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THERE was a grey parrot which knew how to speak and had the habit of correcting anybody who did not tell the truth.

p. 57

 The parrot was the pet of an untruthful woman, and she found the bird’s habit so inconvenient, that she at length decided to get rid of it.

 One day a neighbour was passing her house, and the woman called out to him from the threshold to come and see the beautiful tame parrot which she intended to give him as a present.

 The man asked her why she desired to part with so beautiful a bird, and to this the woman replied: “Because it eats a great deal, and I am poor.”

 The parrot cried out. “She lies!”

 The neighbour took no notice, thanked the woman, and returned home with the bird on his shoulder. When he reached his house, his wife asked him where he had found the bird.

 “As I came through the forest, it flew down and perched on my shoulder,” replied the man, but the parrot quickly cried out: “He lies!”

 The man soon discovered how awkward it was to have such a truthful pet, and he p. 58 was often tempted to wring the bird’s neck.

 It happened that this man was dishonest, and stole a great many articles which he buried in a deep hole, unknown to anybody. He would have been quite secure but for the wonderful parrot.

 When the thefts were discovered, a search was made in the man’s house, but nothing was found there. The searchers were therefore forced to consider that he was innocent. As they went out, they said to him: “Are you sure you have not stolen these things?”

 “I am sure!” said the man indignantly; but the parrot cried out: “He lies!”

 The man was so enraged that he seized the bird and twisted its neck, but the suspicion of the searchers was aroused, and eventually they discovered the hole, which was marked with a little stake, and all the stolen articles were found. Had it not been for the truthful parrot, the secret would never have been revealed.