Tag: parrot

A Strange Beach Trip

Melissa’s family decided to go to the beach over spring break. They had to drive for hours to get there. As they drove further south, they found sunny weather and blue skies. The warm sun felt fabulous. It had been a long, cold winter.

It was evening when they arrived at their hotel. It was large and painted bright green. After they checked in, the desk clerk gave them a map. “A lot of our guests get lost,” she said. “I marked your room right here.”

Melissa peeked at the map. It was quite confusing. It looked like there were a number of separate buildings and sunrooms and courtyards. “That looks like a long walk from here,” she said.

“Oh, you can drive to the closest parking lot,” the desk clerk said. So, they took their suitcases back outside and drove around the back to another building nearby.

“I am so tired,” Melissa’s mom said. “Let’s just find our room and get to bed. We had a late lunch.”

“But I’m hungry,” Michael said.

Melissa’s dad pulled out his wallet. “Here, I’ll give you money for the vending machine. I’m sure there’s one somewhere. Take your sister. Melissa, do you have your phone?”

“Yes,” Melissa said. “Can I take the map?”

“Here you go,” he said. “Take your suitcases in before you go.”

Michael and Melissa cut through the courtyard to get to the vending machine. “Left, left, and then right,” Melissa said. Michael nodded. Soon they’d found the vending machines. While Michael was making his choices, Melissa bought a granola bar and some rice cakes. It was time to go back.

She looked at the map. If she turned it around, it should be easy to figure out, right? Unfortunately, they turned wrong at one of the corners and ended up somewhere else.

“This map doesn’t have room numbers,” she said. “How are you supposed to figure out where you are if you’re lost? I’m going to complain in the morning.” Michael rolled his eyes and leaned against the wall. Melissa pulled out her phone. Should she call? How would their parents find them? She had the map.

Just then, a parrot waddled down the corridor. It looked up at her. “Lost?” it asked.

“Yes,” Melissa said. “All the rooms in our hallway had a picture of the sun by the room number.” She looked around. “These have trees. Do you know the way to the sun hallway?”

“Map,” it said. Melissa held out the map. The parrot tapped on a short corridor and then bobbed its head and waddled away. It held up a little ankle bracelet in front of what Melissa had thought was a doorstop. The door opened up and the parrot slipped inside.

Melissa looked back at the map. She was almost back to the courtyard. She’d just have to go left and then right. She marched off. Michael followed her. “Melissa, did that parrot just talk?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said.

“Oh, okay,” he said. He opened a bag of chips and started eating. When they got back to the room, their parents were watching the weather channel.

“It’s going to be beautiful tomorrow,” Melissa’s mom said.

The beach was crowded the next morning. Melissa’s parents put out beach towels and umbrellas and told Melissa and Michael not to wander too far. Michael left his sandals by the towels and ran towards the water.

Melissa decided to explore. She trudged over to a large sand dune. Her feet slid down the sand as she climbed. It took longer than she thought. From the top she could still see her parents’ umbrellas.

Behind the dune there was a little, hidden bay filled with birds. There were birds of all colors and sizes darting here and there. A parrot was perched on a wooden pole near the edge of the water. Melissa shuffled over, the warm sand dusting her feet with each step and sticking between her toes.

“Hi, were you the parrot that helped me last night when I got lost?” she asked.

“Yes,” the parrot said.

“Well, um, thank you,” she said. “I got back to my family just fine.” The parrot nodded and looked away.

Melissa looked around. When she looked at them, a group of brown birds scuttled away. She looked the other way and a large white bird flew off chattering in a scolding voice. Two blue birds nearby looked away when she looked at them. She felt out of place and awkward.

“I bet my parents are wondering where I am,” she said. “I’d better go.” The parrot didn’t look at her. “Goodbye. Thanks again,” she said. She climbed back up the sand dune. When she got to the top she looked back. She couldn’t see the little bay.

Melissa hurried back to her parents. “Mom, Dad, I know where the birds go for the winter,” she said. “Right here.”

Melissa’s dad nodded. “That makes sense. If I could come stay here for the whole winter, I would too.”

Melissa ran to join Michael by the water. They had a wonderful day. Melissa hoped the birds did too. She looked around for the parrot the next day when they went back to the beach, but she never saw it again.

Charlie’s Room: The Parrot

There was a training at work, so Isaac would be going into work late. It was strange to see Charlie off to school and Marianne off to an appointment and have the house to himself. When was the last time that happened?

The house was quiet and still. The sunlight pouring through the windows painted a stark contrast between light and shadow. It was the kind of morning where he felt as though if he listened close, he’d be able to hear the music that was always just beneath the surface of everything.

He sat still, listening, and he could almost hear it. He leaned forward and listened more closely. Just when he was sure he’d heard a few notes, someone started yelling outside, breaking the silence.

“Help, help, help.” The voice was loud, but it sounded high-pitched, like a child’s voice.

Isaac raced to the front door and threw it open. He looked left and right. The street looked deserted. The neighborhood was quiet in the middle of the day, when everyone was at work or school or somewhere else. “Hello?” He shivered. It was cold, and he could see his breath.

“Help, help,” the voice called again. It was across the street and to the left. Was someone behind the oak tree?

Isaac stepped back inside to pull on his coat and quickly change his shoes. He crossed the yard, the snow crunching under his shoes and sparkling in the sun. “Is someone there? Do you need help?”

“Help, help, help.” The voice was right overhead.

Isaac looked up into the knot of bare branches. Was that a flash of green? “Hello?” he said again.

“Help, help. Get me a taco!” A bright green bird stepped out of the shadows and onto a branch. A parrot.

Getting the parrot out of the tree and finding its owner wouldn’t be easy. Isaac glanced at his watch. He had forty-five minutes. He took a deep breath. He could do this. He couldn’t leave the parrot outside in the cold. It wouldn’t last long.

Twenty minutes later, Isaac was running out of ideas. The parrot didn’t want bread or cereal or lettuce or apples. It didn’t want to fly down and snuggle into a warm blanket or through the open door into his house. It didn’t want to investigate the parrot videos on his phone.

“Help. Get me a taco!” the parrot said sadly. It flapped its wings and fluffed up and somehow looked miserable.

Isaac sighed. He had one idea left, but it seemed a little ridiculous. Unfortunately, the other options hadn’t worked, and he was running out of time.

He started to whistle a happy, lilting tune. The parrot cocked its head to the side. He whistled the tune again and reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a paper-towel wrapped parcel. The parrot watched closely as he unwrapped the paper towel and held up a taco.

The parrot flew from the tree and landed on his shoulder. “Get me a taco!” the parrot proclaimed, and then it began to peck at the taco shell. Isaac walked carefully back to his house, crunching across the icy snow and whistling the taco song from the recent dinosaur movie one more time.

Once inside, Isaac made a nest of towels in the bathroom next to the heat vent. He put the taco in a pie tin next to the nest and the parrot hopped down to continue crunching on its treat. He brought a dish of water to leave next to the pie tin. He left the light on and closed the bathroom door.

Isaac texted Marianne about the parrot and left for work. He checked his watch as he packed up his things. It was five minutes later than he’d wanted to leave, but somehow he arrived to the training just in time.

When Isaac arrived home after work, Charlie met him at the door. “Dad, guess what? There was a parrot here that could whistle the taco song from the dinosaur movie.”

“Isn’t he still here?” Isaac asked.

“No, mom found his owner. He really likes the dinosaur movies, too, just like we do. And tacos.”

“I guessed that,” Isaac said. “Was the parrot all right? It was really cold outside.”

“He seemed fine to me. Can we get a parrot?”

A pet that could escape and fly away? Isaac wasn’t sure he was ready for that. Maybe they could start a little smaller. “What about a pet rock?”

“Daaaaaaad.” Charlie didn’t look impressed. “Well, if I can’t get a parrot, could we invite that parrot to our dinosaur club? I think he’d fit right in.”

“We’ll see. I think he’d have a hard time participating in the activities.”

Charlie thought for a moment. “Maybe you’re right. Oh well. I can’t wait to tell Thomas about him. I didn’t know that parrots are so cool. Almost as cool as dinosaurs!”

“Almost?”

“Almost.”

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