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Bird Ambassador

Astropup is back!

Written by Bertie
Read by Richard

This is Richard, and I am back with the first part of a new Astropup serial. In case you have not heard our space-travelling before, You need to know that his comrades are a human called Marlow and a megalomaniac parrot. As ever, Astropup relates his tales in his own dogged voice.

The last time I recorded one of my little dog casts, I explained how The Parrot was restored to his rightful perch as President of the World. Oh what a great big barney we had, involving spaceships, laser fights, and robodogs. You can hear all about our epic battle in my series about The Two Parrots. After that long dog day, I was right pooped. I put my face in my paws, curled up on the bed in the president’s suite, and hoped that nobody would boot me off it.

But The President did not sleep. He was fluttering about all night, practicing the most important speech of his political career. After his morning bird seed, he stood on his YouTube perch, and spoke to his billion or more online followers.

“Friends, People, Birds, Animals, … Over the past weeks, an imposter parrot has stood here, impudently pretending to be your president. This feathered faker, this preposterous parrot, this scurrilous surrogate, had me imprisoned inside a feline spaceship, while he took my place in the presidential palace. I fear that some of you may have been duped by his devious deception. Humans may find it difficult to tell one parrot from another, even when on the left stands a bird of genius, and the right, a pale fake.

Humans, I do not hold it against you if you made this error. For future reference, I will give you five tests that you can use to tell the real me from a false copy.

Test Number One.
Observe, that when I scratch my head, I use my left claw, while the faker scratches with his right.

Test Number Two.
When the trickster speaks French, he has the most atrocious accent, whereas I am equally excellent in English, French, German, Classical Persian, Ancient Egyptian, jаvascript and C +. Mes Amis, Il faut bonne mémoire après qu’on a menti. ”

Test Number Three.
I can beat him at Scrabble in any language : see Method Two above

Test Number Four:
I live on a strict diet of organic, ethically sourced, non GM, Amazonian Bird Seed. The greedy imposter pecks any old thing, including fast food take-aways, greasy chips, and sugar encrusted apple pies.

Test Number Five:
You can try me on the periodic table, backwards, forwards, and inside out. For instance, I can tell you that Zicronium is element number 40 and its symbol is Zr. He, the pale imitation. would be flummoxed by such a test.

In short, I am a genius. He is not. This should be apparent to all and sundry upon meeting me in parrot person but in case of doubt, please apply one or all of the above tests.

That is all I have to say to you for now.


Having finished his webcast, he strutted purposefully back to the presidential suite. As he opened the door he said:

“Get off the bed, you lazy hound!” which I thought was a bit high and mighty coming from an old comrade on many a space mission. Were we not equals when we stood shoulder to knee staring down the barrel of a laser gun held by a Ninja cat commando?

But we dogs don’t hold grudges. I jumped down and trotted over to greet him.

“Don’t lick me you stupid idiot!” he squarked. I sat down and looked at my friend, the President of the World. “For your information, I have been orating.”

“You’ve been whating?’

“Making a speech. Not just any old speech but a brilliant piece of oratory that will change the course of history.”

“Don’t you ever get bored of doing that?” I asked.

“Bored! How can anyone get bored of destiny? I am the greatest parrot who ever lived - what’s boring about that? It’s a privilege to know me. Even I feel privileged to know me. You should be eternally grateful.”

“I am, I am,” I woofed. “We dogs are always grateful, even when there’s nothing to be grateful about.”

“That’s because you’re stupid,” screeched the Parrot.

And he hopped onto his silk pillow, pulled his blindfold over his eyes, and said quietly: “Soon my brilliant brain will be at rest. The universe will be a quieter place for the next few hours. Three, Two, One…”. and he was out, fast asleep.

I slipped through the French Doors and ran out onto the lawn to chase away some cheeky black crows. Next I visited the Kitchen for my breakfast, and then I curled up on the sofa in the TV room. I was awoken by the President’s voice, a familiar squark that I would know anywhere. There he was on the telly with a few lines from his speech. Next, the news report cut to the entrance to the Palace. A huge crowd of people was gathered there, banging drums, chanting, and waving placards. Yes, now I realised that I could hear the din coming in through the window as well as on the TV. Then we switched scenes to the park half a mile away, with man in a wooly hat standing on a stage and, as the parrot would say, orating:

“People of the world. Let us be led once more by a person, not a parrot. This experiment with a bird brained leader must stop. Who cares if it’s one puffed-up, power-crazed parrot or another? A bird is a bird. They’re all the same : mad, meddling, megalomaniacs, each and every one of them!”

And a huge cheer went up from the crowd. And what a massive crowd! Humongous it was, filling the entire park and as loud a cup final, a rock concert and fireworks night combined.

“Ah oh! I said, “More trouble afoot.”

What happened next was politics. It’s sort of stuff that they talk about on the news but nobody ever listens to. Cabinet meetings, reshuffles, resignations, factions, and fictions. The most impressive part for me was the President standing on the top of the tallest tower in the palace screaming at the mob outside the gates:

“Barbarians! Bolsheviks! Bonapartists! B-B-B-B-B-B BADDIES! You don’t deserve me. I’m too brilliant for you! That’s what it is. You’re frightened of my genius.”

It was shortly after that, that we made our escape, taking off from the Presidential lawn in a captured feline spaceship. Our human friend, Marlow, was at the controls. The three of us were once again out of this world together. While we were orbiting the earth for about the 13th time, a voice came over on the radio:

“Mr. Parrot? Can you hear me? This is Georgina Shrub, the new President of the World."

“Yes, I hear the voice of a traitor,” replied the Parrot quietly. His feathers were as ruffled as they had ever been.

“Ah shucks, no hard feelings,” replied the new President, “We’ve been having a chat down here, and seeing as you are currently unemployed, we’d like to give you a job.”

“Thanks,” said the Parrot, “For nothing.”

“Now listen,” insisted President Shrub, “You don’t want to orbit the earth for the rest of your days, do you? Why not apply your talents to an important mission? How would you like to be the Earth’s ambassador to the Planet Ulan 40? Our experts reckon there is intelligent life there, and we need to make contact and invite the beings of that planet to become our allies in the fight against the cat people. You could make a critical difference to the history of the universe - what say you?”

“I say it sounds like a trap, a one way ticket to doom,” replied the Parrot.

“Ah, come on, now you’ve really hurt my feelings,” said President Shrub. “I promise by all that’s sacred that the Earth needs you to complete this mission.”

“And what happens when, or perhaps I should say, if, I come back?” asked the Parrot.

“You will have a pension for life, all the bird seed you can eat, a palace, a personal bodyguard, and a chauffeur driven limo.”

“Throw in a super-computer and it’s a deal,” replied the parrot.

“Oh, and some dog biscuits for your faithful friend,” said I, in dog woof. The parrot translated.

“And ten million dollars for me,” said Marlow.

“Did you hear that?” asked the Parrot.

“Yes, we got it. It’s all agreed,” said the President. “Mission Control is sending you the coordinates right now.”

And that was how we set off on our strangest mission in our space careers to date.

Which brings us to the end of the beginning of our new Astropup series. Astropup, Marlow, and the Parrot are once again setting out on a space mission together. Join us soon to find out how they get on, here on

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