OCALA, Fla. — An 80-something year old woman on a window shopping jaunt around town got more than she bargained for after engaging a fancy pet store favorite. “Miz. V.” fell under the charmingly audacious Macaw’s spell when unexpectedly he began to bark. She learned from the shop owner that the lavishly adorned, exotic avian had acquired a practiced fluency in Dog.
Thinking her new feathered friend might also speak Cat, Miz V. began a soft, meowing purr to entice him to respond in kind. Apparently this caused the Macaw to become agitated. As the bird failed to meow, Miz V. good-humoredly chastised him by wagging her forefinger at him with a grandmotherly, “Naughty bird!”
Unaccustomed to her mockingly stern tone, or perhaps prodded by the wagging gesture, the Macaw thrust the cage door open with his head. He lunged several feet straight after the woman, biting her right forefinger so hard as to break her knuckle.
Motives for the bird’s reported attack remain unspecified. All the evidence suggests that the bird acted alone. Further details have led to some conjecture over his mental or emotional state.
A male, this particular macaw’s given name is “Sue Ellen”. This provokes speculation that his beaked attack on the woman may have resulted from a state of hostility over living with a gender-ambiguous name (a phenomenon generally appreciated only by Johnny Cash fans).
Sue is a member of the ancient taxonomical class of Aves, and of a subset, or genus, known to professionals as Anodorhynchus. In layman’s term, that’s the rare Blue Macaw.
Even while in pain, her forefinger wrapped and secured with a splint, Miz V. has decided not to press charges against Sue, nor even to consult counsel. She has hired a local computer professional, however, for assistance in learning to navigate Facebook with temporary reliance on her middle finger.