St Martin – a sitter for a parrot named “Unity”

Aubrey Redling recalls when he and his wife Betty took care of a house which included a parrot named Unity for Barbara Joyce when she was away from home.

“Ah, yes, the parrot. Some friends of Barbara found a parrot that had either gotten loose or been abandoned. They offered him (or her) to Barbara, and she accepted. She named him Unity.

Whenever Barbara had to be off island, such as a National Spiritual Assembly meeting in Antigua, she asked if we would come over and house sit. The house had been broken into in the past when she was gone, and Baha’i-related equipment had been stolen, plus some of her property. Part of house sitting was looking after good ol’Unity. Problem is Unity was crabby when she was gone. He had an aggressive dislike for my wife Betty and me. Well, one morning I tried to feed him, and he decided to make breakfast of my hand and arm. He was putting on quite a fit. I decided to pick up the cage and put it in a dark room and let him cool off.

Everything was quiet for a while. By the way, he could speak a number of words. Then we started hearing this little voice getting a little louder each time. I opened the door a crack and he was saying, “Hullo? Hullo? HULLO? HULLO?!? H-U-L-L-O?!??” Well, now I felt a bit guilty so I took him out in the living room again and he let me feed him. I never ever had nerve enough to tell Barbara. But I was sure afraid he’d “rat” on me. Unity to Unity was getting his way.

Each time we house sat there were new experiences with Unity and people in the area.

We loved it. Wished we could have stayed a lot longer.”