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©Paul Coleman

The Quite Parrot

The Pumpkin

sat down to dinner

with the Parrot that did not talk.

"What a tale this Parrot would have to tell," the Pumpkin thought,

as he tucked into a Halloween sandwich, which looked like a human very distraught.

A hundred and ten this Parrot be, yet not a word would he reveal of his history.

"Please tell me oh friend with feathers of red, green and blue,

what does it mean to be silent like you?"

The Parrot thought as he broke a seed,

"What does it mean, indeed?"

Yet still in silence he sat, as he looked way, way back.

He looked to the trees of misty green, which was the place he most remembered

when he thought of where he had been.

"Green, green, wonderful green is what I have seen," Said the Parrot to the Pumpkin

as he munched his human being.

The Pumpkin, amazed stopped in mid-chew.

"My friend the Parrot, was that you, who spoke those words of our distant  past?"

Yes," said the Parrot, "The forests could not last."

"My friend the Parrot, why quiet for so long?

Would you mind if we joined together in a song?"

"No, my friend," the Parrot replied, "for with the trees, my heart has died."

"Oh, come now, dear Parrot" the Pumpkin said, as he bit off the human's head,

"Surely if we begin to sing, our words will light up our lives with a ring."

"Maybe you’re right and maybe you’re wrong, but okay dear Pumpkin, I will join you in your song."

They sang of love and they sang of life.

They even sang of the late, great Pumpkin’s wife,

who had the misfortune to fall to a human being’s knife.

But as they sang they tended to dream,

and before long the Earth once again became green,

and blue and brown, like the soil,

which so-called intelligent man used to toil.

They dreamed up a world and it became true,

and off into the trees the Parrot flew.

And when the Parrot saw his bygone friends

he knew that for him that it was the end.

Yet... not sad did the Parrot feel,

for he realised that in our dreams,

he would forever be real.

And now when you sit down

to your next Pumpkin pie,


the Quiet Parrot,

as he flies



The Story Behind The Quite Parrot

 In 1990, while walking from Canada to South America to draw attention to the first Earth Summit and the deforestation of the Amazon, me and Linda, Tracy and Chris, who were walking with me at the time were invited to stay at the home of the 'Parrot Man', a well-known expert on Parrots.  

Parrot man lived in a small townhouse in the heart of Baltimore and asked us to look after his birds while he went away for the weekend.

There were forty of them!  In the morning, when they woke up, they started squawking and screeching.

What a racket! It sounded like murder going on!

At breakfast one day I said to Tracy, "I wish there was such a thing as a quiet parrot".

I remembered the story parrot man had told of the Spinks Macaw, the last of its kind that had recently been released back into the wild as no mate could be found.  Destined to be alone till the end of its days I pictured its sadness and couple of hours later I had the story of 'The Quiet Parrot'.

I gave the story a Halloween theme as it was around that time of year, and set the stage of a last supper, with the parrot discussing the fate of humanity with a pumpkin. 

A World Of Stories From 1954-2024

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