Wednesday, May 11, 2011

PEEP!

I'd heard a lot about her before I'd ever laid eyes - or ears on her.

lucy
Meet Lucy. She's an eleven year-old African Gray Parrot and she belongs to Frank.

She is demanding inquisitive, stubborn persistent, a smart-ass clever and LOUD melodic. She connives cajoles, mimics belches and farts sounds like a human, has jaws which bite like a steel trap nibbles fingers and PEEPS peeps. Perhaps you need to understand the real meaning of "PEEP."

Dictionary.com defines peep as: "to utter the short, shrill little cry of a young bird, a mouse,etc.; cheep; squeak" or "to speak in a thin, weak voice."

They've got the short and shrill part just fine but there's nothing little, thin or weak about Lucy's voice. And there are a number of descriptive words which I would have added to the definition, such as "deafening, eardrum-piercing and unbelievably irritating."


groomer
Among her many talents, Lucy is a groomer. Frank's beard would be really unruly without her ministrations.


Imagine being on a different floor of a large house, behind closed doors, shower running, water pelting down on your head, and this incessant "PEEP," delivered every three to five seconds, still manages to bore itself into the core of your brain as if you're sharing space with a dying smoke detector. That's how to define Lucy's PEEP.



dental assistant
Lucy attended dental school where she learned how to be a hygienist.

Aside from that, she's a wonderful bird. She only PEEPS peeps like that when she's missing Frank. Sometimes he travels far distances (like upstairs, or out on the deck) and she just can't cope with his absence so she PEEPS until he's back in her sight. You can't blame a girl for missing her man from time to time.

If you offer her a bath, which consists of showering her with a watery mist from a spray bottle, she'll dance and bob around with anticipation. If she doesn't bite the offered finger, she'll often step up onto a loving hand for a bit of time away from her cage. She'll usually climb up onto a shoulder and hope that you'll feel sorry for her and perhaps produce a peanut from your pocket.

lucy and me2
In her spare time, Lucy enjoys mountain climbing. Photo credit goes to Frank.


Lucy is very intelligent, as most birds appear to be (we won't mention mourning doves). She has quite an extensive vocabulary of human words, sounds, other bird calls and the occasional inanimate object. I've heard Lucy call out Frank's #1 Son's name as dinner time draws near. She almost always calls out his #2 Son's name when the phone rings because the call is usually for him. Enter the kitchen, and she'll imitate the sound of the microwave beeps. Open the refrigerator door and Lucy will oblige you with the perfect, metallic sound of a soda pop can being opened.


lucy in the sink
As with other members of the family, Lucy takes her turn washing dishes.

If voices are raised excitedly, she adds some lively gibberish to the conversation. The most common phrases (among very many) I've heard her utter are "Wanna peanut?" or "Wanna chip?" which is her request for anything edible, preferably a peanut, pumpkin seed or a piece of fruit. After that, "Night-night" would have to rank up there. This is Lucy's cue that she's had enough of the world around her and would like to be covered up so she can go to sleep.


that sinking feeling
Do you ever get that sinking feeling?


At the end of the day, when Lucy calls for "Night-night," Frank goes to her cage, gives her head some rubs, offers up her last peanut and tucks her in for a peaceful slumber. Enjoy the quiet because when Lucy decides that you've had enough of it... PEEP!


lucy sink surfer
Help!

There's so much more to tell about Lucy, and Frank has written about her extensively before. If you ask him nicely, he might let you have a peanut read about his life with this bossy little bird.

Thank you to everyone who played along with the "Caption This" photo of Benny and friend in yesterday's post. All of your amusing remarks have now been released and appear in the comments section below yesterday's post. You folks are fun!


56 comments:

ADRIAN said...

I really enjoyed this post. Great story.

The Retired One said...

She is gorgeous and what a personality!! Great photos too!

Snappy Di said...

Adorable bird and I love her vocabulary... although not when I am trying to sleep..

Yes, I know that sinking feeling... LOL

Di

Bob Bushell said...

I knew an African Grey that flew around my house, his good knowledge made his pastime was sit and be photogenic. Unfortunately he just disappeared one day, I didn't see or hear from him. I hope it doesn't happen to Frank.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Parrots are beautiful and a little creepy all at the same time, I think. What is it about people who have parrots, though, that we always see them kissing said parrot? Have parrot owners not heard of bird borne diseases? I really have absolutely no room to talk, because I allow my dogs to kiss me, and I have SEEN where their tongues go, and it's not pretty. But that is how doggies show submission and loyalty to the Alpha Dog. And...somehow...having a parrot eat from my mouth is just icky to me. Rant over, and nice pictures! :-D

Out on the prairie said...

Always a draw when i go to a pet store.I enjoy watching them and sharing a little chatter, but that peep gets them to stay where they are.

Bonnie said...

I LOVE Lucy! Wish I had adopted one earlier in my life - they have such long lifespans that you need to make sure you will be around for them.

Hilary, I have to say that this post has sunk to a new low with the caption, "Do you ever get that sinking feeling?" ;) Good one!

DJan said...

Really adorable parrot. I have some friend who have three, and the racket is deafening, but they are really fun to watch and they entertain endlessly.

Cricket said...

Oooh, I don't know if I could live with too much sharp, shrill peeping. There could be some "roast squab" at my house. Heh, heh.

But seriously, those African Grays are some birds, huh? A friend of mine was into them. WAY intelligent critters.

Hm. Let's go with that African theme, and listen to some King Sunny Ade: Ma Jaiye Oni. That'll bring a warm vibe to the Great White North.

Anvilcloud said...

I have heard about these birds somewhere else recently, but I'm not sure where. They "sound" like great fun.

texwisgirl said...

many, many years ago, in another life, i had a pair for a while. they were shrill and loud and very intelligent. :)

Daryl said...

She's gorgeous. We had a very very smart parakeet when I was kid .. my grandmother taught it to say 'good morning grandma' as well as 'give me a kiss' and 'god bless you'. I am thankful he, Petey, didnt PEEP .. I have my own alarm called Jack who begins calling out MOOOOOOORE standing outside the bedroom door at 5 a.m. ...

ellen abbott said...

my dad brought home two small parrots once. Like you say, they were so loud, he eventually gave them away. my folks just weren't prepared for the care a parrot needs. and they are so intelligent.

loved this essay.

ladyfi said...

OH what a fun post - and such gorgeous shots of Lucy!

Lori said...

I love Lucy! It sounds like Frank has lots of fun with Lucy. Thanks for making me smile this morning..now to show Lucy to my little's. :) XX

Pat - Arkansas said...

Lovely Lucy! I laughed while reading your story, especially at the strikethroughs. Your photos are wonderful.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

a stubborn smartass kissing FRANK? hilarious!

Dianne said...

Lucy is wonderful
and so multi-talented
when I rented an apartment the landlord lived downstairs and had several Lucys
whenever the phone rang one of them would shriek "doorbell"
my cats were very anxious to see what was on the other side of the common doorway
I lived in fear of that door being left unlocked
happily we all got along just fine
one of the Lucys used to say "it's her" whenever she saw me, just for me
I never did know whether she liked me or was being sarcastic
they can be sarcastic you know ;)

Dianne said...

I have no idea how I appeared as "nanahidi""
blogger has been odd with me for days now

Kristina P. said...

Birds scare me a bit, but she's pretty!

Frank Baron said...

Guess who I just covered up?

I'll tell her you miss her PEEPs and hope to hear them again very soon. ;)

Birdie said...

Oh please, please, please take some video! Would love to hear her.

Linda said...

I find parrots fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Lucy. I agree with Birdie...we need a video. Great photography, as always. Love that first picture.

Jillsy Girl said...

Fantastic shots! A good friend of mine's son and daughter-in-law have an African Grey, and I had a chance to meet it once when my friend was bird sitting. I got the short version of your presentation!

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

wow! wonderful captures! it's really hard to pick a favourite.

what an adorable bird!

great story, too.

have a lovely day!

betty

plus: loving your photography!

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

...and the third photos is absolutely brilliant!

Maggie May said...

This was a lovely post. Looks like a lot of fun but I think the PEEPS might be wearisome after a while.
Maybe rabbits are better as pets after all cos they don't say PEEPS all the time..... in fact never!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Elizabeth Grimes said...

I knew it was going to be good when I saw the title. :) What a little character!

sage said...

I couldn't post here yesterday and I now see that you have also lost a lot of comments (as there were quite a few here). Anyway, what a neat bird (but I'd never let a bird kiss me)

Stacey Dawn said...

Chuckling....
How funny - what a fun bird!

Barbara Shallue said...

She is just gorgeous - love those grays and what beautiful photographs you've taken of her. Sounds like she's quite a character, albeit a tiny bit annoying at times (just like any family member!)

Brian Miller said...

ha. what a lovely bird...the shadows in the first shot are remarkable...

blueviolet said...

She is so funny in the sink. I can't believe she can mimic the sound of a pop can opening up! Wow!

messymimi said...

Tried to post yesterday, as so many others did, and i'm glad i can finally tell you thanks for introducing Lucy! She is a true gem.

missing moments said...

Such a fun bird with so much personality! Like the sink pic!

Karen said...

Great lighting on those pictures and funny story! Thanks for sharing that.

VM Sehy Photography said...

Wonderful shots! I love the shot of her grooming Frank's beard. Lucy has quite the personality.

Leah J. Utas said...

She sounds like quite a character.

Glo said...

Lucy is lovely to look at, and I'm sure very entertaining ;) I enjoyed reading about her talents and antics, and your photos show her in her best light. All the crossed out words made me laugh!

Ann said...

Hey Mum, I found just the right wool for you to knit a cuddly for junior.

Very funny.

Maggie May said...

I posted a long comment that has obviously been chewed up by Blogger!
I think I said... a fine looking bird that is obviously very intelligent. However the *peeps* sound would begin to grate after a while.
Rabbits make beautiful pets because they never make *peeps sounds*! They are quiet too.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Country Girl said...

Peep!

Russell said...

Now THAT'S quite a bird - heh! Can't imagine being around a parrot like that but would certainly make life interesting.

Laughed at Benny and his friend. I am sure they were quite a blur most of the time.

Enjoyed the images of the fences, etc. I really like the red mailbox. Then again I like the blue canoe, too.

Take care.

Kat said...

I loved having pet birds, but they certainly can be a pain in the buttocks. They are so messy and loud, but they are also very entertaining, and yes, SMART!

Lucy sounds like a real character! Almost makes me want to get another bird. But then I remember the PEEPS! ;)

Shrinky said...

"..he travels far distances (like upstairs, or out on the deck)"

You slay me! What a witty and gorgeous lady she is, wonder whom she modelled that from?

Lynette Killam said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Hilary! Such wonderful photos of this little beauty, and a hilarious commentary to go with them...a definite day-brightener. Thanks for that...:)

Lynette
Imagination Lane

Cricket said...

Grrrr, Blogger. Well, I can't say I'm not getting what I pay for. Heh, heh. Plus, I'm (pretty) sure you got the previous comment in email if you want it.

(If not, King Sunny Ade: Ma Jaiye Oni. African... right?)

Glad I didn't post on Thurs. And at least we got our posts back. I had one in drafts for Fri. Now for Mon. Thought I was going to have to reconstruct. I probably could have done it, but still. Glad it reappeared.

Mental P Mama said...

LOl...This Pionus Parrot Mommy totally knows all these tricks...and Cupid can bark, too. Let's not explore how he knows the sound of a bottle of wine being uncorked.....

SandyCarlson said...

Lucy is a lovely girl! She is in the right hands, to be sure.

Hilary said...

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments. Unfortunately, with the mini-breakdown that Blogger endured, we all lost many of our comments on recent posts. Fortunately, I get comment notification by email so I did see all of your kind remarks. I'm going to paste the missing comments below. You were all so kind to leave your thoughts and that's very much appreciated.

Hilary said...

Comments in the order they were received:

Adrian: I really enjoyed this post. Great story.

Joan: She is gorgeous and what a personality!! Great photos too!

Snappy Di: Adorable bird and I love her vocabulary... although not when I am trying to sleep.. Yes, I know that sinking feeling... LOL

Bob Bushnell: I knew an African Grey that flew around my house, his good knowledge made his pastime was sit and be photogenic. Unfortunately he just disappeared one day, I didn't see or hear from him. I hope it doesn't happen to Frank.

Susan in the Boonies: Parrots are beautiful and a little creepy all at the same time, I think. What is it about people who have parrots, though, that we always see them kissing said parrot? Have parrot owners not heard of bird borne diseases? I really have absolutely no room to talk, because I allow my dogs to kiss me, and I have SEEN where their tongues go, and it's not pretty. But that is how doggies show submission and loyalty to the Alpha Dog. And...somehow...having a parrot eat from my mouth is just icky to me. Rant over, and nice pictures! :-D

Out on the Prairie: Always a draw when i go to a pet store.I enjoy watching them and sharing a little chatter, but that peep gets them to stay where they are.

Bonnie: I LOVE Lucy! Wish I had adopted one earlier in my life - they have such long lifespans that you need to make sure you will be around for them.
Hilary, I have to say that this post has sunk to a new low with the caption, "Do you ever get that sinking feeling?" ;) Good one!

Djan: Really adorable parrot. I have some friend who have three, and the racket is deafening, but they are really fun to watch and they entertain endlessly.

Cricket: Oooh, I don't know if I could live with too much sharp, shrill peeping. There could be some "roast squab" at my house. Heh, heh.
But seriously, those African Grays are some birds, huh? A friend of mine was into them. WAY intelligent critters.
Hm. Let's go with that African theme, and listen to some King Sunny Ade: Ma Jaiye Oni. That'll bring a warm vibe to the Great White North.

Anvilcloud: I have heard about these birds somewhere else recently, but I'm not sure where. They "sound" like great fun.

Texwisgirl: many, many years ago, in another life, i had a pair for a while. they were shrill and loud and very intelligent. :)

Daryl: he's gorgeous. We had a very very smart parakeet when I was kid .. my grandmother taught it to say 'good morning grandma' as well as 'give me a kiss' and 'god bless you'. I am thankful he, Petey, didnt PEEP .. I have my own alarm called Jack who begins calling out MOOOOOOORE standing outside the bedroom door at 5 a.m. ...

Ellen Abbott: my dad brought home two small parrots once. Like you say, they were so loud, he eventually gave them away. my folks just weren't prepared for the care a parrot needs. and they are so intelligent. loved this essay.

Continued in the next comment...

Hilary said...

...continued from the previous comment.

LadyFi: OH what a fun post - and such gorgeous shots of Lucy!

Lori: I love Lucy! It sounds like Frank has lots of fun with Lucy. Thanks for making me smile this morning..now to show Lucy to my little's. :) XX

Pat Arkansas: Lovely Lucy! I laughed while reading your story, especially at the strikethroughs. Your photos are wonderful.

Gary's Third Pottery Blog: a stubborn smartass kissing FRANK? hilarious!

Nanahidi (Dianne): Lucy is wonderful and so multi-talented when I rented an apartment the landlord lived downstairs and had several Lucys whenever the phone rang one of them would shriek "doorbell" my cats were very anxious to see what was on the other side of the common doorway. I lived in fear of that door being left unlocked. happily we all got along just fine. one of the Lucys used to say "it's her" whenever she saw me, just for me. I never did know whether she liked me or was being sarcastic. they can be sarcastic you know ;)

Nanahidi (Dianne): I have no idea how I appeared as "nanahidi"" blogger has been odd with me for days now.

Kristina P: Birds scare me a bit, but she's pretty!

Frank Baron: Guess who I just covered up? I'll tell her you miss her PEEPs and hope to hear them again very soon. ;)

Birdie: Oh please, please, please take some video! Would love to hear her.

Linda: I find parrots fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Lucy. I agree with Birdie...we need a video. Great photography, as always. Love that first picture.

Jillsy Girl: Fantastic shots! A good friend of mine's son and daughter-in-law have an African Grey, and I had a chance to meet it once when my friend was bird sitting. I got the short version of your presentation!

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry: wow! wonderful captures! it's really hard to pick a favourite. what an adorable bird! great story, too. have a lovely day! betty plus: loving your photography! ...and the third photos is absolutely brilliant!

Maggie May: This was a lovely post. Looks like a lot of fun but I think the PEEPS might be wearisome after a while.
Maybe rabbits are better as pets after all cos they don't say PEEPS all the time..... in fact never! Maggie X

Elizabeth: I knew it was going to be good when I saw the title. :) What a little character!

Linda said...

Hi Hilary, this is an absolutely wonderful view into life with such a bird. She is smart and interesting, entertaining and loud too, I gather. I love her personal grooming techniques. Great story!

CherylK said...

Oh, this is SO funny! And the photos are remarkable!

I can just imagine what you're going through. My daughter has a ring-neck dove (which she has had since she was a little girl). His name is Bob and his coo-coo-coos are much like Lucy's PEEPS which would be a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, I'm thinking.

Bless Frank for allowing Lucy to totally rule his life - hah!

lime said...

she sounds like quite the character!

trafsilo said...

birds are very funny, I like it...... greetings from jakarta....