FINCA TATIN, jungle near Livingston, Guatemala- there is no predicting what may row up to our dock at the Finca Tatin each day. The people from the Maya villages in the surrounding jungle come up to our shore with fruit, meat, materials, animals, just about anything they think we may be interested in buying. There is a little jolt of excitement that arises each time a local cayuco pulls up to our dock — what are they selling? Usually it is just pineapples — again — but sometimes it is something different.
Today a green parrot arrived. He was sitting in the cayuco with a woman and a young girl. They said they raised parrots and had six at their home. We paid 100 Quetzales for the little bird, who we were told was five months old. I placed him on my shoulder.
At first we named him Carlito — Little Carl — after the finca owner, Carlos. But upon discovery of our nomenclating, he cursed the creators of the name with a big “Hijos de putas!”
We returned to the drawing board in search of another name.
“Donde esta el lobo?” my wife innocently asked one of the Maya cooking staff.
The woman looked confused, there has not been many wolves walking through here lately, why would any one ask where the wolf is?
It was a moment before my wife realized that she asked for a wolf rather than a parrot. The Spanish word for parrot is a lot like the word for wolf, which sounds similar to the word for mud.
Loro, lobo, lodo.
In honor of her humorous linguistic stumble, my wife suggested that we name the parrot lobo — wolf — I wanted to name him mud.
Wolf prevailed. We now have a loro named lobo.
Though my jungle pirate costume is now complete: I have a parrot on my shoulder to go with the beard on my face and the tattoos on my body. I try to frighten the guests, but, like most people in pirate costumes, I am not that scary.
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