gladysWhen I walk into the office, an exotic bird’s at my desk, typing away. It lifts its talons off the keys, turns its green head. Coffee in the pot! I pour myself some. That my report you’re working on? Sure is! Sure is! Have it completed before the boss arrives. Sure will! I don’t bother checking. I’ve always trusted birds. When I was little we had a parakeet named Gladys. She was so clever, some big company recruited her for book keeping and refilling the soda machine. They say she retired and died peacefully, in some house in Palm Beach.


Alek Barkats grew up in Washington, D.C. He currently lives in Berkeley, California, where he is a writer, musician, and teacher.

Photo credit: Geroithe Chia

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