As Sick As A Parrot

| New York City, NY, USA | Right | November 10, 2014

(My friend is a small-mammal handler at a zoo. Today, she’s taken a particularly docile ferret out to let visitors encounter it first-hand. A couple comes in with a young child. I’m standing in the background.)

Mother: “Ooh, look, the zoo lady’s got a baby raccoon!”

Father: “That’s some sort of weasel!”

Child: “Mom, I wanna see the octopus.”

Mother: “Let’s go see the nice lady with the raccoon.”

Father: “Weasel.”

(The mother gives the father a look and then approaches my friend.)

Mother: “‘Excuse me, miss, what kind of animal is that?”

Friend: “This is a ferret. Her name is [Name] and she’s very friendly. You can pet her if you take care to avoid—”

Father: “Parrot!? That’s a weasel!”

Friend: “It’s a ferret. They’re in the weasel family, like—”

Father: “You sure?”

Friend: “Yes, very sure. Ferrets are among—”

Father: “Let’s go see the octopus, [Child].”

(They leave in a hurry. Curious, I follow them outside.)

Father: “D*** thing must have been sick. Pretty irresponsible of them to expose us to a sick parrot.”

Child: “Ferret.”

Father: “We just saw the parrot. I thought you wanted to see the octopus.”

Child: “Daddy, is your hearing aid on?”

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