Lots of changes in the city, mostly for the better.

Here's a link to the basic potscrubber pattern, called a tawashi.
Of course, since I never knit anything as written, I have modified the pattern! I use nylon tulle, cut into 1-inch wide strips, and that improves the scrubbing quality. I also make them larger than written, casting on 35-40 sts, and working for the same number of rows as I have stitches. I've made these in very soft tulle and included them as bodyscrubbers in gift bags with scented soap and bath goodies. Big hit with the recipients.
Regards from the Jersey Shore,

Anonymous said...

I'm on Sock-knitters. Saw your post about knitting a sock monkey and your blog link, so came over here to see your blog. Is there a picture of Hawthorne here somewhere? How cool is that bird? Enjoyed your conversations! A friend of mine once knitted a sock monkey for another friend of mine, she used piano wire and sewing thread! I have never attempted it, but I'm sure it could be done just using the basic sock monkey instructions and knitting the "parts" and assembling them. See this page:

(Blogger won't let me sign in because I switched to beta.)

Lizardknits said...

WOW! What kind of bird is this?

Geo said...

Oh, what a treat of a post. I can tell I'm going to be lurking about at your blog. don't worry; I'm not dangerous. Thanks for the great laguhs.

BoS said...

Thanks, everyone! I'll make sure to visit those links, and I appreciate your sharing them. Hawthorne is an African Gray parrot, whom we've had for over 20 years. He's always a delight, and I swear he makes life funnier and sweeter. He picked up parenting from me, and when he's annoyed with the kids, he'll do the "1, 2, 3" thing with them, or just call them by name and tell them to "Be QUIET!". I posted a picture of him a couple of months ago, I'll see if I can dig up the link.