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Chapter 1. A pretty good life- an excerptThis is a story about birds. Three birds to be exact: a little green parrot named Jamaica, a yellow cockatiel named KoKoMo, and a big black crow named Jupiter. Little Jamaica and KoKoMo lived in a nice warm home, with lights, a color TV, and lots of music. Their gourmet birdseed came from a nearby pet shop, and they regularly received treats from the kitchen. Jamaica and KoKoMo loved the treats! They especially liked the bites of Brussels sprouts, baked potato and bread. Sometimes, they even got a bite of pizza! In short, life was good. Even the house cat, Okra, was nice to them. Actually, Okra was nice to them partly because he was terrified of the sound that the bird’s wings made when they flew. Flap! Flap! Flap! He couldn’t figure out why it was necessary for them to do that. They didn’t see him flying all over the place, did they? No. He kept all four of his paws on the ground. Like a cat should. And a bird should. At least inside birds. Okra was surprised to learn that the new bird could talk. Many a good nap had been spoiled by Jamaica calling, “Okra, Okra, I love you, Okra!” The first time he heard Jamaica say that, he almost wet Sally’s carpet. Never before had the cockatiel said anything to Okra, although he had heard her whistle that “shave and a haircut, two bits” tune she’d learned from Sally’s husband…
Pull a toddler onto your lap—or tuck it into bed—and share a tale about a house that has a mouse problem (There’s a Mouse in the House!), a gooseberry-gobbling pheasant (George, the Great Green Gooseberry Gobbler), and a cat named Ribbons who gets into trouble with a Christmas tree (Ribbons at Christmas). I’ve broken up the story about Jamaica and Jupiter (Jamaica and Jupiter) into shorter chapter stories so that the friendship between the “outside” bird and the “inside bird” can develop over time. This story was inspired by a little green parrot we used to have that was fascinated by the crows in the yard. There are two short poems about a hermit crab and a frog at the end. There’s more explanation about my choosing them at the end of the book.
Happy reading! I hope you agree with me that "Once you learn to read you will be forever free!" Frederick Douglas