I told you so

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It’s the end of the world,” said the brightly colored parakeet as she perched precariously in her cage. Mrs. Brown looked up from where she had been dusting the furniture. She certainly hadn’t taught the bird that phrase. She had been the bird’s main instructor in language, and almost all of the parakeet’s vocabulary was flattering compliments about Mrs. Brown’s appearance.
“Jimmy!”
“Hm…what’d I do now?!” a voice floated from outside.
“Come down here!” A tousled boy shuffled into view, hastily wiping dirt off his pants and trying to cleverly hide the grass stains on his knees with his hands.
“Did you teach the parakeet to say ‘It’s the end of the world’ Jimmy,” demanded Mrs. Brown, eyes narrowed.
“No. Why would I do that Mom?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah.”
“Well, someone did.”
“Are you sure the bird said that, Mom? I mean, I’ve never heard her say that before.” The two turned to look at the parakeet.
As if on cue, the bird squawked, “That dress makes you look simply stunning, Mrs. Brown.” Mrs. Brown beamed. Jimmy shrugged.
“See? Maybe you just thought it said that.” Jimmy left the room, intent on finishing digging for pirate’s treasure in the backyard. Mrs. Brown looked up at the bird in her cage thoughtfully. Maybe she had just imagined it. Sighing, she went back to her dusting.
“It’s the end of the world.” Mr. Brown jumped, startled from his newspaper reading by the voice.
“Hmph? What was that? Who’s there?” The parakeet squawked. “Oh. Was that you?” Mr. Brown chuckled. “You scared me there for a second.” Having gotten over his original bewilderment, he realized the strangeness of what the bird had said. He stared up at the now silent pet in scrutiny. “Hm…that’s odd. I wonder who taught it that phrase?”
“You’re looking lovely today Mrs. Brown.” Mr. Brown growled. He hated it when the parakeet said stuff like that to him.
“Stupid bird!” Grumbling, Mr. Brown went back to his paper, all thoughts of the bird’s strange announcement driven out of his head by annoyance.
“It’s the end of the world.” Jimmy looked up at parakeet in surprise. Mom had been right. Weird. Really weird.
“Who taught you to say that?” There was a heavy silence, that filled Jimmy with a deep foreboding. The bird swung on its perch agitatedly, and Jimmy would swear it looked like it was thinking about it’s answer.
“I want a CRACKER!” screeched the parrot. Jimmy shook his head. It was silly of him to think the bird was actually going to give an intelligent response. Without looking back, he went back to his room to play a video game.
That evening, Mr. Brown was watching the news as he did every night. But this time, he saw something that thoroughly shocked him.
“Honey, Jimmy! Come here!” The two rushed into the room and stared at the television screen, which Mr. Brown was stabbing his finger at urgently.
“It’s the end of the world!” wailed Mrs. Brown, and collapsed onto the floor.
“Is it true, Dad?” asked Jimmy.
“I’m afraid so, son.” The tears began to flow as the gathered into a sobbing pile on the carpet. In their overwhelming despair they didn’t even think about their parakeet’s earlier words. Rocking back and forth, the bird let out a squawking parrot laugh.
And as the world descended into chaos, she said quietly, “I told you so.”





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