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Jolly Solly: Sound the Alarm

R. Atkins

The new parrot decided he’d had enough of the siren, didn’t want everyone crowding around him, and certainly didn’t want his cage being jostled

Thursday, October 27, 2016

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M r. Faigelbaum was away — in the African jungle, no less! He’d gone to get another parrot. Tuki had turned out to be such a hit with all the kids that Eli the animal trainer figured it made sense to buy another of the colorful, exotic birds. And he could think of no one better to send on such an important mission than the experienced bird specialist, Mr F. F. Faigelbaum. Mr. Faigelbaum was due to return that very afternoon. His first stop was going to be at Eli’s place, to drop off the new parrot, and then he would head home, where Mrs. Faigelbaum and Efraim eagerly awaited his return.

Eli heard the sound of a car turning into the driveway, and hurried out. There was Mr. Faigelbaum, looking rather worn out from all his travels, holding aloft a cage with a medium-sized parrot inside.

The two men greeted each other heartily, and then Mr. Faigelbaum handed over the cage carefully to Eli, before wending his weary way home.

Tuki, perched on Eli’s shoulder, scrutinized the new arrival suspiciously. He was none too pleased at these new developments. Tuki considered himself the unrivalled star of the show at Eli’s establishment, and had no desire to share the limelight with a competitor. He flapped his wings irritably.

“Haman!” he screeched at the new bird, his standard term for anyone he disliked. “Bang-bang-bang!”

But the new parrot, instead of screeching back, just sat there listlessly. Tuki turned up the volume.

“Bang-Bang-Bang!” he screeched even louder.

The new parrot’s head merely drooped miserably.

“Oh, dear,” said Eli worriedly. “I don’t like the look of this guy. I hope he’s all right. I wish Mr. Faigelbaum hadn’t rushed off so quickly; it looks like we need him again, to check this fellow out. I’m going to call him up right away.”

 

Eli got on the phone to Mr. Faigelbaum, but to his disappointment, there was no reply. Tuki eyed his rival with concern. It looked like the bird was going to topple over. The only time Tuki had ever seen someone keel over before had been when Eli’s assistant had suffered a sudden dizzy spell and fallen off a ladder. Eli had called an ambulance then, and fortunately, the assistant had made a full recovery soon after.

“Hatzolah!” shrieked Tuki, remembering what had transpired that day. “Police! Fire! Ambulance!” he added for good measure. Then he launched into an imitation of an ambulance siren: “Whaaaaaaaaaa! Whaaaaaaaaaaa!”

The sound of the siren was so lifelike that Eli’s assistants came running to see what the emergency was. Even Gimpel the Goat came galloping along to witness the action.

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