In Conversations with Cosmo:
At Home with an African Grey Parrot,
Betty Jean Craige tells the story of her parrot’s education
in the language and culture of her human friends.
Cosmo is a seven-year-old female Congo African Grey Parrot
who by the age of six had learned more than a hundred words
and had uttered more than two hundred different phrases,
makes up her own phrases, and is still learning.
Craige recounts how Cosmo learned to talk,
developed social skills and a sense of humor,
and became an adorable feathery little person,
a real party animal.
Cosmo is funny
-her first joke was «Telephone for bird!»-
and so is Craige.
Craige’s purpose in writing
this very entertaining book is
not only to report and explain
her parrot’s acquisition of language
and its cognitive abilities,
but also -through Cosmo’s story-
to awaken readers
to the mental activities of all the animals
with whom we humans share space on our planet.
The book has a preface by Irene Pepperberg,
author of The Alex Studies and Alex and Me,
and two appendices:
a list of «Cosmo’s Utterances» and
a list of «Forty-Four Tips for Living with an African Grey».