The end of the 19th chapter

“Dinner is ready in the dining room, your majesty.” said Mee, and turned to lead the way.

“I want the parrot to be with me at dinner.” said Rhoda. And Mee took the pole with the parrot at its end and stepped with it into the dining room. On the table in the dining room, there were a lot of steaming dishes, and in each of them, there was some kind of dish with an appetizing smell and delicious colors.

Rhoda sat at the table, and for a long time was mostly busy with the food, stopping eating only to give the parrot bits and pieces that she thought might interest it, and which he took from her with a condemnatory stare, but silently. When Rhoda leaned back at the end of the meal, with that comfortable feeling that one feels at the end of a specially good and filling meal, she turned to the parrot and told it “Hey, owl, I still need to give you a name.”

The parrot snorted and didn’t answer her. She tried again:

“Hey parrot, is there a name that you prefer to be called? Think carefully, because if you do not like it later, you will not be able to change it.”

The parrot still didn’t answer, but started pecking his feathers with a movement that made it look thoughtful, so Rhoda left it alone and drank the aromatic drink that Mee had brought her.

“Whhhaaa! Ahithophel.” Said the parrot after a few minutes.

“Are you sure? It is not such a flattering name.” Rhoda said, smiling. “Are you certain that you want me to think of the counsel of Ahithophel, which means a really not good advice, every time I call you?”

“Whhhaaa! Yes.” Answered the parrot. “This way you can only blame your own stupidity every time you listen to my advice.”

Rhoda laughed out loud. “There is no doubt, Ahithophel, that in any case I will blame my stupidity. But it is not certain that only my stupidity will be blamed! If the advice I will listen to will be especially bad, I might be tempted to put the blame on you too, so be careful with what you suggest to me.”

“Whhhaaa! I suggest that you will not go on talking to me tonight.” said the parrot, pecking between the toes of its leg after each word.

This time Rhoda laughed so much that she almost cried. “I accept the counsel of Ahithophel for tonight, and I think it will not cost you so dearly.” she said when she managed to catch her breath again.

She turned to Mee and said “Please put Mr. Ahithophel in his cage, and cover it with a black cloak, so that he will sleep well tonight.”

Mee did as she was asked, and not long after sending Ahithophel to sleep, Rhoda went to sleep as well.

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The new parrot


The begining of the 19th chapter.


When Rhoda entered through the palace doors, there was a pole made of a golden metal near the entrance, and at its head there was a rod parallel to the floor. On it she saw, with great pleasure, the big parrot she had asked for: green colored, with a little bit of a yolky yellow color at the tips of its feathers, and a red beak. She turned to it and said “Good evening mister owl.”

“Whhhaaa!” it answered her promptly “I am a pretty parrot and not a colorless owl! Don’t be more stupid than you are!”

“You may be a pretty parrot” she told him with a bit of resentment “but very far from being polite! If I was not stupid enough to ask for you, you wouldn’t even exist! So you better think well on what you intend to say, if you don’t want me to ask that you will disappear!”

“Whhhaaa! If you will do that, you will be stupid as well as not nice! and you will have no one to talk with!” the parrot answered her boldly, and Rhoda understood that the parrot, as opposed to Belshazzar and Mee, will not necessarily agree with her and will not do everything she will tell it. A feeling of great freedom came over her.

Rhoda felt that what she really missed was someone who will argue with her, but will not be in a threatening position towards her. She was tired of all this ‘as you wish’ and ‘your majesty’. She wanted someone or something that will not necessarily do as she wished.

“It might well be,” she answered the parrot “but in that case there will be no one around me who will tell me that I am like that! You have the greatest luck – because I am nicer than I am stupid and willing to suffer a parrot like you, who is more pretty than courteous!”

When Rhoda saw it intended to answer her she said “Now it is best that you will shut up, or I will order that you be put in a cage and turn off the light!”

For a moment it seemed as if the parrot intended to answer her, because it opened its beak, but all that it said was “Whhhaaa! Parrot wants a biscuit.”

And immediately Mee stood beside her, with a plate full of biscuits, and Rhoda took one from it and gave it to the parrot, who took it from her hand, turned to deal with it and did not say another word.