Polly DOES Want A Cracker


I used to think that parrots had a secret pact to make fun of the many asinine humans who idiotically blurt, “Polly want a cracker?”  every time they spot one of the beautiful birds.  I’m not sure from where the custom originated, but I always thought it was a stupid, albeit irresistible, thing to say to a bird.  But that sentiment changed last week when I actually offered our Scarlet Macaw a saltine cracker – he acted like it was the best thing he ever ate!  He even learned the word “cracker” and was uttering it by the end of the day.  And come to think of it, they have a Scarlet Macaw at a local pet store, and one of her favorite words is also “cracker”.  So next time you see a big bird and you feel the temptation to say, “Polly want a cracker?”  be prepared to fulfill what that bird probably considers a promise!

Just for fun, here is the earliest known reference to “Polly want a cracker” from 1937 – I dig how the mom parrot is a housewife complete with apron – clearly before the feminist movement 😉

4 thoughts on “Polly DOES Want A Cracker”

  1. I actually remember that quite well! (Not the original, of course…but we watched the reruns all of the time!)

    Interesting discovery about the cracker! I will be sure to bring a few saltines with me on the next visit so I can share!!!


  2. @jamiahsh – tried what, giving Squawky a cracker? No, I don’t think I’ve tried it before. And I forgot to add, before animal care fanatics get on my case – the crackers are a TREAT for him, and I rub the salt off before I give it.

  3. Don’t they sell salt-free crackers? Saltlesstines. 😛

    Entertaining. When was the first ‘toon with the Looney Tunes characters we know and love? This could predate Bugs and the gang.

    Then again, maybe not. Just checked Wikipedia and Porky Pig was the first ‘Tunes icon to show himself in 1934, followed by Daffy Duck in 1937 and Bugs Bunny in 1940. So it predates most of the characters but not all.

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