The Pizza Man, and the Parrots
By Nancy S. Mure´
Bare trees and a cloudy, January sky meant one thing in New York: snow. Above the attached houses and garden apartments of Brooklyn, Mr. Martinelli, a local pizza man, looked up and saw a big green parrot perched on an electrical wire. And then he saw another and another. At the very top of the pole, Mr. Martinelli saw a huge nest built near a warm utility box where another six or seven parrots rested.
On this cold winter afternoon, Mr. Martinelli counted a dozen parrots--tropical birds--living in Brooklyn! Amazed at how adaptable they were, he watched others as he passed all the food shops on Atlantic Avenue. He listened to their unfamiliar sound as he walked: “GLAK, GLAK, GLAK.”
Perhaps they are hungry, Mr. Martinelli thought as he opened his pizzeria for lunch.
He went inside, then emerged with bread crumbs, and scattered them along the sidewalk.
Pigeons and seagulls swooped down to eat the crumbs, but the green parrots didn’t come down from the electrical wire.
“Oh well,” Mr. Martinelli muttered. He went inside to make his pizza pies. It would be another very busy day.
As he closed for the day, he noticed the birds still perched on the wire, grooming and kissing one another. Some purred and their feathers were fluffed.
The next day as he opened his pizzeria, Mr. Martinelli saw the parrots watching him from above. He splattered bread crumbs for them, but they just looked at him and then each other. They cocked their heads as the Pigeons and seagulls pecked at Mr. Martinelli’s offering and remained on the wire.
“Mangia, eat!” he hollered with his arms open toward the colorful parrots on the wire.
Later as Mr. Martinelli was taking out the trash, he heard the parrots chattering, singing, and talking among themselves. He heard one say, “SQUAWK, rice balls, SQUAWK!” “Huh?” Mr. Martinelli gazed around, puzzled....