The rich man smiled and petted his parrot through the stainless steel bars. He grew anxious waiting for everybody to arrive. His dinner guests would not only enjoy a first class meal but receive first class entertainment.
He’d trained the Yellow-naped Amazon to mimic him for many months. The work was monotonous, but tonight it would all pay off. There was no doubt in his mind, this bird would bring him much adoration and applause from his superiors.
Conversation of politics and the economy trudged along as they partook of the three course meal. Every dinner with his friends were the same. No excitement. Nothing new. But the rich man bounced in his seat waiting for the right moment to uncover the feathered surprise. His wife patted his knee and giggled. There was no stopping his eagerness.
“Okay!” The rich man stood and addressed his guests: Mr. and Mrs. Hoover, Ms. Moon, Mr. Green, and Fancy, his own daughter. Upper-class company. The rich man didn’t particularly enjoy their company, but it was important to him to keep these people close. He never knew when he may need them.
“Please join me in the sitting room.” The crowd filed in around a large object covered in a yellow sheet. “I’ve been anticipating this for a long time.” He couldn’t keep the grin off of his face.
“What is it?” Mr. Green impatiently butted in.
“Well,” he paused for dramatic effect. “It’s a…”
He yanked off the sheet displaying the large bird cage to the confused group. The little yellow bird swung slightly in the center, very small compared to his large home.
“…Yellow-naped Parrot! Everybody, meet Gus.”
But that didn’t bother him. He knew it was going to be a tough crowd. He turned and addressed Gus.
“What is your name?”
The group gasped.
“Gus, what do you like?”
This time they erupted in applause. Mrs. Hoover wiped tears away and tried to catch her breath from laughing.
“That is priceless! This is wonderful.”
The rich man beamed. It had been worth the work. The long hours. He had entertained the impossible crowd.
The group of people cackled even louder.
“It said my name,” wheezed Ms. Moon, now out of breath.
The rich man chuckled nervously. This wasn’t part of the skit. He’d never taught Gus her name. It was smarter than he’d expected. And his guests were eating it up.
“Ms. Moon. Big Mouth.”
Another gasp. But this time it was not followed by laughter. In a huff, Ms. Moon stormed from his home. In a few moments, the other guests left as well. His perfect evening ruined. Apparently the small yellow bird heard many conversations. But not only heard them, memorized them.
The family of three were deserted, faces down, dreams shattered.
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:7-10)