A red and yellow parrot sat in a tin cage between the kitchen window and another lopsided watercolor of the black-headed dog. The parrot had been looking suspiciously at Zora since we had entered the kitchen, and he took that moment to screen out: “O! My God! Behold the wonderment!”—an outburst we at first took as a strikingly lecherous reaction to Zora’s bare arms and collarbones. But Nada apologized profusely and dropped a dishrag over the parrot’s cage.
“He likes to recite poetry,” Nada said, and then we both realized the parrot had been trying to begin the prologue of an old epic poem.
—Tea Obreht/The Tiger’s Wife