...I began to look sallow, and was packed off North. But I left one broken heart behind me, that of poor Cottorita, my parrot. She had been given me very young, and loved as only a parrot or dog can love. I have always been sorry that I did not take the dear thing with me, for she went about for three days after my departure, calling, " Nino Elijio! Nino Elijio! " and then flew away and was never seen again. When I went to the Spanish school she would station herself at the house-door and wait patiently until I came back, and then, climbing up, never quitted my shoulder. When I remember that a parrot can live a hundred years, there is no reason why she should not be rubbing a dear old head against my cheek at this present moment. Grandpa's old parrot, who had passed his youth among sailors and who used to ask, "What o'clock?" and when told the time, would reply, "You be damned!" amused me, but never consoled me for the loss of poor Cottorita.-- Vedder, Elihu, 1836-1923. The Digressions of V.. London: Constable , 19111910.p. 76.
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Saturday, June 09, 2018
a faithful parrot
The American symbolist painter Elihu Vedder (1836-1923) spent part of his childhood in Cuba. After a while his parents thought the climate too hot for his health, and he was sent back to the care of his grandparents in New York. As he writes in his memoir The Digressions of V., he left one particular friend behind him: