Terry Grundmann says our Wednesday story about a mockingbird that imitated a telephone ring tone reminds him of his African grey parrot, Max:

"Max did the tone and spacing so good, I'd say, 'He's doing the phone again,' when sometimes it WOULD be the phone. I was never sure, he was so good.

"After doing the ring tone, he'd go over to his bell and hold it up by his ear and say, 'Hello.'

"Sometimes we'd carry on a conversation.

"My wife's ex was Larry. Max would say, 'Where's Larry?'

"I'd say, 'Larry's gone.'

"Max would then say, 'Oh!' and imitate laughter."

Stop, thief!

"Speaking of smart birds and dumb birds," says Buddy Holden, "I found that house finches can count to three.

"Last year I looked into a finch nest using an overhead mirror. There were two small white eggs and a large brown and white egg.

"Immediately I knew that a lazy (maybe smart) cowbird had laid the large egg — they don't want to be bothered with raising their own young.

"I carefully removed the large egg, but the unhappy finches noticed the theft and never came back."

Wetland living

Richard "Poppy" Phillips, of Baton Rouge, has an "only in south Louisiana" story:

"Because of the flood, we were staying with some friends.

"I left my work shoes on the front porch, and woke early and put them on to take Rosie, our Cavalier spaniel, to a local park.

"My left shoe was bugging me during this walk, so I took my shoe off, noticed some movement — and out jumped a little frog!

"I took pictures to send to our amused family. It helped to have some levity after a brutal year.

"And it gave new meaning to 'open toad shoes!'"

(Poppy, I suspect you told me that story just so you could work that pun in…)

Lightweight bout

T.W. shares this kid story:

"Years ago, when my younger daughter was about 3 and in daycare, we got a report that she choked another child in the class (I think the kid bit her first).

"That evening I sat down with her and proceeded to tell her about keeping her hands to herself, and asking how she would feel if someone did the same thing to her.

"To drive my point home, I surprised her by shooting my hand out and loosely grabbing her around her neck.

"With reflexes that would have made Muhammad Ali proud, she immediately punched me squarely in the nose.

"I laughed hysterically for several minutes — and was glad she didn’t have another 100 pounds behind that little fist."

Special People Dept.

  • Jessie W. Hogan celebrates his 95th birthday on Friday, May 19. A native of the Franklinton area, he is a World War II veteran, having served in the 105th Anti-Aircraft Battalion in five major campaigns in North Africa, Sicily and Italy under Gen. George Patton.
  • Tommy Seward, of Metairie, celebrates his 90th birthday on Saturday, May 20. A World War II Navy veteran, he served on the USS Osage as a radioman and, in combat, a gun loader.
  • Ethel C. and Albert A.N. Coleman, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 62nd anniversary on Sunday, May 21.
  • Jake and Elaine Maus, of Reserve, celebrate their 50th anniversary on Saturday, May 20.

Thought for the Day

From Cameron Heltz: "Regarding the removal of statues…what did the horses ever do to anyone?"

It ain't Club Med

Keith Horcasitas says he and wife Maria can say they spent the first night of their honeymoon in a convent — the Villa Convento in New Orleans, formerly owned by the Ursuline nuns. But THEN they went to Hawaii… 

Thanks, Rocket Man

Pat Alba, of Metairie, says, "My first time on a jet airliner was in 1961 — a Delta flight from Houston to Washington, D.C., via New Orleans.

"I was extremely nervous until I met my seatmates: an engineer with NASA and his traveling companion, astronaut John Glenn — who was settling down for a nap.

"I realized that a jet is child's play compared to a rocket, so I relaxed and enjoyed the flight."

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0371 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.