Pet of the Day

April 30, 2002

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Tuk, the Pet of the Day
Name: Tuk
Age: Three and a half years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Quaker Parrakeet
Home: Kingsville, Texas, USA
   Tuk, the Quaker Parrakeet, was born July 4th 1998. We got him five weeks later; we named him Tuk-Tuk, because that is what young Quakers say when they are begging for food, so cute. I hand fed him for another two and a half weeks.

   Tuk was very vocal at that stage. I started writing down all that he said. At over two hundred phrases I quit keeping track. Three and a half years later he is still coming up with something new. It seemed like an endless task then, now, I know it was.

   Now there are some people that say that parrots do not talk, they just mimic. Well okay if that is what they think. But I know better. Now Tuk, I don't feel is different than other Quakers. He does ramble on like most parrots do at times. But when he wants something, whether it is something to eat, play with or even just your attention he will talk. He even talks with a specific thing in mind, a target goal. For example when I get up in the morning I pass through the dinning room, where Tuk's cage is, on my way to the kitchen to start the coffee.

   Here is a conversation that happened one morning.
   Tuk saw me and said "Good morning"
   I said, "Good morning Tuk."
   Tuk, "What are you doing?"
   Me, "I am making some coffee."
   Tuk, "Oh."
   Tuk, "Is it good?"
   Me, "Yes it is, Tuk."
   Tuk, "Mmm good."
   Me, "Thank you Tuk."
   Tuk, "Open the door."
   Me, "No, Tuk."
   Tuk, "Please."
   Me, "No Tuk, I am not opening your door."
   Tuk, "Pretty Please."

    Well what could I do, I opened his door. Now I tell you Tuk knew what he wanted, when he didn't get it he talked me into it. He had an objective and he accomplished what he wanted. That was not mimicking.

    Tuk is my wife's bird, even though I hand fed him his heart belongs to Cheryl. One of Tuk and my last interactions was when I got between him and Cheryl and asked Tuk for a kiss. He kissed me all right; he chomped down on my lip. He is smitten with Cheryl but then so am I, so how can I fault him? He still talks to me, plays peek-a-boo with me and even sings with me now and then. He is still my buddy, even though he is Cheryl's bird.

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