We are a generation that is grown seeing movies, playing video games and reading fictional stories like the fairy tales, panchatantras, sci-fi’s and the treasure hunts. All these stories tell us about the imaginary world that doesn’t really exist. However, there might be glimpses of reality into these fictions. For instance, stories about the quests, treasure hunts is not all that made up. In the ancient times, there have been such treasure hunts and quests that were taken place. Looking at this fact, it is even possible to assume that the characters mentioned in these stories were even inspired from real life.
Pirates and their stories have been in our books since decades. Although they do not just exist in our books. They are a reality too. Mostly pirates are seen as the people who exploited sea voyages and threatened people who entered into their territory i.e. the ocean and the sea. There have been many incidents such as the pirate attack on the Olympus, the threats on the commerce of the Roman Empire along the Mediterranean and many others. Some of the known pirates during their ages are the Vikings (pirates of the medieval Europe), the Frisian pirates (during the late middle age led by Pier Gerlofs Donia), Moor pirate (adjoining the coasts of northern Italy and southern France) etc.
There have many depictions on the lifestyles of these pirates. Like they always had a cigar in their hand, a cap on their head, the one eye head band, the hook hand and many others. However, have you ever noticed the consistent occurrence of a parrot in these stories? It is often described that a pirate always had a pet parrot sitting on his shoulder. But why do they have a parrot? Why not a dog or something more huge and charismatic likes the pirate’s personality?
Well, there have been many other pets like the cat, monkey, and cattle’s along with the parrot. All the other animals on the deck have a justification for their presence. For instance, the cats are to catch the mice on deck, the cattle’s are for the meat/food purpose and the monkeys for the sake of company as well as spying for the captain. Still a parrot doesn’t give a valid explanation.
It is generally believed that the choice of pet a person makes is the reflection of his/her own personality. Like a dog lover is usually loyal, obedient, hardworking type of people. Whereas a cat lover may usually be moody, arrogant, and temperamental. However, one can really not tell the connection between a pirate and its parrot. A pirate is usually seen as a daring, menacing type of a person, on the contrary a parrot shows no such characteristics. Then why a parrot?? Studies have given many logical reasons for this question. Some of them are explained as follows:
- A parrots’ appetite is very less as compared to other animals mentioned above. In an environment like the ships it is possible to face shortage of food due to long expeditions and certain natural calamities. During such scenarios parrots don’t be a problem. They are not the share holders in the food account.
- Mostly pets on decks are usually food for the crew. They feed them until there is enough food. However, at times during a stormy night, the pet itself serves as a food. But in case of a parrot it is hardly possible. As a parrot has very little flesh and can barely fulfil someone’s hunger. So it even becomes a safe choice. No temptations attached.
- Parrots are people friendly and social animals. They like being around people. So it becomes easier to pet them. And there is no worry of them attacking the crew members.
- Sea expeditions are long and boring. Apart from the part of actual action of stealing and threatening it’s all sheerly a long journey on board doing nothing. And usually there is no source of entertainment other than a radio for passing time. At such times the parrots can be taught certain tricks for entertainment purpose.
- Certain parrots have the ability to speak. It depends on the species of the parrot as not every parrot can do so. However, even the one who can talk needs proper training for their natural ability to be flourished. They can talk unnecessary things if not skilled properly, but they still make good company. Especially when you are the only person left on the deck.
- In the earlier times, talking parrots was a rare thing. They were seen with amazement and surprise. Hence, the one having it automatically seemed different and prominent among the others. This even increased their domestication and trade for the same purpose. The more bizarre the animal the more its demand in the market. In case of pirates they were usually smuggled. It soon became a matter of prestige for most of the pirates.
- Because of their talking ability parrot’s even served as good messengers. They carried messages or news over the deck or from some other ships nearby. They were loyal to their owners.
So these were some of the logical reasons behind the whole mystery behind the Pirates’ Pet Parrot. Pets today, and in the earlier times was always of great importance. Every person needs and needed a pet, a friend to accompany in the alone time. Right from the farmers with their hens and cows, to the kings and queens with their fluffy little cats, and not forgetting the not so friendly, threatening pirates with their parrots. Well, now if you see any pirate movie or game do watch out for parrot nearby as a proof and be satisfied by the reason for knowing why!