Guest Author - Mavis Metcalf
Jewel, my Congo African Grey Parrot posed in front of some Christmas wrapping paper so we could all have a jigsaw puzzle to work on.
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Jewel is a 12 1/2 year old Congo African Grey Parrot that I have had the pleasure of living with for the last 12 years. She has a good vocabulary, but I honestly have no idea how many words she knows because I have never tried to count them. She picks and chooses what she wants to say - just because I want her to say something, doesn't mean that she will actually say it. For instance - I have said "good morning" to Jewel every days since she came to live here, yet she has never said it back to me. She does say "bye bye - go to work" when I say that I am going to work now.
One funny story I have to tell about trying to get her to say something that I wanted her to say is when I decided that she should say "Aawww - aren't you adorable". I kept repeating it to her or to the dogs and finally she started off with "aawww". A few days later, it became "aawww, aren't", followed by "aawww, aren't you". After several days more, she said "aawww, aren't you a door". Well, I couldn't help it, and I laughed. That was all she needed and for several weeks, all I could get her to say was "aawww, aren't you a door", followed by a long laugh. Finally, weeks later, she did finish it and I made sure I gave her a great reaction when she said "aawww, aren't you adorable!".
I do not really spend time trying to teach Jewel to talk. She picks up what she wants to pick up and ignores the rest - like "good morning". Even without the talking, she is a wonderful companion.
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