Broderick and the Cracker

Broderick is a parrot. Broderick is in a cage. Near the cage is a window. Beneath the window is a ledge. On the ledge is a cracker. Broderick wants the cracker. But Broderick is in a cage.

“I swear, ” Broderick says, “that if anyone brings me that cracker within the next few minutes, I will make her rich beyond the dreams of humankind.”

A few minutes pass. Broderick grows impatient. He squawks loudly. No one hears.

“Ah!” he says. “That I had not defied Solomon, and instead humbled myself before him; then, then, I might have that cracker even now.”

He paces on his perch. “Still,” Broderick says, ruffling his feathers and preening, “if anyone brings me the cracker within the next few minutes, I will uncover for her all the treasures of the earth.”

A few minutes pass. Broderick cannot believe his eyes. No one has come. No one has brought him the cracker. Not even for all the treasures of the earth. Broderick bobs vigorously on his perch.

“Ah!” he exclaims. “I am a generous parrot! Should anyone bring me that cracker within the next few minutes, I will make her a great lady of all the house, and always sit on her shoulder, and grant her every day any three requests she chooses!”

Slowly, the minutes tick by. A darkness and fury sets in on Broderick’s colorful countenance.

“Then,” Broderick says, with terrible determination, “I shall kill without mercy any who bring me the cracker. I shall offer them the choice of the manner of their death, but whatsoever they should choose, it shall be death by pecking.”

There is a long pause. The air resounds with Broderick’s grim oath.

“I have sworn to kill whomever brings me the cracker,” Broderick says, “and still no one obliges!”

He swings on his perch in fury. He bites at the cage door. Suddenly, it opens. Broderick’s beak has broken the latch. Broderick is free! He darts for the cracker. He picks it up with one foot. He savors the tasty cracker goodness.

“Ha!” he says. “I have brought MYSELF the cracker!”

There’s a pause.

“How awkward,” Broderick admits.

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