A red and yellow parrot sat in a tin cage between the kitchen window and another lopsided watercolor of the black-headed dog. The parrot had been looking suspiciously at Zóra since we had entered the kitchen, and he took that moment to screech out: “O! My God! Behold the wonderment!”—an outburst we at first took as a strikingly lecherous reaction to Zóra’s bare arms and collarbones. But Nada apologized profusely and dropped a dishrag over the parrot’s cage.

”He likes to recite poetry,” Nada said, and then we both realized that the parrot had been trying to begin the prologue of an epic poem. “I’ve tried to get him to say things like ‘good morning’ and ‘I like bread and butter.’”

Téa Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife