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In India’s Tamil Nadu state, men with trained parakeets happily take bird-brained patrons’ money. The parakeets are supposed to tell people’s futures by selecting Tarot-like fortune cards containing pictures of Hindu gods, Buddha, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and so on.

The Atlantic has a short film about the generations-old phenomenon.


We learn from a different video that

Many Hindus believe there is an intimate connection between things that happen in daily life and planetary movements. A message therefore accompanies the picture addressing the customer’s current cosmic influence on his domestic, financial, career and romantic matters. … Upon request, the astrologer may even read the customer’s palm or engage in numerology for a more detailed forecast.

It all put me in mind of an old XTC song called I Bought Myself a Liarbird:

I bought myself a liarbird
Things got more and more absurd
It changed to a cuckoo
And expanded filling up with all I gave.

Methinks world is for you
Made of what you believe
If it’s false or if it’s true
You can read it in your Bible
Or on the back of this record sleeve.

Neither the song nor this post are, of course, a knock on the birds themselves; both focus on human phonies and on the lure of false authority.

For more on fortune-telling parrots and parakeets, see here and here.

Do you wish to ask a question of an honest-to-Vishnu online psychic parrot? Right this way.