Friday, December 19, 2008

Meet the Talker.......

The talker sometimes drives me crazy! Her name is Nika and she has been part of our family for over 22 years. African Grey parrots are known for there talking ability and she certainly keeps us well entertained. Much like a child, she finally starting talking when she was about a year old, and hasn’t stopped since.

Nika loves scolding Rico, our Orange-wing Amazon parrot, when SHE thinks he is too noisy or asking Diva our dog if she wants to go outside. She certainly rules the other animals, or at least tries. She doesn’t bother with Samantha our cat much, just now and then we hear a kitty cry. But, again if you hear Nika saying “bad, bad”, we known that Sam is up to no good, and Sam is almost always up to no good.

Nika is so good a mimicking voices, often the dog and my husband think I’m talking to them, not the parrot talking to them in my voice. Nika is currently into phone rings, thanks to all the political phone calls. She is so good, the only way you can tell if it is our phone ringing is to be in the same room as the phone, she especially loves ringing the phone when I’m outside.
Another of her favorites is the microwave oven and the stove timers. She only makes the noises when the appliance is being used, I wish I had a nickel for each time the beep has gone off, just to rush in, to discover it’s the talker, not the timer. Nika talks in my voice, my husbands voice, and other family members voices. She can whistle the “Charge of the Light Brigade", and still talks about other animals that have left this world.

I often hear my Daughter talking, my Grandson crying, my Mother-in-Laws voice, my Step-Mothers laughter, Uncle Pettie’s deep, deep voice, and so much more. Nika really is entertaining, except on occasion when I want peace and quite, and she wants to talk. Nika always says “bye” as I leave for work, and “see you later” when my husband leaves.

Nika loves to eat, and will ask for toast in the morning. A habit she acquired from my Mother-in-Law, and considering my Mother-in-Law wanted her to say ” thank you”, Nika always says “thank you, thank you” so she could have her toast. At night it’s “want a peanut”, so she gets her peanuts.

I’ll never forget one Sunday morning many years ago, when my husband and I could not decide who was going to make breakfast, next we hear “I can cook” from the kitchen. With a talker like Nika you need to be careful what you say, no off colored words, all it takes is one time, and you might be hearing that word for a very, very long time into the future. Years ago, one of the talk shows had a guest that used a word I will refer to as a gutter word, the next word out of Nika was this word. I couldn’t believe what she repeated, thank heaven it was the only time she repeated this discussing word.

I wouldn't trade her,I enjoy her company, as well as all the fond memories when I hear her use all the different voices and phrases of family members that are not around to share our laughter.

7 comments:

Betty BeadBug said...

Many years ago when I worked for an animal trainer in Illinois he started my great love of birds. They might exasperate you - but they are so fantastic, you can't help but love them. The mimicry is the best though....they got me with the "phone ringing" many, many times.

Jamie said...

Jill, such a cute story! I think that would drive me crazy and make me unimaginably happy at the same time to hear all that action. But, I have a potty mouth so the bird would too! ;)

Jamie
Creations by JAE
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Jewelry Elegance by jill said...

Betty
The African Grey parrot is known to be one of the best talkers. Nika didn't starting until she was a year old, and hasn't stopped since.

Jewelry Elegance by jill said...

Jamie
Potty mouth certainly won't work! But Nika has a few potty mouth words in her vocabulary. Luckily she doesn't use them much. But again, she still does the burglar alarm sound that my daughter set off over 20 years ago on occasion. Never know when something will pop out.

Barbara Merwin said...

Jill,

Barb and I have never had a bird but your one sure is amazing! We have 2 dogs and 2 cats and both dogs are pretty smart but the best dog, a big tri-color collie that died 6 or so years ago really picked up on moods - sadness, etc. He'd rock his head on Barb's lap and she felt him to be her kindred spirit. It took a long time to work thru the grieving after he passed on.

Again, what a neat and lovely sharing Jill, Happy Holidays. Ken (Magpiedreams)

Jewelry Elegance by jill said...

Hi Ken & Barb
Animals have really been an important part of my life. Unconditional love....

Glass0Beads said...

I had an African Grey once upon a time. Her name was Peekaboo. I lost her company because I developed an allergy to her 'powder' that made my asthma very much worse. She came to me at 3 months of age and she left my care at 7 years of age.

In between that time she mimiced my morning voice (very low) and my normal voice (mid range). She knew her name and she could count to five. When anybody entered our home she said 'Hello' and repeated it in more and more disgusted tones until she was answered.

We lived alone, Peekaboo and I. I don't know how often it happened and I never learned: she would ask, 'What are you doing?' and I always answered.

In her 7 years with me, Peekaboo, learned 75 different words and about 25 phrases/sentences.

I miss her. And I hope she is loved in the home she lives in now.

Helene ~ Glass0Beads