A seasoned and well-off soldier of fortune, in a distant exotic land, had been a very long time away from home. In a rare un-deployed interval, he had time to reflect on his inattentive non-communication with his long-time widowed 90 year old mother. He began to feel the need to re-establish contact. Mobile phone communication was out of the question, so he sought counsel on alternatives from local aesthetics/gurus.

The counsel, although from a totally diverse culture, opined that, universally, the elderly were most often lonely and pined for companionship - perhaps a pet could suffice. AHA! Perfect! But then ... what kind?? Given his present locale - why not an exotic, rare creature to demonstrate his desire to atone for past transgressions?!

After considering an exhaustive list of options, he finally settled on a, bordering on extinction, rare parrot that spoke SIX languages. After heated and lengthy negotiations, a price of $10,000, plus shipping, was settled upon.

Within days, his black-ops unit was called into action, with no communication links. About 6 weeks later, our boy was given access to a satellite phone, and he immediately phoned Mom.

RING-RING-

Mom: Hello

Son: Hey Mom - This is your son Joe!

Mom: Oh--Hi Joe, been along time...

Son: Did you get the present I sent you some weeks ago?

Mom: Yep -sure did- I marinated it overnight, baked it... and it was delicious! Thanks!

Son: WHAT? That parrot cost $10,000 and spoke six languages!

Mom: Well - he shoulda said something!

The cost has been great ... the inattention unattended ... the benefits untaught. If we don't speak up now, we and our progeny may lose that right forever.