Upper beak still quivering, we join the world in mourning Alex the parrot, up-to-six-counting African grey parrot whose death has been unofficially linked with forces close to the number seven.
His last words to his handler were ‘I love you, too. You’ll be in tomorrow.’
His death at the early age (for a parrot) of 31 means his remarkable intelligence, equivalent to that of a five-year old human, will never achieve its fitting reward of a junior lectureship at the university where I work or an Arts Council literature bursary.
Join me in a commemorative peanut. Make sure to throw the shell at someone too, when you're finished.