Cecil the parakeet was so bad-tempered —we later found out why

Dear Ed... We had a really bad-tempered and noisy parakeet when we lived in Qatar in the 1970s.

My husband called him Cecil and said he was a male because of his distinctive ring around his neck.

He lived as ‘happy as Larry’ in his cage in the lounge and was let out occasionally for a daily fly-around the room, landing down on everything in his wake—plus leaving the odd ‘trade mark’ here and there.

Then one day a pal called Bert Youngman, a jack-of-all-trades working for the Emir Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamid al-Thani, asked if he could borrow Cecil to mate with his parrot housed in an outdoor aviary with a thick, hollowed-out tree-trunk where they like laying their eggs.

Lo and behold, not long after we went to Bert’s and he showed us Cecil who was actually sitting on a clutch of eggs at the bottom of the trunk.

In the end, she (Cecil) produced six lovely green chicks and also lost her bad temper!

Cecil made a lovely mummy. We changed her name to Cecille.

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Anne Smith

Glamis Road