Opposites Attract

If a parrot could read your mind, would this change anything? Would you be more careful about what you said around your dog? Would you be sure to cover the hamster’s cage at night? They say it’s possible—neurons we have in common with avians—they’ve done tests. They always do tests which often rule things out, but rarely prove anything. Here’s how it worked: the owner was placed in a room and selected cards with pictures on them like a couple embracing, or a woman sipping tea. The parrot was in the kitchen with the scientists. It said, Give me a hug? Want some tea now? At first, the scientists were not astonished, didn’t put two and two together until later when they matched the bird’s words with the sequence of cards revealed in the parlor. When the owner came in the kitchen after the test, the bird said, Got a God damned cracker? The owner, who didn’t yet know the results either, said, What did I tell you? He’s such a ballbuster. And there you are. My cat told me it will be a cold winter, again; I never believe her, but it always is. When she leaves headless birds for me on the porch, I intuitively know this is a sign of love, yet get a shovel, turn my head, and toss them away. There have been moments I thought I knew everything about love there is to know, but there’s a card I haven’t drawn yet, a deck waiting to be shuffled, a cat silent in a window box, one eye open for the bird it knows will eventually land.

Laura McCullough | Mudlark No. 32
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