Taking off from where I paused, here’s the rest of the story. 🙂
I went home a bit confused. Not about the dowry, which I believed I could not raise nor wanted to, but about a bird that supposedly had the ability to learn how to talk.
As to be expected before making a purchase, I asked around to feel the pulse of current owners of such a bird. Most of the reactions ranged from fervent satisfaction to utter annoyance.
By the way, it is called kyao locally. It is a black myna bird of the starling family. (Why do I suddenly think about the film Silence of the Lambs?)
I was intrigued by one owner, a neighbor, a few blocks from my place. She tended a small sari-sari store that sell various food items and household needs.
For the first month of owning the bird, she was rather enthusiastic in training it to speak. It spoke some words the first week. Then gradually its vocabulary increased with a few phrases to add to its repertoire.
However, the problem started when her store seemed to lose customers. She could not explain it because her prices were lower that her competitors. She wanted to discover the root of the problem.
One day, she stayed near the door of her store. She was always busy inside her house, at least fifteen feet away from the separated structure.
Someone came in and asked, “Is there anyone around?” The bird’s cage was behind the counter, hidden from view.
“No one is here,” the bird replied, almost mimicking its owner’s voice.
“Can I buy a can of sardines?” the buyer asked, noting that someone was around because of the earlier reply.
“No one is here,” repeated the bird. “If you do not want to sell, just close!” the irate buyer turned back angrily.
The owner was demoralized by the incident. That was why her earnings dropped. The bird that was supposed to be a come-on because of its novelty, became a liability.
But the fact is, the bird was not to blame. It was telling the truth at that time. The owner should have taught it to say, “Wait a minute. She’s coming!”
In my mind, keeping a talking bird was fine as long as you do not have a service oriented business. That is certainly keeping pleasure away from business. 😀
I waited for the man to come back and coax me to buy the bird. However, he did not come back. I could have declined the offer for the bird but I could have bargained to lower the dowry (just in case). (laughs)