MY MOTHER'S CONVERSATIONS WITH BONGO MARIE
by Sally Blanchard
When my mother would come and visit me she delighted in Bongo Marie's vocalizations and I often caught the two of them having conversations that often made a certain amount of sense. Mostly it was things like Bongo saying "Who do you think you are?" and my mother would answer, "I'm Sally's mother." and Bongo would say, "You're in a lot of trouble." My mother would laugh and Bongo and Paco, my DYH would both laugh.
I also taught Bongo Marie to say, "Don't forget to write." which she would say from time to time. My mother thought it was hysterical when Bongo said it when we were leaving to take my mom to the airport because that was always the last thing she always said to me when she left.
One day I was gone for a couple of hours and my mother was sitting in the recliner next to Bongo's cage. Evidently, I had not latched her cage properly and Bongo opened the door and climbed out on her way down the cage to the floor. My mother exclaimed, "Bongo, you get back in your cage right this minute!" Bongo's response was "Who do you think you are?" My mother emphatically said, "I am the boss!" My mother must have had a twinkle in her eye because Bongo's response was to laugh hysterically. She had two laughs - the funny laugh and the sarcastic laugh. This time she laughed sarcastically but she did climb up and into her cage. My mother got up and latched her cage. My mom loved to tell Bongo Marie stories to her friends at the retirement village where she lived before she came to live with me. They evidently enjoyed them because when I visited her some of her friends would ask me to tell them again. I even did a program about parrots for the Ladies Group there and had my caique, Spikey Le Bec, do his tricks for them. They loved it.