How Bongo Marie Got Her Full Name 

by Sally Blanchard

Friends of mine rescued a sick rung or an African grey by buying her at a bird club raffle. She was being raffled as a baby but she wasn't even a young bird. She was a very sick phobic bird with a chronic sinus infection that had misshapen her beak.

They were trying to breed baby Amazons (Paco was their first) They were concerned about having this sick grey around their other birds so she came to live with me.

They had named her Bongo but as I got her healthy and tame, I decided she needed another name although she did know her name was Bongo. I would take a break from doing my bird sculptures to have lunch and watch a soap opera that I liked back then. Bongo would sit on the side of my armchair and I would feed her bits of the healthier parts of my lunch. We would discuss what was happening on TV. I played a game with her by suggesting some of the characters' names as a name for her. I would often say the name in a teasing voice and laugh. She quickly loved to laugh and sometimes would try to say names. There was a character on the Soap that was a nun named Sister Marie. So I asked her if she wanted to be nun named Sister Marie. She looked up at me and said, "Bongo Marie?" as if it was a question and then laughed - there it was - her new name forever!


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