BONGO MARIE: Harassing Paco on Tape
by Sally Blanchard
Bongo Marie chose my Double yellow-headed Amazon Paco to harass the most of all of the other animals in the house. I was always curious about what my parrots did when I left the house. I decided to spy on Bongo Marie and set up a voice-activated tape recorder in the living room and then left to go to the store. Bongo Marie always said something to me as I opened the door to leave. It was up to her to determine what she said and I never could figure out a pattern. Sometimes she would just say, “Good-bye” or “Bye” but sometimes she told me, “You be good” and occasionally she would say, “Don’t forget to write!”
On the tape, she told me to be good as I left, but when she heard the car door shut, she uttered a drawn-out “Bye” several times. Then the tape shut off for a while and came back on when she yelled, “Paco, Paco, what are you doing?” Paco, who has a decent vocabulary just let out a scream to which Bongo Marie yelled back, “Paco, be quiet! Do you hear me? Stop that! STOPPP!” A little while later on the tape, Bongo called Paco's name again and then reprimanded her for screaming. I wondered if this what usually happened when I was going?