10 Commandments of Parrot Ownership
by Jane Hallander
1. My life is likely to last 20 or more years. Any separation from you will be painful to me. Remember that before you take me home.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It’s crucial to my well-being.
4. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends. I have only you.
5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when it’s speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll never forget it.
7. Remember before you hit me that I have a beak that could easily crush the bones of your hand, but that I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, or I’ve been in the cage too long.
9. Take care of me when I get old; you too will get old.
10. Go with me on the last journey. Never say “I can’t bear to watch it,” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, I love you.