Surprise, Elie – Choco

You know, we have a surpise for Elie and he doesn’t know about it. Many very religious families don’t have animals in the house for a variety of reasons. I have a confession to make – though we are religious, I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with having animals…and, in fact, there are many good things.

We have two dogs, but I can explain. Never mind, it will sound crazy no matter what I write. We don’t have cats. Well, there are the two neighborhood cats that like to sneak into our house because my oldest daughter fed them when they were kittens, but we refuse to acknowledge them.

We have fish – but their are tame and easy, and we have birds. Oh, do we have birds. We have hand-fed cockatiels and, as of last week, we have an African gray parrot (Jacko) that Elie doesn’t know about. They are big birds, beautiful. Ours is named Choco. Choco is quite amazing. He makes dozens of sounds, says many words in Hebrew (like “What’s happening” and “Kiss” and “Forbidden” as he waves his leg in the air as one would caution a child).

He answers the phone (“Hello” and makes the sound of someone hanging up) when it rings and more. He says, ” Choco, come” and imitates my youngest son’s annoying cluck…the one that only he and his father can make (leave it to the bird to pick that one up) and this morning, he actually laughed. Ok, he didn’t laugh, but he certainly made the sound of someone laughing. He has almost as many ring-tones as my phone. The previous owner must have been a smoker (the bird can pretend to cough and sniffle too).

Elie is not the most animal-friendly person. His attitude is that if he agrees to leave them alone, they should have the common decency to leave him alone too. He isn’t cruel to them, he just doesn’t want to be bothered and I’m thinking he’s not going to love this new bird. He’ll probably laugh when the bird asks him what is happening or imitates someone laughing and, if I know my Elie, he’ll try to teach it all sorts of creative sounds and phrases (may God be kind to me on this one).

And, if I know Elie, and I think I do, he will look at the bird (and us) as if we have lost our minds. It too is a bit of a game he’ll play. It will amuse him and give him something to smile about. So…for now, if you see him, don’t tell him. I’ve actually managed not to say anything . I can’t wait to see Elie’s face. Without doubt, he’ll think – “here we go again.”

Choco- wait till you meet Elie and Elie…oh do we have a loud surprise for you.

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