The Parrot

A Widower wanted a Parrot to pass the time. Many at the shop repeated inane phrases; one silent appeared to think more. Bought that and it wasn’t true.

Quick decisions are often wrong decisions.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection


Ernest Griset (1874)

A certain Widower, in order to amuse his solitary hours, and in some measure supply the conversation of his departed helpmate of loquacious memory, determined to purchase a Parrot. with this view he applied to a dealer in birds, who showed him a large collection of Parrots of various kinds. Whilst they were exercising their talkative talents before him, one repeating the cries of the town, another asking for a cup of sack, and a third bawling for a coach, he observed a green Parrot perched in a thoughtful manner at a distance upon the foot of a table. “And so you, my grave gentleman,” said he, “are quite silent.” To which the Parrot replied, like a philosophical bird, “I think the more.” Pleased with this sensible answer, our Widower immediately paid down the price, and took home the bird, conceiving great things from a creature who had given so striking a specimen of his parts. But after having instructed him during a whole month, he found to his great disappointment that he could get nothing more from him than the fatiguing repetition of the sentence, “I think the more.” “I find,” said he, in great wrath, “that thou art an invincible fool; and ten times more a fool was I for having formed a favourable opinion of thy abilities upon no better foundation than an affected solemnity.”