Reblogged from Jim Webster, aka Tallis Steelyard:
This tale has to be true, I had it from Maljie in person. She was in discursive mood, having been released from her sickbed and allowed outside to frolic winsomely (or otherwise) over strong coffee and ridiculously large pieces of fruitcake.
Now it appears that at one point, her brother was proud possessor of a talking bird. It was of modest size and was apparently a ‘Bar-rigged Beauty’ or so the seaman he purchased it from, assured him. Nautical types who travel to the distant west on the great metal ships will buy the damned things from natives who cunningly disguise their loathing of the foreigners who doubtless exploit them; and seek to overthrow their enemies by foisting upon them birds trained to the highest degree of savagery. This bird had a long complicated name in some quaint native dialect, I am assured it was something like Nellabarstupentavotis. I assume it means, “Small feathered demon with irritating personal habits and a savage disposition.” The family called it Nella for short. This had the happy accident of naming the bird after another maiden aunt. When maiden aunt Balthusia disappointed them by totally forgetting to include them in her will, the family cast about for another potential source of largesse to flatter.
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