Albert and the Midterm by Emma Foster
Once there was a parrot named Albert who lived with a family who had a son called James. James had
just graduated from high school, and summer had just ended. Albert, whose cage was in James’s room,
could tell that every night before he went to bed James was getting more and more nervous.
James left for his first day of classes early Monday morning. Albert waited patiently by his cage all
morning, for James to come home. When James came home, he took the time to tell Albert all about his
day. Because Albert was an African Grey Parrot, Albert understood nearly everything James said and
was able to repeat a lot of his words back to him.
After a week, James came home with his first homework assignment. He was taking psychology, and as
he worked on his homework Albert watched him write down the answers and read through the textbook.
James made sure to highlight the important stuff he needed to know for the test.
After a while, Albert started to learn some important terms in psychology. He would often open up the
book whenever James left his room and read through several sections. Eventually, Albert began
squawking out different words that James had to learn for his upcoming test.
As the first test for James’s class drew closer, he became more and more nervous about it. He started
writing down terms on notecards to memorize and highlighting different sections in the book that he
thought would be on the test. Albert watched intently, following along and moving the flashcards around
with his claws. Every now and then Albert would shout out some of the terms.
Suddenly James had an idea. He decided that it would be a good idea if Albert quizzed him using the
flashcards. Because Albert was able to say the words, he began squawking out everything James had
written down on the notecards. Albert and James practiced for the entire weekend because James’s test
was on Monday.
Albert waited all Monday morning, wondering if James would do well on his test. Albert had gone over
all of the terms with James so much that he was sure James would do well, but he couldn’t help still
James had to wait a few days before he received his test results. When he came home he told Albert he
had gotten at A. In fact, he had received the best grade in the class. He told Albert that his professor had
been very impressed and that he had been surprised when James had told him that Albert had helped him
study. For part of the class period, James’s professor had explained how African Grey Parrots were a very
smart bird because of how many words they could learn, and that they had been studied many times in
psychology. At one point, James’s psychology professor allowed James to bring Albert to class so he
could elaborate on how smart African Grey Parrots were.
From then on Albert helped James study for all of his classes, and James was able to do well in all of
them because of how much he studied. Though sometimes Albert would get carried away by
squawking out the terms in the middle of the night.
“For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; …, and him that hath no helper.” (Psalms 72:12 KJV)
“My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121:2 KJV)
Thanks, Emma for another truly interesting tale. We look forward to each new adventure from your pen ,with great anticipation.
Wikipedia said, “The species is common in captivity and is regularly kept by humans as a companion parrot, prized for its ability to mimic human speech, which makes it one of the most popular avian pets. An escaped pet in Japan was returned to his owner after repeating the owner’s name and address.”