If you had a pet parrot, what would you teach it to say?
“Hey Leo, there’s something that’s been bugging me since we met.” Kita hung by her knees from the rigging above him, her orange-red hair swaying in the breeze like a fiery pennant. She did love to climb.
The Captain grinned. She was curious about a great many things regarding him. “And just what is that today?”
“You’re a pirate.” He nodded. Her questions usually centered on that fact. “So, where’s your parrot?”
He tilted his head back to get a better look at her face. Her mask obscured it, as usual, but her eyes were sincere. She wasn’t just pulling his leg. He laughed then, a deep, throaty chuckle. She slipped gracefully out of the ropes and flipped herself in the air to land on the railing with a pout. “One flamboyant bastard flaunted his talking bird in a port tavern ages ago and somehow everyone thinks we all have them.”
Kita sulked as she perched, spinning around to face the deck and give him a cold shoulder. “I just thought it’d be cool to see one,” she muttered.
He kept his laughter to himself. He was beginning to understand her flights of fancy and fantastical views of the world at large. In many ways, she was more naïve than he expected, but he wasn’t in a mood to antagonize her either. He was in a fair mood so he decided to play along. “They are flashy, and fairly smart. But I had a much cooler bird that was even smarter.”
She looked over her shoulder at him skeptically. “Cooler than a parrot that can talk?”
“Aye. A raven that could talk.” Her narrowed eyes plainly said she thought he was teasing her. “Swear on my ship! That bird was special.” Kita shifted her weight, half turning back towards him as she let one leg fall on the far side of the railing and lacing her fingers on the knee still astride it. Her curiosity was piqued now. Leo continued his tale. “My father was superstitious about them, but when one injured itself in a storm and fell onto his ship, he let me nurse it back to health. It really took to me. It didn’t seem that young, not to be flying so far from land, so I don’t think it imprinted on me, but all the same it stuck with me the whole time it was on the ship.
“Eventually it was strong enough to fly again, but it stayed close to us. We hardly needed a man in the crow’s nest with the raven around. Almost renamed it the raven’s nest instead because it would cry out to warn us of other ships or when land came in sight. When we were in port, or at least close enough to shore for it to find treasures, it would come back with small gifts for me.”
Kita’s chin rested on her knee as she listened. “What happened to it?”
Leo shrugged. “Same thing that happens to us all, I suspect. One day it was just gone. We kept sailing on.”
“Maybe it’s still out there looking for you,” she said with a meaningful look out across the sea. There was an odd fire in her eyes as she stared to the horizon. “I hope you can meet again.”
Leo’s grin remained as he took in her posture and dark clothes. When she leapt back up into the rigging and up to the boom, she seemed to soar. He had a feeling his raven had found its way home.
Notes: I love writing these two. I had this going a lot sillier in my head though. Like, a flashback where Leo is accosted by a loud, colorful parrot that scars him for life from parrots. I had to ask my friend about this trope of course, since Leo is his character. His answer to why Leo didn’t have a parrot was “because he has a raven.” After a lot of “uhhh’s” of course. Which of course gave me more fodder for their relationship.
I think if I had a parrot I would teach it to say soothing things to my cats. Particularly for when we’re travelling and leave them behind, they could still have someone to talk to them. Of course, it would more likely than not just taunt them endlessly. And make Alexa turn on and off all the lights. Or order stuff. Not that we’ve used her for that yet, but it wouldn’t take much for a bird to figure that out I think.
This one is coming up a bit late because I was distracted by the thunderstorms and kept having false starts on it, but better late than never! And since I still technically haven’t gone to bed, it’s not tomorrow yet, which means it totally still counts for Friday! But I have been fighting off a headache for the last bit of writing this so I think it’s well past time to go to sleep.
Have a great weekend! See you Sunday!
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