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Mark Twain

The Kind of Person That Keeps a Parrot

This is the second post in our No Bird Brains Here blog series where we muse about how our discerning BOPS feathered residents have been subjects of some well-known quotes and explore some of the ones we believe would be of interest to them and our readers.

Today we feature a quote by Mark Twain, the pen name of a world-renowned author with a birth name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Mr. Clemens' quote of interest is:

SHE WAS NOT QUITE WHAT YOU WOULD CALL REFINED. SHE WAS NOT QUITE WHAT YOU WOULD CALL UNREFINED. SHE WAS THE KIND OF PERSON THAT KEEPS A PARROT.

Clemens is probably best known for authoring several American classic novels, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—both of which were fictionalized versions of Hannibal Missouri, the town he grew up in with his six siblings.

No stranger to controversy, Clemens’ Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—a story about a young misfit who floats down the Mississippi River on a raft with a runaway slave—was quickly banned by public libraries for “coarse language and low moral tone” and by the mid-20th century, was removed from many school reading lists due to its perceived racism. It should be noted however that many literary scholars have contended that this book was in-fact a criticism of racism.

Mark Twain Novels

During a voyage to Europe and the Holy Land in 1867, where Clemens’ penned the The Innocents Abroad, he met a man who would subsequently introduce him to Olivia Langdon, whom he married in 1870. Although they had 4 children, Twain has no living direct descendants as his last daughter Clara died in 1962 at age 88.

Strangely, Clemens’ predicted his own death at age 74 in 1910. As he stated in 1909, "I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet." He died of a heart attack one day after the comet appeared at its brightest in 1910, perhaps never imagining how brightly his star would continue to burn for decades to come.

Long past his death, Clemens’ pension for one-liners—often political stingers—keep his work and wit alive, having been long memorialized in books and frequently seen on t-shirts and posters. Some of his humorous—yet sharp tongued—political quotes include "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress" and "Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason".

We thank you Mark Twain, for memorializing "the kinds of people that keep parrots". A big BOPS shout out to all of YOU... the unique and so very special people that dedicate yourself, your support and your love to captive parrots here at our BOPS sanctuary and all around the world.

The next blog in this series will feature Maya Angelou, a gifted American poet, singer, memoirist and civil rights activist—so stay tuned.

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Birds of Paradise Sanctuary & Rescue was incorporated in the State of Florida in 2011. We are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Our Federal EIN is 45-3674500.

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