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Picture this: Tuesday morning at 9am, my first meeting with our new accountant Susan Dodd from the Tax Store. This is serious stuff. There were important issues to discuss and focus was mandatory. Facts needed to be accurate, concentration required on both sides of the desk. Both Susan and I attentive, each evaluating the other, scribbling facts furiously on paper as we outlaid the dry and some would say “boring” questions I had relating to tax responsibilities and the proper business setup to ensure that all my obligations would be met. This was riveting stuff, no one would dare interrupt such an important discussion.


What was that scratching on the door?

I turned to listen more carefully. Susan’s expression remained deliberately blank, nothing breaking the consummate professional concentration. Shaking my head I turned back to Susan, intent on continuing this most interesting and serious business discussion, when the scratching started again. Confused I turned around again. Curious my hand reached for the door handle, only to by stopped by Susan’s quiet request: “Don’t open it.”

Surprised, I again looked at Susan, who shrugged. Upon hearing Susan’s voice, the scratching on the door became more insistent. My interest now piqued, I asked, “Why? What’s on the other side?”

With a sigh Susan whispered, “Zander…”

“What’s a Zander?” I asked, intrigued.
“He is our eclectus parrot,” Susan replied. “He’ll ruin our meeting if we let him in.”

It is difficult to envisage what horror could possibly ruin a discussion on tax, but I found I could not simply ignore this perplexing conundrum.

So there I was, 9am in the morning sitting in a closed office, surrounded by lots of office-y things, talking about tax, while just a closed door away was an eclectus parrot scratching away, wanting to come in.

Surreal you might say, definitely unusual, and suddenly I was needing to make the most difficult decision of my life: talk tax or meet a parrot. Oh the dilemma! My head pounded as my mind deliberated furiously. Tax? Parrot? Tax? Parrot? Tax? Parrot!

Nearly faint from the battle it seemed my mind no longer had the power to stop my hand as it reached cautiously forward and turned the door handle.

And there as the door slowly opened stood Zander, foot still raised in the air preparing for his next door-scratching session.

With a squawk and a disgruntled shake of his head, the cocky green parrot strutted into the room and promptly took over.

And I was instantly in love.

Forgotten was any talk of tax as the curious parrot chewed shoe laces and the hems of my pants, investigated the contents of my handbag and then flew up and landed on the desk. Brazen and confident he then climbed on my finger, walked up my arm to sit on my shoulder to chatter quite happily in my ear. It was here that I discovered an unknown talent of tittering back in rare and quite expressive “parrot speak” that some might say sounded very much like gobbledygook, and perhaps made me sound slightly deranged.

As a pet, Zander is colourful, entertaining and funny. And let’s not forget cute. He is even toilet trained – going back to his cage when he needs to poop. He has free range of the house, and commands it as if he owns it. His wings need to be clipped regularly to ensure he does not injure himself if he flys too much within the house. He still has the ability to fly short distances.

He is wonderful. And I now want one.

I will probably never be able to say or think about the word tax again without thinking of him, which I am sure you can all agree is not such a bad thing.

Thank you, Susan and Zander, for a most enjoyable morning!

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Available at Hervey Bay Stockland’s, Night Owl, Food n Groove, Maryborough Art Gallery, and various other newsagents throughout the Fraser Coast..

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