Handmade Soap and Sundries
The fragrant solution
to so many of life's little problems.
This is our parakeet Beaker, who spends most of his days flying around in our office. (That's "budgie" or "budgerigar" to all of you in England, Scotland, Irealand, Australia, New Zealand... well actually just about anywhere English is spoken besides the US probably.) He's actually a little more blue than this picture shows.
If you call us, you may hear Beaker talking to you too. So in retrospect, it was probably not the most brilliant of ideas to teach Beaker the Wolf Whistle, or the words "Gimme a kiss". Although we are normally quite warm and friendly by nature, if you hear that when you call - well it's not us saying it, it's the bird. We promise.
Budgie enthusiasts, don't worry. Beaker is kept well away from the soapmaking area, since strong scents can be dangerous for birds and their respiratory systems. That, plus we don't want feathers in the soap.
Here's are some of Beaker's words and phrases:
Shake your tailfeathers
Gimme a kiss
What a good bird
Be a good bird
Where are you going?
There's your buddy
Hey baby [this probably wasn't such a great idea either]
Shake it [nor this one - but it refers to a toy with bells that he likes to shake]
What's wrong with you?
What are you doing?
Get that bell
As you can see, he sometimes repeats things we say to him rather than things we're trying to teach him to say. After over a year, he still refuses to say "hello" or "good morning". Budgie voices are not the clearest in the bird world, and some of these words and phrases are clearer that others. "Shake your tailfeathers" often comes out sounding more like "Shake your tailfurs". Beaker appears to be able to distinguish separate words within sentences, and changes them around sometimes, saying for example "Gimme a pretty Beaker"... making a new sentence from the phrases he already knows ("pretty bird", "gimme a kiss" and "Beaker").
Beaker also imitates the birds he sees and hears outside the window. The most annoying, and therefore of course the most common one he does, is the Blue Jay's screech. The funniest thing he imitates is the sound Mourning Doves' wings make when they take off in a hurry. He's also been known to sound like a Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, or Northen Cardinal. His bird impersonations sound very much like the real thing.
Currently there is a debate raging over whether a certain noise he makes is an imitation of packing tape being ripped quickly from it's holder, or whether it's just an annoying noise he makes naturally on his own.
There are a few things Beaker says that we can't understand.
One of them sounds a bit like, "Beaker's a European," which of course he's really not.
***Update! Finally figured this one out. He's saying "Beaker chew on a pen." (We sometimes ask him, "Want to chew on a pen?" since that's one of his favorite things to do.)
Another one sounds like he's saying something about "Sally Strothers", although we can't imagine what.
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Allgood AL 35013
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