What follows is really rather a crude story, so we’ve tried to give it a veneer of respectability by dressing it up in verse. Ahem…
A kindly gentleman saw a parrot, wandering in the street.
He decided he would help to set it on its feet.
Was it grateful? Was it hell – ‘b***er off’ the parrot yelled.
It’s not the kind of greeting you expect when you’re trying to rescue someone – especially a member of another species.
But it seems the runaway African Grey spotted staggering about in the middle of the road in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, just didn’t want to be helped.
It repeatedly uttered the same curse at the man and tried to bite him when he went to pick it up.
He eventually managed to wrestle it into his car and took it to the town’s White Cross Vets, where it adopted a similarly hostile attitude towards staff.
‘The parrot is wearing a leg ring but we were unable to check it for a while because it was angry and kept shouting “oi!” at us,’ said Hayley Thompson, who examined it.
The bird has calmed down since its rescue and is in good health.
The vets are using the ID number on the leg ring to try to find out who it belongs to.
As parrots learn words from listening to the people around them, they might be in for an earful if they manage to get the owner on the phone.
Or it could be that the unfortunate bird-lover is like Fast Show character ‘Unlucky Alf’, who buys a parrot and finds it is only able to utter swearwords.