a humorous look at understanding between species
“Good morning, Mr. Trent.” He had rented the room for a month now, and the landlady greeted him each morning from her rocker on the porch.
“Good day to you, Mrs. Bea," He replied automatically, then turning he saw that the rocking-chair was empty and still.
“Bea, Bea... awk,” an echo, followed by, “Pretty boy, Polly laid an egg.”
Mrs. Bea had the extravagant manner common among people from a theatrical background, but this was the first time he had heard her do parrot impersonations. Intrigued, Trent risked a quick look through open door of Mrs Bea's apartment.
“Good morning, Mr. Trent,” said a large blue and green bird that was sitting on a perch near the door.
“Good morning, Polly,” he replied, surprised and delighted by the novelty.
This was obviously an intelligent animal and Trent wanted to continue the conversation. He searched for a suitable subject for an inter-species chat, and decided to try the weather, after all, it was the subject of most the conversations in the country.
“The weather is not too bad today,” he tried
“Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” Polly thankfully stopped, but she would have needed little encouragement to continue to the end of the speech.
Trent was puzzled. As far as he knew parrots come from the tropics, so this early English summer's day would be outrageously cool for her. He thought he recognized a line from Shakespeare.
“Macbeth?” he hazarded.
“Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!” replied the bird.
Trent took a step back. Bloody cheeky, he thought. “Don't take that tone with me!”
The experts are unsure what this means, some consider 'Shut your mouth' to be closest, while others prefer 'You are an idiot. Don't waste my time!'. In the event, the nuances were lost on Trent. He was, as suggested by Polly, a bit of an idiot.
“Where's Mrs. Bea?” asked Trent.
“To be, or not to be that is the question.”
“Bloody Shakespeare again,The Merchant of Venice I suppose.”
Inspired, Polly replied with: “It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.”
“Ah yes, typical English weather,” he said triumphantly. "Wonderful that even a parrot can hold a conversation about the weather." With a nod and a broad grin Trent strode off.
"Awk, Awk." Polly's derisive squawks followed him down the path and out of the garden gate.