When we left California and drove to Tennessee we took our new parakeet Goofus with us. Goofus was in his cage and sat next to me in the back seat. As we traveled, we would give Goofus attention and talk to him. He usually was excited over the attention but never reacted in any special manner.
Once we arrived in Tennessee and became settled in our new home in Munford, my family decided to go and visit Shiloh, the famous Civil War battleground. I chose to stay home alone while my family went on the trip. I still didn't have many friends or acquaintances, so I spent my time just relaxing alone. I let the parakeet Goofus out of his cage. He liked to drink my Coca Cola and eat my potato chips when he was out of his cage. I never stopped to think it might not be good for his diet, I thought it was cute.
That day, because I was alone with Goofus, I talked to him as I had many times before. But on this particular day, Goofus chose to repeat what I had said. At first the only words he said were: "Pretty Boy", but then his vocabulary began to expand and he spoke several sentences.
Goofus was "my parakeet", always excited when I entered the room and staying close to me when he was out of his cage. He totally trusted me and would try to stick his head in my mouth when I was eating or if I made a sound he liked.
When my family returned from Shiloh late that afternoon I was so excited to tell them that Goofus had spoken for the first time. From that day forward, Goofus talked non-stop.