Petey, the Lonesome Parrot

     I will now share some children’s stories that I wrote many years ago.  I will also share a PDF of the book in the “Books” section for those who would like to read it.


Petey, the Lonesome Parrot

     This is the story of Petey.  Petey was a parrot, and for the longest time he lived in a lonesome cage in the far corner of a pet shop.  Some say he was the loneliest parrot that ever lived.  But it wasn’t always that way.  There once was a time when everything was going well for Petey.

     When Petey was young, he was the most beautiful parrot in the entire pet shop.  The owners paid constant attention to him.  They would always say, “You sure are a beautiful parrot, Petey!  As soon as you learn how to talk, we’re going to make a fortune off of you!”

     So they began trying to teach Petey to talk, but every time Petey tried to repeat what they were saying, all that would come out of his beak was a muffled, “Gaahh.”

     A year went by, and still Petey couldn’t talk.  The owners tried everything they could, using different words and phrases like, “Pretty bird,” and “Polly wants a cracker,” but nothing worked.  All that would ever come out of Petey’s beak was a muffled, “Gaahh.”

     Finally, the owners gave up.  It seemed as if Petey was never going to learn how to talk.

     All of the other animals in the pet shop would laugh at Petey.  “What kind of parrot can’t learn to talk?” they’d snicker.  And they made fun of him every chance they’d get.

     Finally, the owners decided to move Petey’s cage.  “He’s just taking up space,” they complained.  “Nobody’s going to buy a parrot that can’t talk.”  So they moved Petey to the far corner of the pet shop, where there were no other animals and he was all by himself.

     So every day Petey sat in his lonesome corner, ashamed because he couldn’t talk.  Once in a while, a customer would come in and notice him back in the corner and say, “Wow, what a beautiful bird!”  But when they found out that he couldn’t talk, they’d walk away and look at the rabbits, or dogs, or fish.

     Then one day a woman came in looking for a birthday present to buy for her son.  The owners led her around the entire pet shop, showing her all the animals.  They showed her the rabbits and the fish.  They showed her the dogs and the cats and the mice.  They even showed her the snakes and the gerbils, but she still wasn’t sure what to get. 

     Then she noticed Petey sitting all alone in the corner.  “That sure is a beautiful bird!” she said to the owners.  “Why is he sitting all by himself?”

     “He can’t talk,” the owners replied.  “We tried everything we could, but all that would ever come out of his beak was a muffled, “Gaahh.”

     Suddenly, the woman became excited and said, “How much is he?  I want to buy him!”

     The owners were surprised.  “Give us ten dollars and he’s yours!  We’ll even give you the cage!”

     Immediately the woman agreed.  Then she paid them the ten dollars, put Petey in the car, and left the store.

     When the woman arrived home, she found her son in the kitchen, pouring himself a glass of orange juice.  The boy looked up and smiled at his mother.  She made a few gestures with her hands and he followed her into the living room.

     When they got there, the boy couldn’t believe his eyes.  Sitting there, by the window, was Petey.

     The boy smiled and ran up to the cage.  He stuck his tiny fingers through the bars, and Petey leaned closer so the boy could pet him.  When he had finished, the boy turned to his mother and smiled.  He made a gesture which in sign language means, “Thank you.”

     His mother took him in her arms and hugged him.  Then, in sign language, she said, “Your welcome, son.  Happy Birthday!”

     You see, the little boy was deaf, which means that he couldn’t hear anything.  So it didn’t matter to him if Petey could talk or not.  He was just happy to have a pet.

     So from that day on, Petey grew closer and closer to the boy, and they became very happy together.  The boy would take Petey out of his cage and would walk around the house with Petey on his shoulder, and Petey never tried to fly away.

     After a while, Petey forgot all about his life at the pet shop.  But his former owners were right about one thing; Petey was worth a small fortune … it just couldn’t be measured in money.

Excerpted from Shine Like the Sun: A Collection of Children’s Stories by Adam Soto