A man who lived alone went to a pet store to buy a parrot. He thought the parrot might fill some of his lonely time. But he came back to complain the following day, “That bird doesn’t talk.”
The store owner asked if he had a mirror in its cage, and the man said he didn’t. “Oh, parrots love mirrors,” the store owner explained. “When he sees his reflection in the mirror, he’ll just start talking away.” So he sold the man a birdcage mirror.
The man was back the next day to gripe that his parrot still hadn’t said a word. “That’s very peculiar,” said the store owner. “How about a swing? Birds really love these little swings, and a happy parrot is a talkative parrot.” So the man bought a swing, took it home, and installed it in the cage.
But he was back the next day with the same story. “Does he have a ladder to climb?” the store owner asked. “That just has to be the problem. Once he has a ladder, he’ll probably talk your ear off!” So the man bought a ladder.
The man was back at the pet store when it opened the next day. From the look on his face, the owner knew something was wrong. “Didn’t your parrot like the ladder?” he asked. His repeat customer looked up and said, “The parrot died.”
“I’m so sorry,” the store owner said. “Did he ever say anything?”
“Well, yes. He finally talked just before he died. In a weak little voice, he asked me, ‘Don’t they sell any bird seed at that pet store?’”