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The Porcupine's Quill: A Satire Column
by Arshad M. Khan
Please scroll down for
the satire column
May 15, 2011
A PARAKEET'S TALE
News Item: British parakeet boom is a mystery ... and a
mess. The population (the result of escaped pets) has
soared from 1,500 to 30,000 in the last dozen years.
My great-great-great-(I forget how many) grandfather was brought here on a
slave plane, in a cage, and sold to a family for their amusement, who kept
him in a cage. They called him awful names like "pretty polly" and when he
called them the same, they were amused.
Discovering this peculiar human trait of wanting us to repeat their
abominable, unmelodious language, my ancestor ingratiated himself with his
captors. They kept feeding him monotonous food, gave him no place for
exercise, and bored him with their inane chatter.
He, soon, picked up on insults and swear words they used among
themselves, and used the choicest ones on his jailers. But this amused
them even more! His disdain and contempt merely increased. Aside from
that, he had the normal desires of a red-blooded male ... and he was
handsome -- a glowing bright green faintly iridescent, a rose collar for
contrast and a bright red beak. He sought to escape.
Well one day, they did not completely latch the door of the cage. He saw his
chance, unlatched it deftly with his nimble beak, and he was gone through
an open window. He first sought fresh, different food, then drank from a
crystal clear stream. Satisfied in one regard, he set about fulfilling others.
He met another escapee, and they joined together for life. The rest, as they
say, is history. And here I am, a dozen or so generations later.
Now they complain we are a mess ... when what we have been doing is
fertilizing their land, pollinating their crops and spreading seeds. What an
ignorant species. All we can hope for is they don't destroy the planet.
Well, from the tales I have heard, this place is nowhere near as nice as our
ancestral home in the foothills of the Himalayas where the weather is cool in
summer, the pickings rich, and the land vast. When it would turn colder, I
am told, they just flew southward until the temperature was just right. The
sun would shine bright and the monsoons would bring real rain and richer
life ... not the permanent grey drizzle of our present abode.
What can one do? (Sighs). We'll just make the best of it ... that's the way we
are and always will be.