Sunday, December 31, 2006


(Another short-short story)

There once lived in this house a parrot, a gift to a dying woman by a devoted husband. She loved the parrot dearly, would rise each day and and greet the bird in this way: "Good morning, Sweetheart, I love you."

The parrot replied in the words it had heard. In time, the parrot would greet the morning sun when the day had just begun, mimicking the woman's voice and she would rejoice and add, I love my husband, too."

Somehow Sweetheart understood and would repeat the entire phrase and that's how the days would start. "I love you, sweetheart, and my husband, too." The husband knew it was the parrot's voice. His wife was weakening and only speaking in a whispered tone of her own. He would walk. crying, from the room where his wife lay dying.

Often as the woman faded into sleep she'd sigh: Sweetheart cocked its head and said: "I love my husband too. What am I to do?"

One day the woman passed away. Sweetheart looked at its mistress and knew. In the woman's voice it sighed: "What am to do?" When the husband heard his wife's voice he also knew. He looked at Sweetheart and asked: "What are we to do? What are we to do?"

Sweetheart sighed. Sweetheart cried. Then Sweetheart fell from its perch and just before the parrot died it replied in a voice that was its own: "Do what I do. Do what I do."

The old man lay in his wife's bed and cried. And then he died.


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