Content: Rated K, Parody/Humor, Aladdin (movie) & Over the Hedge (movie) crossover, Iago & RJ

The Raccoon and the Parrot

There was a parrot named Iago, who was tired of being fed crackers. "And I thought the Sultan of Agrabah's crackers were bad," Iago said to himself. "First, that grandmother...Thora Read...had the gall to feed me no-salt saltines. How can saltines have no salt? Then I visited that hut with the human brothers and the lemur, because I heard that hut had a snack machine. One of the brothers pressed the button with the picture of a parrot, and out came the crackers...all of them stale!"

Iago continued to complain. "Then I came upon this farmhouse where a blonde woman with an accent said that she had just made a batch of crackers. Some crackers! They were all round, floppy, and soft. And on the inside of each and every one was raw dough! Where can a parrot go to get a decent meal? Anything but crackers. Anything but..."

As Iago was flying over a suburban neighborhood in America, he saw in one of the front yards a woman holding a cell phone in one hand and a red box in the other.

"Hello?" the woman said into the phone. "I'm calling to complain about this box of cheese crackers I purchased. The box says that the net weight is 16 ounces, but I weighed it and the scale said it weighed 15 and a half ounces."

Looks like I'm not the only one who has a problem with crackers, Iago thought to himself. But then he did a double-take. Wait! Did she say cheese crackers? Well, maybe I'll have crackers this one time. As long as she doesn't want them, I'll take them.

So with his beak, Iago snatched the box of crackers out of the hand of the finicky woman. Confused, the woman asked customer service, "You don't, by any chance, send out trained parrots to collect faulty products and then bring them to you? I didn't think so." Then she hung up and called animal control. "I'm calling to report a theft...No, an animal wasn't stolen, the animal was the thief...No, the thief wasn't a chimpanzee, it was a parrot...Stop saying, 'You've dialed the wrong number!'"

Iago flew past a hedge into a small forest and perched on a branch of a tall tree, where he celebrated his success in pilfering the cracker box, which he kept in his beak. A raccoon named RJ was walking through the forest, and he spied Iago.

I've been craving cheese ever since the vending machine fiasco, the raccoon thought to himself. If I plan this right, I shall have cheese crackers for dinner. RJ walked over to the tree, and he spoke in a nice-sounding manner. "Good evening, mister parrot, it's nice to see a new creature in these parts. Your feathers remind me of an autumn sunset, and your beak is the sun. Your teeth..." Your teeth? "...are as beautiful as a pearl necklace. I am curious what you sound like. So I beg you, speak, no, sing! Surely a bird as colorful as you has a singing voice that can attract ladies from miles away."

Iago was so conceited that he fell for RJ's flattery. Iago wagged his purple tail, flapped his blue-tipped wings, and squawked the beginning of "A Parrot's Life for Me."

And down dropped the cracker box! With his paws, RJ grabbed the box before it touched the ground. With the box in his paws, RJ ran away, and he offered the words of advice to the foolish parrot:"The next time someone praises your beauty, be sure to hold your tongue, or at least your crackers."

As one who knew Iago would expect, Iago went back to complaining. "Oh, isn't that typical? The one time in my life that I want to eat crackers, I get bamboozled by a bushy-tailed bandit!"

Moral: Flatterers are not to be trusted.

Author's Notes

Thora Read is from Arthur, 1996, cartoon/TV series; the human brothers are Chris and Martin Kratt and the lemur is Zoboomafoo from Zoboomafoo, 1999, TV series; the blonde woman with an accent is Lisa Douglas from Green Acres, 1965, TV series; the finicky woman is Gladys from Over the Hedge. "A Parrot's Life for Me" was the song that Iago sang with other parrots in the animated series Disney's House of Mouse.

I would like to thank Aria Breuer and TaleHeart for betaing, and I would like to thank starwars4life for the comments after previewing the story. RJ's last quote, which is an adaptation of the fox's last quote, was TaleHeart's idea.