So, last night I was watching tv. There’s this one show on the History channels that talks about urban legends. Anyways, one of the stories was about a woman and her parrot.The story goes that a young woman marries very young. Her husband always goes on business trips, so she spends a lot of time alone. So she buys herself an African Grey. They have a really strong bond, and he is a very good mimicker. Years pass. Suddenly, the woman notices the bird saying something odd. He keeps repeating a woman’s name in her husband’s tone of voice. She finds this very odd, because she knows no one by that name - no friends, no family, no one. The bird continues saying this woman’s name, and shows no signs of stopping.So, the woman does something she has never done before, she reads her husbands mail. To her surprise, she finds two train tickets destined to Paris, the names listed being her husbands and the name of the woman. She confronts her husband, and her admits to having an affair. Apparently, the Grey was overhearing whatever the husband said to the other woman on the phone. After the story, they interviewed a parrot behaviorist. He said that parrots create a deep bond with their owner. Parrots will try to protect their owners from threats.Was it the parrot mimicking or was it actually trying to protect his dearest? My bets are on the latter
I’ll bet it never happened, it was a show on urban legends… I couldn’t find it on Snopes at all.Could it happen? I suppose it could. I wonder how forensics treats household parrots when collecting evidence. Could the parrot have been trying to tell the woman her husband was cheating? Doubt it. I can’t see how the bird would have picked up the context. If you deconstruct it, the bird would have to have not only learned the sound as connected to the husband, but would have to have understood that the conversation was wrong, that the husband was doing something bad and, further, that it would affect the wife. A small child would have a hard time putting all that together. I think the best the bird could have done would be to put together that the husband was on some level uncomfortable when making this vocalization. I see no way a parrot could connect that to the wife, honestly. One of Alex’s interesting leaps was to figure out that if the people around him were upset with him, saying “I’m sorry” could make the situation better. That in itself is pretty abstract and complicated, but could be figured out by direct observation. A cheating husband talking on the phone as a threat to his favorite person? IMO, way, way too abstract.
zazanomore wrote:Pessimist.Realist. I don’t see there being anything negative about looking at something with the cold light of logic and see it not hold together. It isn’t that I don’t think our birds and other pets don’t know when we are troubled and want to make it better, they do seem to read us to a degree… I just can’t see this particular scenario playing out that way. And if I really thought my birds were little humans with feathers, I don’t think I’d be happy keeping them.
Logic is too boring. I like mystery.
zazanomore wrote:Logic is too boring. I like mystery. OH THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME! ok so i think the grey has a vengence against the husband, wants to see him get in trouble, the husband never brought him treats!!!
zazanomore wrote:Logic is too boring. I like mystery.Me, too! I’m just a hard sell.