Animals that can talk (and the magic of words)

“Word can promise, words can lie. But your words make me feel like I can fly.” Carole King

When it comes to being magical, there’s nothing more definitive than animals that can talk. Humans are fascinated by this concept. I know I am. It’s all over our animated movies and fantasy literature. But animals can’t talk, which is too bad because I think it would make a trip to the zoo much more entertaining. You’d hear things like “what are you staring at?!” at the monkey exhibit, “take a picture, it lasts longer!’ where the lions are, or maybe “can you BELIEVE what that human woman is wearing?” from the female giraffes. Everybody loves a talking animal. It’s magical. If only there were such a thing…

Wait. There is. Parrots (among other birds) can talk! How amazing is that? It’s an animal…that can talk! Magic! It has to make you wonder then…

Why doesn’t everyone own a parrot?

I don’t have one. But why don’t I? I’m not a pirate (unfortunately – I think I would make a good one), but it’s a talking animal! Sure, they only imitate human voices. But so what? This should work out perfectly for us.

We can teach it to say exactly what we want to hear.

Isn’t this what we all want anyway?

If I had a parrot, I would keep saying, “you are a sexy, strong, brave man. Nothing can stop you. Not even Chuck Norris.” I would say this over and over again until my pet parrot repeated it every time I came in the room. And hopefully, Chuck Norris would never stop by for a visit.

There’s something magical about words. They have power over us. A child whose father tells him he’s worthless believes it his whole life and it keeps him from becoming who he was born to be. A bride standing before her groom stakes her life on his promise of “I do.” A girl is carried through her darkest days by the comforting words of a friend. An athlete is spurred on to greatness by his coach’s challenging and affirming evaluations.

Words. They can make us or break us.

What if we used this magic for good? What if our promises meant something? What if we chose to encourage instead of discourage? I realize that certain situations may call for negative or critical feedback, but maybe that should be the exception instead of the rule. Be generous with your affirmation. Tell someone how beautiful they are. Say “I love you” all the time, to everyone you love. Say “I’m sorry” when you’ve blown it. Communicate your belief in your children, every single day. Let your friends know how special they are and how grateful you are. Say it. And say it as much as you can.

There’s power in our words…to heal, to lift up, to restore, to inspire.


I think that’s what I’ll name my parrot.

Tomorrow: How did we live without Pandora? (and the magic of music)

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