Marleybird died and left his cage
(and the all the bird seed) to his business partner, Pakshiscrooge.
Marleybird was a stingy old fowl; he and Pakshiscrooge were birds of a
feather. Everyone is a little afraid of Pakshiscrooge. Even his
long-time assistant Cratchit Canary, is far too afraid to ask for more seed
for his starving family.
It's Christmas Eve and
Pakshiscrooge’s neighbor, Aussie, a cheerful cockatiel, drops by the office
and bids him a merry Christmas. Pakshiscrooge answers with his customary,
“Bah! Humbird!” Aussie nevertheless invites the old parrot to join him and
his buddy Bubba for dinner on Christmas Day. Pakshiscrooge refuses; he
doesn't believe in Christmas, he says.
"Come on, Pakshiscrooge! Celebrate with
me and Bubba!"
fly in. They are collecting donations to help unwanted birds at
Christmastime. Pakshiscrooge says there are animal shelters and pet
stores to look after or sell the homeless. The doves insist that these
are not good places for unwanted birds and many would rather die than go to
them. Pakshiscrooge answers: “If they would rather die they may as well
hurry up and do it to reduce the surplus population.”
Pakshiscrooge grizzles when Cratchit
Canary asks to have all of Christmas Day off with pay but agrees when
Cratchit Canary promises to come in even earlier than usual on the day after
Pakshiscrooge goes home late in the
evening. As he climbs through his cage door he notices that his favorite toy
is glowing and has taken the shape of Marleybird's beak. He ruffles his
feathers, looks at it again and sees the toy has resumed its usual shape.
Must have been a trick of the light, he thinks, as he enters his cage.
Pakshiscrooge in his nightcap.
Pakshiscrooge crouches on his
sleeping perch thinking about the toy changing form. His smallest copper
bell then begins to clang by itself. Soon all the bells in the house are
ringing but then they stop suddenly and Pakshiscrooge hears the sound of
heavy chains being dragged toward his cage. Then Marleybird’s ghost flies
into the cage! Marleybird is weighed down with chains welded from food cups,
water bowls and cage locks. He rattles the chains and makes a horrible
The ghost explains that he has come
to warn Pakshiscrooge that (unless he changes his selfish ways) his burden
beyond the grave will be even greater than Marleybird’s. The ghost
tells him three more ghosts will visit him to show him the error of his
ways; Pakshiscrooge must heed their warnings if he is to redeem himself.
Barely has Pakshiscrooge regained
his breath than a beak draws back the cover of his cage. It is the Parrot of
Christmas Past, and he has come to show Pakshiscrooge the previous
Christmases of his life.
The Parrot of Christmas Past Pulls back the
First they see Pakshiscrooge's early
childhood Christmas at his breeder’s aviary. Seeing his clutchmates happily
playing with and sharing their food brings Pakshiscrooge to tears. Next
Parrot of Christmas Past shows him the following Christmas when his first
owner came to get him from the breeder and take him home. Pakshiscrooge
remembers how she gave him pizza and slices of fresh pear and is moved to
Back in his cage again,
Pakshiscrooge tries to go to sleep but another claw draws back the cover of
his cage and opens the door. Pakshiscrooge hops into the next room where a
huge macaw, the Parrot of Christmas Present, sits surrounded by a feast of
Christmas nuts, fruits and seeds. the Parrot of Christmas Present explains
to Pakshiscrooge that this is how his happy clutchmates celebrate Christmas
now. As they watch the birds chattering and playing, the Parrot of
Christmas Present showers them with almonds and peanuts still in the shell,
which adds to the fun.
The Parrot of Christmas Present
Then the Parrot of Christmas
Present takes Pakshiscrooge to Cratchit Canary’s cage. Inside the small cage
Cratchit Canary’s hen and chicks are joyfully throwing around their bath
water and scattering their sparse supply of canary seed. As the family
enjoys its small meal, Cratchit Canary wishes everyone a merry Christmas,
and the chicks screech: “God bless us, every one!”
the Parrot of Christmas
Present next takes Pakshiscrooge to Aussie’s Christmas party, where Aussie
and Bubba are describing Pakshiscrooge to their guests. Although the guests
say Pakshiscrooge is mean, Aussie says he pities him because he is unhappy.
Everybody is having a great time at the party, and Pakshiscrooge finds
himself wishing he could join in.
Bubba tries to straighten Aussie's jacket.
The Parrot of Christmas Present then
lifts one of his wings to reveal two starving and neglected chicks. He
explains that one chick is Want and the other is Ignorance, and that they
are the chicks of all beings. He warns Pakshiscrooge to be wary of both,
especially Ignorance. Pakshiscrooge asks if these poor chicks have somewhere
to go or someone to look after them but the Parrot of Christmas
Present mocks Pakshiscrooge’s earlier statement by saying that there are
plenty of animal shelters and pet stores. The Parrot of Christmas Present
then flies away.
||Soon a third ghost visits
Pakshiscrooge: the Parrot of Christmas Yet to Come. The ghost shows Pakshiscrooge a pet store where neglected birds huddle in fear as humans
pass by and poke their fingers at them.
Then Parrot of Christmas Yet to Come
shows Pakshiscrooge the Cratchit’s cage: one cup is empty and there is no
chirping or fluttering anymore. Cratchit Canary tells his hen Lavinia that
Aussie was kind in his condolences. He says Aussie will try to find him
another job and that cheers her a little.
Parrot of Christmas Yet to Come then
leads Pakshiscrooge through the city. When they fly past
Pakshiscrooge's cage he sees another bird perching there! The ghost
then takes him to a cemetery and points to a grave. Pakshiscrooge
looks at the headstone and reads his own name. He asks: “Are
these shadows of things that Will be, or shadows of things that
Parrot of Christmas Yet to Come again answers by pointing at the grave.
What did Pakshiscrooge do?