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The next day he began to cough.

I knew the cough well. But I took Mr. Green to the veterinarian and he told me what I expected, the cough was not the bird’s. This was a sound he was imitating. “Did   someone in your household recently have a cold or the flu?” the doctor said. 

“It is my grandfather,” I said. 

In this passage, the parrot Mr. Green symbolizes the narrator’s grandfather.  Throughout the story, the narrator is conscious of her grandfather’s presence beginning when she prays The Lord’s Prayer to the photo of her grandfather’s father. She continues to be conscious of him through the parrot’s actions even after his death. The parrot says certain words and phrases the narrator’s grandfather said before passing away. It is also shown in how the parrot begins to cough just as her grandfather did before his passing. I believe the narrator noticed the connection between her grandfather and his parrot when Mr. Green “cried ‘What then?'” as if to finish her grandfather’s thought before fully leaving his room.

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