I have just finished reading a new children’s book called Snowball The Dancing Cockatoo by Sy Montgomery, with illustrations by Judith Oksner, who happens to be a friend. It may be that you have seen a video that went viral: Snowball dancing to the Back Street Boys or Snowball in the commercial for Geico with the gecko. Seems that Snowball dances in sync to the beat in whatever music he hears: rock, polkas, you name it. Scientists have tested the bird and confirmed its ability to do this, an ability previously thought to be unique to humans. Snowball lives at Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service, Inc., a not-for-profit bird rescue and sanctuary in Indiana.
Snowball reminded me of a letter from Cornelia Clinton, the daughter of New York Governor George Clinton, to the man she was in love with, French diplomat Edmond Genêt. Known as Citizen Genêt, he was busy trying to stir up private support for the French in spite of the official American policy of neutrality. During their courtship, Cornelia thanked Genêt for a gift he had sent: “The Parrot is beautiful and as a gift of yours will claim a share in my affections … I shall take great pleasure in hearing it say I love you Genêt.”
My Father does not forget you for we drink to your health every Day. … I regard your happiness too much to wish to see you at the risk of your honor or that of your Country, but at the same time I will promise you a kind reception from your Cornelia when you do come … my Brother [George Washington Clinton] is your Friend and wishes success to your Country, he Declares if France should not be succesfull he will go crazy—his heart is rapt up in the cause of Liberty. Cornelia
Cornelia married Genêt on November 6, 1794 with her father’s blessing, as well as £2,000.
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