It’s a bit scary the things that become “normal” when owning a highly articulate and intelligent parrot.
For example, just now I was working late in my office and Echo was not having it. It irritates him to no end if someone is puttering around on the first floor once it is “bed time”. And so he start with the “I love you” routine.
First, know that we have a bedtime routine (earlier in evening around 7pm)where I say”I love you”, give him a kiss on the beak and put him to bed each night. He never (EVER) says I love you back to me right then, but does adorably make a “smooch” sound. It’s our routine, we both think it makes the day complete.
But if you don’t go to bed “on time”, he begins to use the “words of bedtime” as his weapon.
At first it’s a lovely sing-song, very sweet “I love you” directed towards the late night “intruder”. Eerily close to my voice and tone when I say it to him, it’s Echo’s first parry in the good night duel.
If you continue to work, watch TV or in any other way “keep him up”, things will escalate.
The next phase is the same sweet sing-song I Love You, but said repeatedly, with a quicker staccato beat if you continue to not react. “I love you. I love you. I love you, Iloveyou, ILOVEYOU”…it has that steadily rising tension of a wife attempting to get her husband’s attention while holding the ”honey do” list in her hands. She doesn’t want to sound mad quite yet, but she also damn well expects him to look up.
If you, like the distracted husband, continue to ignore Echo’s kinder toned hue and cry, things escalate rapidly.
At this point, you have become the ignoramus in the next room who clearly can’t get a hint. And Echo seems to very firmly believe “I Love You” means “TIME FOR BED”. And so now rather than a sweet and gentle sing song, the “I love you” turns dark.
Keep in mind this is a bird who has spent the last three years of his life living in a household of chaotic dogs and a sassy child. And so he knows exactly the tone of voice that I use when somebody has screwed up big time.
<deeper, slow voice with dark overtones of Mordor> I LOVE YOU.
You have no idea how creepy it is to hear I LOVE YOU in a deep, angry, “bad bad dog, get off my lawn” voice filled with barely contained rage coming from a 14 ounce bird in your dining room.
Mordor I Love You will now continue until you either GO TO BED or at the very least￼, turn off any extra lights and SHUT THE H*LL up. Echo is the reincarnation of Mr. Heckles, come to tell you that you are being TOO LOUD. (and you owe him a cat )
And if you have triggered Mordor I Love You, it’s not over if you go to bed. Oh no, you can fully expect a rock solid bite or two the next day. Parrots hold a grudge.