Winging It

Winging It

A Memoir of Caring for a Vengeful Parrot Who's Determined to Kill Me

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A gift from an overseas relative, Graycie, an African Gray parrot, arrives in the Gardiner home not long after the birth of their first child, adding the responsibilities of parrot-hood to their newfound parenthood. Jenny Gardiner and her husband were hoping for a docile, beautifully plumed, Polly-want-a-cracker type of companion—but patchily feathered, scrawny, ill-tempered Graycie was the furthest thing from what they envisioned..

In Winging It , Gardiner shares in vivid and hilarious detail the many hazards of parrot ownership, from endless avian latrine duty to discovering the multiple ways a beak can pierce human flesh. Whether she’s swearing at the dog, mimicking the sound of the smoke alarm, or bobbing to the beat of the kids clapping for her amusement, she brings the family joy, laughter, and, sometimes, tears. So why would the Gardiners subject themselves to the crazy behavior of this parrot for so long? Well, because, as the Gardiners realize, Graycie is a part of the family, and just like in any relationship between living creatures, things do not always go according to plan..

A mix of hilarious pet hijinks and a poignant story of family commitment, Winging It is a reminder of the importance of patience, loyalty, and humor when it comes to dealing with even the most temperamental members of the family..
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  • Gallery Books | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439168998 | 
  • March 2010
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List Price $15.92
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Video

Novelist Jenny Gardiner Discusses Her New Memoir Winging It

Novelist Jenny Gardiner has written a hilarious and touching new memoir about her relationship with her wild African gray parrot named Graycie.

Read an Excerpt


The Man in the Yellow Hat


“Look. Don’t blame me because you were kidnapped from the jungles of Africa.”

This sounds like something the man in the yellow hat might say to Curious George. But in my case, it’s a mantra. Something I repeat daily—sometimes ten, fifteen times—to Gracyie. In fact, it’s a wonder she doesn’t repeat it back to me.

Graycie has been a member of our family, albeit a reluctant one, for over nineteen years. She was a gift from my brother-in-law. A gift, I’m fond of saying, that keeps on giving.

Our African gray came to us at... see more

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