“Here’s something that relates to To Fetch A Thief,” Spence says. “The Philippine coastguard raided an animal-smuggling boat and seized a critically-endangered parrot, the red-vented cockatoo.”
“Remember that parrot scene in Dog On It?” Admin says.
“This one?” says Spence:
She opened the door, we went in and there was the bird, perched in a cage that dangled from the ceiling.
“Che-et.” Bernie spoke my name in a stretched out way he used when he had a concern about what might be coming next. And sure, because of my leaping ability – I’d been the best leaper in K-9 class, which had led to all the trouble in a way I couldn’t remember exactly, although blood was involved – how could I not wonder a bit about certain possibilities? But I wasn’t about to find out now, was I? We were on the job. Thump thump. “Good boy.”
The bird – green with scaly yellow legs and feet and a weird spiky comb on the top of its head – made a horrible croaking noise.
“Hear that?” said Cynthia.
“He said, ‘Madison rocks.’ She taught him. He can say other things, too.”
Whoa. Cynthia was claiming that he – this beady-eyed inmate – could talk? I didn’t buy it.
“His name’s Cap’n Crunch.”
Cap’n Crunch bobbed his head back and forth, an ugly, lizard-like motion, and made the horrible croaking noise again. It ended in a high-pitched squeak that hurt my ears. One glance at Bernie and I knew he wasn’t hearing that squeak. Bernie missed some things, true, but you had to admire him: he never let his handicaps get him down.
“What else can he say?”
Oh, Bernie, please.
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