A Parrot in an Ad... the true story of how I found Rocky

I was looking for a pet to own, nearly 20 years ago,
I couldn't get a dog because my landlord just said "no".
Cats were not an option, because they made me sneeze.
And I didn't want a reptile, you just can't cuddle these.

I thought about a ferret, although they were illegal,
But the first one that I looked at was acting far too regal.
He sniffed my hand a couple times, then focused on my finger
If he connected with those teeth, the pain would surely linger.

I couldn't own some animals, because they really weren't my kind.
But I really wanted my own pet, I couldn't get it off my mind.
Then I met a friend one day, who had this little parrot,
He was called a "Senegal", but he bit me like the ferret!

Still I thought that birds were kewl, and also quite unique,
But I wasn't sure if I could take a pet that owned a beak.
So once we spent some time together, we started to relax,
But still he always bit me, with that beak as sharp as tacks.

Then my friend said come with me, and she took me to a shop,
There were no dogs or cats or fish, or animals that hop.
Every pet within that store, possessed a pair of wings.
Some of them could talk to me, and some of them would sing.

I figured after several weeks, this is what I'd get,
I'd save a couple hundred bucks, and then I'd buy my pet.
But birds were quite expensive, and I didn't have the cash,
Spending half a grand this way just seemed a bit too rash.

So once again I gave up hope, but still went to the stores,
The place I really liked the most, had all the birds outdoors.
They had so many awesome birds, and some that cost a lot,
"Nine Thousand bucks for a Hyacinth?? What else have you got?"

Then I saw this cockatoo, they called it an umbrella,
And after several visits, I was falling for this fella.
I asked the people at the place, "How much does this one cost?"
They told me he was their own pet, my hopes again were tossed.

I had my mind made up that day, I knew just what to do,
Save my money and I would buy, an Umbrella Cockatoo.
I went back to the other shops, and looked at all the prices,
Owning my own cockatoo would be the most costly of my vices

Finally one day I gave up, and looked at smaller birds,
I figured I would feel the same, though I didn't believe my words.
So I found a little conure, that cost two hundred bucks.
I told the owner what I wanted, but I felt that I was stuck.

Then one day I got a call, my friend seemed quite excited!
She saw an ad for a cockatoo, and quickly I decided.
I gave up on the conure, what else could I say?
We called the owner from the ad, and saw the 'Too that day.

The owner said he wasn't sure, if this bird would ever bite,
But still he seemed afraid of him, and felt for sure he might. 
The cage was pretty barren, one toy hung from above,
His food dish filled with only seeds, this parrot needed love.

A single branch was in the cage, still green from being ripe,
The owner wasn't very sharp, I have certainly seen his type.
The price he asked for this bird, just didn't seem like much,
I wondered what was wrong with him, he seemed so out of touch

I walked a little closer, to see this beautiful creature,
He was being very quiet, but that wasn't his best feature.
His feathers laid across his back, and they were white as snow,
His eyes were focused, he was in charge - and he surely let me know!

At first he seemed so scared, he just hissed and raised his crest,
He didn't want me near him, so I put him to the test.
I asked him to step up on me, as I reached out with my arm,
He grabbed me with his massive beak, I was sure he'd do me harm!

But when I pulled my arm away, there wasn't any blood,
Not a single mark or scratch appeared, this bird was such a stud!
He was merely telling me, "For long I've been neglected,
I really could have bitten you, because I need to feel protected."

"If you take me home with you, I'll surely be your friend,
I need to find a brand new home, this one's coming to an end,
You see, this couple's moving, and they can't take me along,
But even if I went with them, I will feel I don't belong."

"I need to have a few more toys, and some better food to eat,
I need to play and spread my wings, and occasionally have a treat,
I need at least three perches, and I need more loving, too.
I need to get some exercise, can I come home with you?"

I had to make my mind up then, and it took me but a minute.
A simple look into his eyes, and the answer was within it.
I knew that there were others, who called about the ad,
But this Umbrella Cockatoo, had found a brand new dad.

The next few days we learned a lot, though he never spoke a word,
It didn't take me very long, to know this was my bird..
I bought him toys, and ropes and treats, a new cage and many things,
It was time this awesome cockatoo, was allowed to spread his wings.

I'm really not the kind of guy, who's arrogant and cocky,
But I've been around a lot of birds - yet none of them like Rocky.
You just cannot convince me, that there's any other bird,
Who is as great as Rocky is, the thought is just absurd!

To think I found him like I did, in a tiny little ad.
He's gentle, tame and quiet too, and people say he loves his dad.
Of course, you know I love him too, I treat him like a child,
And that's exactly how he acts, you'd never know that he was wild

So now I've told our story, It came straight from the heart,
It's been nothing short of amazing, right from the very start.
We've been together many years, the best I've ever had,
It's hard to believe this all began, with a parrot in an ad.


M. Scott Harding  © 2004