Ramona, Betsy, and Paco
Ramona and her best friend, Betsy, loved to go outside and play when the weather was nice. They were a little worried because the wind was blowing, and it looked like rain today. Betsy had her sister bring her over to Ramona's house to see if she wanted to go outside anyway. Ramona's mother said they had to stay inside.
The girls were not happy. What could they do? They did not like to play games inside. They watched a few cartoons but were soon bored.
Next, Ramona's mother brought out coloring books, crayons, and markers. The girls colored a few pages with markers, but got tired of that, too.
Betsy said she was hungry, so they had a snack in the kitchen. In the kitchen, Betsy saw a cage. It had a large bird in it. She asked Ramona about the bird.
Ramona told her that was Paco, her parrot. Soon Ramona started talking to Paco. She said, "Paco's a pretty bird." To Betsy's surprise, Paco said, "Paco's a pretty bird." Betsy's mouth dropped open in surprise. She laughed. Then Paco laughed. Betsy asked Ramona how that happened. Ramona's mother explained it to her. "The parrot can repeat some words you say. You have to say the same thing over 45 times before he can say it back to you."
Ramona's mother told Betsy all the words Paco knew how to say. The girls had so much fun saying things to Paco and having him repeat them. He could repeat more words like, "Good morning, Paco. Hello. What? I love you, Paco." He could even whistle! Then, Ramona took Paco out of his cage. She carefully opened the cage door and out he came. He flew around the house. The girls giggled when Ramona's mother put her arm out and Paco landed on it. Then she waved her arm and off he went again. Flying and squawking. Betsy said, "This is the best time ever!" They even got to stretch out their arms and have Paco land on them. The day went by quickly. Betsy told Ramona, "Now we know what to do when we can't go outside!"