January 22, 2014 | 2 Comments | Betsy Woodman
Knowing that I collect parrot stories, the other day a friend sent me this news item.
Recently, a man in Mexico City was pulled over at an alcohol checkpoint. The police were startled to hear a voice from inside the car screeching, “He’s drunk, he’s drunk,” and even more startled to find out that the tattle-tale was a small green parrot.
The man did indeed turn out to be under the influence and was put in the pokey for a night to sober up. He pleaded with the cops to let him take the parrot with him, as the two had never been separated and the owner feared the bird might die otherwise. So man and bird spent the night together in jail, apparently a first in the annals of law enforcement in Mexico City.
While writing Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes, I often realized that I was straying from strictly plausible scenarios. Sometimes, when I was afraid that the narrative was getting too far-fetched, I’d tell myself, “Oh, keep going, don’t back down. Make it even worse!” At one point in the story, Jana spends a night in jail with her parrot, Mr. Ganguly, after the bird has taken a chunk out of the police commissioner’s ear.
I’m always tickled (and relieved) to find examples of how truth is stranger than fiction, so I got a kick out of the story of parrot as snitch.