Customer Reviews for

The Parrot's Lament: And Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2001

    The Parrot's Lament

    The Parrot¿s Lament, by Eugene Linden, is the perfect book for anyone interested in animal behavior. It is 190 pages in length and was published by the Penguin Group in 1999. This book discusses animal behavior and tries to help explain why animals act the way they do. It explores the idea that animals have intelligence parallel to humans and higher levels of thinking. The author is trying to prove to us just how smart animals are. This book gives examples of compassion, egotism, jealousy, and love displayed by animals. Anyone who wants to know more about animal psychology should read this book. This book greatly relates to biology. It attempts to explain why animals do the things they do and uses a lot of anthropomorphism, where one gives human characteristics to animals. The Parrot¿s Lament gives anecdotes about animal behavior and helps explain how it relates to their survival. It gives a window into the mind of an animal. This book proves that animals have a higher level of thinking. My favorite story is that of a parrot who spots another bird outside in bad weather and asks it to come in and eat. The parrot must¿ve understood that the bird outside was not in good condition. It also gives examples of trickery: p.64 ¿Rob Shumaker remembers one female gorilla at the National Zoo who developed strong feelings about various keepers. She was loyal to those she liked, but very aggressive towards those she did not. On one occasion, she casually walked up to the wire mesh that separated her from one of the keepers she did not like. Using a come-hither gesture, she beckoned the man to come closer. When the keeper approached within range, she suddenly pulled out a stick she had hidden behind her back and tried to stab him.¿ Obviously, the gorilla would¿ve had to know who the keeper was, how to get him over to her, and how to hide the stick. It couldn¿t have happened all on pure luck. That act took skill and planning. There are many stories similar to these that prove animals have higher levels of thinking. I think this book is excellent proof that animals are extremely intelligent and capable of more than most humans think. I¿ve experienced incidents similar to many in the book, though on a smaller scale. For example, anytime my guinea pig Lulubelle wants attention, she will let out a high pitched squeak. I always assumed this was just because of her instincts. However, this book explores the idea she knows that by making a loud noise, someone will pay attention to her. This may be her own higher level of thinking, not just a natural response. While some may argue squeaking is Lulubelle¿s innate reaction to a want, The Parrot¿s Lament gives tangible examples of why animals¿ reactions are not all based on instinct. Like the examples I gave above, Lulubelle proves things aren¿t all about what nature gives us. This book has made me think of animals in different ways. Do animals think like humans? We may never know until we can communicate fully with animals, however this book gives substantial evidence they do. For all we know, animals are asking the same question about us. Julie Braker

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2000

    Absolutely wonderful!

    If you are an animal lover, this book is a must-read. This book is fantastic and definitely a page-turner.

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