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January 30th. The Parrot.

Hasta la Vista, Gringo, says a Voice in the Tree.

That Bird is Very Strange and Extremely Rude, I say.

It is a Parrot, says the Owner, a Stranger which has made its Home here.

Does it not want to Go Back to where it Came From? I say. It does not Belong Here.

Donkeys know more than you, says the Parrot.

And it is Insulting Me, I say. Who does it Think It Is? If it is going to Be Here it should be Polite to those whose Home this Is.

This is its Home now, says the Owner. Home is not always where you come from. Home is where you Choose to Put your Heart. And Strangers are never as Strange as we Think. We have Far more in Common with One Another than we have that Divides Us.

It does not Fit In, I say. I have nothing in Common with a Rude Parrot. Even the Ducks are Brown and Black. And they do not use such Rude Words.

Perhaps it is us that Do Not Fit In, says the Owner. We were All Strangers Once.

Eres un maldito tonto, says the Parrot.

We are not Green, I say. We Blend In. And we do not Swear in Spanish.

The Parrot adds to the Diversity of our Community, says the Owner.

What is the Point of that? I ask.

Diverse Communities are more Resilient Communities, says the Owner. Imagine if, However Skilled we were, we All had Exactly the Same Skills.

Some People are Very Skilled, I say. I am thinking of Dame Judy Dench, obviously, and, to a Lesser Extent, James Bond.

Imagine if the World were made up of Only James Bonds and Dame Judy Denches, says the Owner. The Shakespearean evenings would be Marvellous and all Evil Arch Enemies would be Doomed, but there would be Nobody to Treat the Moral Dog’s Poorly Tummy or to Help with Owner argue about Human Rights, or to Put out Fires or to Argue with the Prime Minister.

That is All Very Well, I say, but I thought the Prime Minister only allowed Skilled Persons to Move Here. This Parrot’s Contribution to GDP appears Somewhat Impoverished compared to that of the Incomparable Dame Judy.

The Prime Minister Prioritises the Wrong Things, says the Owner. He thinks we should welcome only those who Earn Large Sums. He has no interest in Humanitarians, Artists and Ordinary People who want to Work Hard and Make a Life. Indeed under the Current Rules Struggling Actors would not Qualify Either.

I thought the Prime Minister was Planning to admit more Doctors and Nurses, I say.

Indeed, says the Owner, The Prime Minister wishes to persuade Nurses and Doctors trained by Less Wealthy Countries to Come Here, but not to Allow in the People they were Trained to Treat.

That does not Seem Right, I say. But this Parrot does not appear to have Medical Skills. Current evidence suggests that it is Capable only of Dropping Guano and Making Noise.

One never knows the Potential of a Parrot, says the Owner, unless one Gives it the Chance.

You have a Face like the Back of a Fridge, says the Parrot.

I take it we are Speaking Metaphorically Now, I say, given that this now Highly Insulting Parrot seems to face several Obstacles to Admission to Medical School, and the Guano is on your Boot.

You cannot Discern Potential purely by looking, says the Owner. But Economic Potential is not the Only Measure of Moral Worth. Most People have Hidden depths.

You are the Fattest Squirrel in all London, says the Parrot, and something shoots furiously down the Tree.

Look, the Parrot is Harassing a Squirrel, says the Owner. And don’t you think it has Lovely Plumage?

It seems that the Parrot’s Insults were not Directed at Me at All! I can now see that the Parrot is indeed Harassing a Squirrel, which is attempting to Invade its Hole in the Tree. And it seems to be Winning. As we watch the Squirrel Races, Furious, Across the Grass, and almost into the Welcoming Arms of the Moral Dog. Bloody Foreigners, Hisses the Squirrel, before Executing a Sharp Left Turn and Heading for the Fence, let them near our trees and they think they own the Place.

It is a most Unpleasant Squirrel. I have seen it before, it is Well Known for Harassing Small Humans and is the Type of Squirrel one can Imagine would Hog all the Nuts. I give chase.

Several Exciting Moments Ensue before the Squirrel Makes its Escape.

I look up at the Parrot. I sense its Admiration of the Moral Dog’s Squirrel Pursuing Abilities. I nod in Acknowledgement of our Shared Interests and Skills. I can totally see that there is more that Unites us than that Divides us, and that our Community is enhanced by our diversity. And it does have Lovely Plumage.

Perhaps Someone Should Tell the Prime Minister he Has it All Wrong, I tell the Owner. The Parrot’s Plumage is indeed Fetching in a Certain Light, and it has proved Surprisingly Discerning where Squirrels are concerned. Moreover, Discriminating against Persons on the Basis of Money rather than other more Morally Relevant Attributes whilst Stealing their Doctors and Nurses just Cannot be Right.

I will help you Compose an email, says the Owner. I am sure it will help.

The Moral Dog, Lobbyist to Prime Ministers.

Categories: dignity dog dog philosophy

Hergest the Hound

I am a dog of many thoughts.

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