When my sister, Debbi, turned 18 my parents bought her a parrot.  I cannot recall why as I don’t ever remember her asking for one.  Sometimes our parents bought us strange gifts just because.  She proudly named him Goofus (goof & us).  He was a really smart bird and would pick up on things easily and as they tend to do repeat it with nearly dead on mimicry. 

My brother Pat and his friends would get ratted out all the time by Goofus whispering the swear words that they were teaching him.  Since he would repeat it as he heard it Mom knew it was Pat and his friends.  It took Pat a bit to catch on and stop teaching the bird swear words. 

My little brother, Tommy, and I fought all the time.  We would hit, slap and pull hair and scream.  Goofus started mimicking those fights.  One particular day Tommy and I had long since left for school when he started up.  My Mom fresh from her night shift came flying out of her bedroom with kill in her eyes (or so she told us later when we got home).  Goofus, upon seeing her wild hair and eyes rounding the corner started laughing.  I wonder how he survived that as when she was awakened you were toast. 

Goofus would also whistle charge!  One particular evening when I was a pre-teen  and I had my first boy over at the house.  We were sitting close on the couch and he had his arm around me.  All of a sudden Goofus lets loose with the charge whistle.  I thought I was going to die!  Then again it certainly broke the tension of the would he or wouldn’t he??? 

We also bought a parakeet to keep Goofus company.  We named him Doofus.  They became fast friends, but Goofus never taught him any words.  Mostly, he tormented him through the bars of the cage.  He would nip at his wings and hiss at him.  That didn’t deter Doofus and he never seemed to be afraid of him.

My brother got a cockatiel that lived in his college dorm room with him and his roommates.  He sat over top of the foos ball table.  He would whistle charge and play the part of the crowd as they played.

Bob named him Reggie.   When Bob moved out on his own from the dorm room Reggie came to live with us.  I really liked Reggie as he had the sweetest disposition of all the birds. 

Not only farm animals, but we had quite the wild kingdom indoors, too.  Doctor Doolittle had nothing on us!