Saturday, March 23, 2013

When Pigs and Parrots Fly

Welcome back to Bloomfield where life is simple, love is real, and stories are shared. Today we’re sharing a story about Murray the Parrot. His owner is Andy Barnhart, the town fire chief. Bailey, our reporter from the Bloomfield Gazette caught Andy between fires and interviewed him. Let’s listen in.

Bailey: Hi, Andy. I’m happy to see you up bright and early today.

Andy: I’m always up early. Murray doesn’t like for me to sleep in. The second the sun shines through the window, he starts making all kinds of racket.

Murray: <squawk>Good morning, sunshine!

Bailey: How long have you lived in Bloomfield?

Andy: My parents moved here when I was five years old. I don’t remember much before that, so as far as I’m concerned, Bloomfield has always been my home.

Bailey: How long have you had Murray?

Andy: Several years—ever since my sister passed away and left him to me. I don’t think she realized when she got him that parrots live as long as they do.

Murray: Long live the queen!

Bailey (laughing): Or king in your case.

Andy: You can say that again. He pretty much rules the roost.

Bailey: I’m not that familiar with parrots. Tell me more about Murray.

Andy: He’s a macaw, one of the most vocal of all the parrots, and his vocabulary is almost as good as any toddler’s in Bloomfield. He likes to let everyone know too, don’t you, Murray?

Murray (bobbing his head up and down): Murray wants candy.

Andy: I give him carrots and call them candy.

Bailey: How long have you been a member of the Bloomfield Garden Club?

Andy: For about twelve years, ever since Pamela made me go to my first meeting. She’d just lost her husband, and I was the only person who seemed to know how to talk to her since I’d gone through losing a wife, so we became friends. At that time, I would have done anything to make her happy.

Bailey: Oh? How about now? The two of you seem like a matched set.

Andy (shrugging and trying to hide a smile): I suppose it would seem that way. We do a lot together.

Bailey: How about romance?

Andy: Pamela and I are very good friends, and if there’s ever any romance, it’s between her and me. Let’s change the subject.

Bailey: Okay, let’s talk about your career. Ever since I’ve known you, you’ve been a firefighter.

Andy: Yes, that’s all I’ve ever done for a living. I knew when I was a little boy that’s what I’d be when I grew up, and now I’m living it.

Bailey: I know that firefighters have long shifts. What do you do with Murray when you have to go to the firehouse?

Andy: Most of the time I bring him with me, but every once in a while, I get a sitter.

Bailey: Yes, I’ve heard about that. Sherry told me all about her bird sitting experiences.

Andy: Sherry’s a sweet girl, but she’s too easy on Murray.

Murray: <squawk> Murray wants candy! Murray wants candy right now!

Andy (pulling a carrot stick from a plastic bag): Here ya go. As I was saying, Sherry gives in to all his whims, so I try to find someone who shows him who’s the boss.

Bailey: Like Pamela?

Andy: Yes, as farfetched as this may sound, she’s really good with Murray. They seem to have a deep respect for each other.

Bailey (laughing): I like a bird who knows how to show respect. Thank you for chatting with me, Andy and Murray. I look forward to seeing you at the next garden club meeting.

Andy: C’mon, Murray. Looks like Bailey is done with us. Let’s leave her alone so she can get back to work. Say bye bye.

Murray: <squawk> Bye bye. Don’t let the door hit you in the backside.

Now, as you can see Murray is quite the character. What he did the day he decided to fly the coop so to speak, has our town still talking. You can read all about it in Gail Sattler’s book, When Pigs and Parrots Fly.

Josh Tavendish owns the local pet store, and it so happens he’s right next door to the town veterinarian, Sarah Faire. The two of them have known each other since they were in school, but Josh is best friends with Sarah’s brother and that keeps him at a distance. When Sarah calms down a feisty dog in the pet shop, people are amazed and begin to look to the vet for all kinds of pet advice and dub her the “pet whisperer.” Of course having her next door gives Josh the advantage of supplying all those customers with every kind of pet item one could want.

On a day when Sarah is in the store for a special event, a fire breaks out across town, and she is left to take care of Murray while Andy goes to fight the fire. Well, Murray has ideas of his own and before anyone can react, he’s out the door and off for who knows where.

Through cell phone contacts and cooperation from people all over town, Josh and Sarah are kept aware of where the parrot lands. By the time they arrive and try to get  him, Murray has tired of that spot and takes off again. He leads everyone in town on a merry chase all over Bloomfield. If you want to find out how and where Murray is finally caught and what happens to Josh and Sarah, you’ll have to read Gail’s book. It’s a riot of fun.

A lot of people think the Bloomfield Garden Club set the whole thing up to get Josh and Sarah to see the truth about each other just like they did Stan and Amber. Come to think of it, a lot of the ladies from the club were involved in the chase, but this time I really think they’re innocent of any matchmaking attempts. Only time will tell.
Order this book from: (Use links from Take the Trophy and Run)

Leave a comment for a chance in the drawing for an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (Your choice). Follow us and receive an additional entry. Drawing will be March 31.

One new blog a week and one giveaway per month begins this week.

Thanks for stopping by today. We have a lot of crazy things in our town, but it’s also a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Hope you’ll come for another visit next week.  


  1. Love this interview. How fun! We once had a run-in with a parrot. They are waaay smarter than people give them credit.

  2. This book sounds good! Would love to win giveaway.

  3. Love it! Murray is hilarious and Pamela and Andy sound soo sweet:) Me thinks a romance is brewing there.


  4. I love Murray! What a great bird! Sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read it.

  5. I'm so excited about this new series and LOVE this blog. And a giveaway on top of it makes it even better. I'll tell my friends. Thanks so much, Martha!!

  6. A 'budding' romance and a parrot who loves carrots...can't wait to see what kind of fun is in store for Bloomfield. Thanks for the chance to win.

    eviesmommo at yahoo dot com

    1. Following the blog by email...thanks for the reminder, Martha. =)

  7. Thanks everyone for stopping by. Don't forget, you get an extra entry if you follow the blog.

  8. Hello Martha. I would like to have my name entered. Thanks. I am a follower. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com