When you ask most people if they have a pet and they say yes, it usually means they have a cat or dog or fish or maybe even a hamster. If you asked me, my answer would be a little different.

I inherited an African gray parrot with red tail feathers. Before I was born, my uncle got a parrot that he named Sweet Pea. He would always tell me that Sweet Pea might live to be 80 years old. He told me she would be mine when he was gone because she was sure to live longer than him and my mom. Unfortunately, my uncle passed away at an early age, but I knew he wanted Sweet Pea to stay with my family.

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She whistles, mimics the sound of the telephone, says hello when the telephone rings, calls my name, says “what?” when my mom calls my dad’s name, meows like a cat, neighs like a horse, and whistles the PC Richard & Son jingle. And believe it or not, those are just some of the things she can do.

She is an extremely social bird who loves to be around people and sometimes makes my mom crazy with the noises she makes.

African gray parrots are extremely intelligent and usually become attached to one person. Sweet Pea allows only my mother to hold her, but that doesn’t stop me from getting her food and water and talking to her.

She is a wonderful reminder of my uncle, and I’m so glad she is a part of my family.