Marion was staring at her Amazon cart. How did these fruits get in there? The first purchases seemed like a prank. Someone randomly bought a kettle, a kite, and a light bulb a few days ago.
Now it was food. Did someone hack her account? Was it a bug? She had to get to the bottom of it.
Marion and The NAWT
Marion has been devoting many years of her life to the National Animal Welfare Trust, and she loved every bit of it.
The organization helps rehome animals and find new loving families for them. They have changed the lives of hundreds of pets. Cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, and field animals all have been saved by the staff and the volunteers.
Marion has seen many pets walk the doors of the organization. However, one of them was about to be the greatest companion she could have ever wished for.
Rocco The Parrot
Rocco was the newest member of the NAWT. This stunning African Grey Parrot caught the hearts of the staff members as soon as they had found him.
They were running left and right to accommodate him. The parrot had joined their center after being found as a stray.
To their utter dismay though, the staff would soon find out that Rocco was no regular parrot.
The work was tough, but Marion knew it had to be done. The halls of the NAWT were bustling with patrons. Every one of them was hoping to find the pet of their dreams.
Marion noticed that any visitor who got close to Rocco was turning back with a frown. That wasn’t the reaction the Berkshire center was looking for.
Perplexed, Marion asked why. The answer she got was both amusing and confusing.
According to the staff and the visitors, Rocco had been regularly swearing and throwing his water bowl at them. Things were manageable at first. At some point though, his shenanigans started driving visitors away.
The center was even considering relocating him. Upon discovering that, Marion instantly objected. There was no way he would be abandoned again. She was going to adopt him.
If you’re wondering, Rocco’s misdemeanors didn’t stop after being adopted.
The parrot was wreaking havoc in Marion’s house. Despite all that, the brave woman never regretted her decision. She knew the parrot was smart. She just never would have guessed the extent of his genius. And what happened over the next few days is exactly what she needed to do so.
After a particularly tiring day, Marion was jiggling her keys in her front door when she stopped right in her tracks. She had heard something. No one was supposed to be home though.
With her senses on high alert, she ventured inside the house. She distinguished a melody. It was a song, a rock song. When she got into her kitchen, she saw Rocco banging his head. The music came from Amazon’s Alexa-controlled Echo speaker.
Who activated it?
Kite, Kettle, and Light Bulb
Marion couldn’t figure out the reason behind this encounter. She quickly decided to brush it off. Not for too long though.
One evening, as she was browsing her Amazon cart. She was getting ready to hit the purchase button when she noticed three peculiar items on her list. A kite, a kettle, and a light bulb.
How did they get there?
Fruits and Ice Cream
“Maybe it’s a bug,” thought Marion. With a shrug, she canceled the two items. The purchase wasn’t confirmed so there was no need to alert the client service of Amazon.
A few days later, however, she started changing her mind. While she was working, she received a notification about pending items in your cart. “Again? What is it this time?” she wondered.
She clicked. “What is all this?” she exclaimed out loud. On the screen was an order for strawberries, watermelon, raisins, broccoli, and ice cream.
She knew she had to dig into this matter further.
Who Did It?
When she went back home, she stared for long minutes at those orders again. Did someone hack her Amazon account? If it was the case, there was no way the hacker would have ordered fruit and comfort food for her.
Playing detective was no fun when there were no clues. Marion decided to wait before taking a decision. And time is all she needed to solve this riddle.
Alexa And Rocco
Marion’s interest in Rocco was growing as time went by. Not only was he brilliantly entertaining, but he was also gifted. He could mimic the human voice so well that he forged an unlikely friendship with a special device: Amazon’s Alexa-controlled Echo speaker.
Slowly but surely, talking to Alexa became Rocco’s new favorite activity. As Marion was gaping at this sight, she slowly started connecting the dots.
Connecting The Dots
At this point, Rocco has picked up many new words. He can also repeat them in a crystal clear voice that can be easily mistaken for that of a human.
While she was looking at the parrot, our woman remembers the food found in her Amazon cart. All are Rocco’s favorites. She gets up and thinks. Would it be possible that Rocco was the culprit? Excited as a kid on Christmas evening, she made it her mission to discover how it happened.
Marion was on a quest. Was Rocco the one ordering items on Amazon using Echo? She kept a close eye on him over the following days.
Then it happened. In one of his chatting sessions with Alexa—which took place almost 40 times per day, she caught him placing orders. They immediately appeared on her cart. Marion was exhilarated. She couldn’t wait to tell her coworkers about her discovery. But first, there was something else she had to do.
Right after her discovery, Marion opened her Amazon account. She immediately canceled the previous orders placed by Rocco then activated the parental lock.
She rushed to her coworkers, family, and friends to tell this unique story. They all wanted to see Rocco in action. And they weren’t the only ones. A while later, the whole nation would learn to know and love Rocco the parrot.
Rocco’s tale traveled around. As it did, Marion was swamped with interview requests from news outlets.
Her story had been featured on BBC, The Times, The Sun, Fox News, Daily Mail, and the Today Programme with John Humphrys. TV viewers and internet users were smitten by Rocco’s charm and lovely mischief.
His fame didn’t stop there, as people in other continents fell for the parrot too.
Beyond The Borders
Rocco and Marion hit international headlines. CBS and Times of India have also featured the story of the two.
Marion couldn’t be happier. This was a golden opportunity to showcase how unique this breed of parrot was. It would also allow people to raise awareness on abandoned pets, and it’s exactly what happened.
Internet users and TV viewers who have read or heard about Rocco’s story were all touched by his personality.
Many shared that parrots of this breed were extremely bright. They even testified that not only would they learn words, but they would also know which context to use them in. Some even remembered the story of another African Grey Parrot. This one also had an exceptional relationship with Alexa.
Petra is another peculiar bird. This parrot also learned the ins and outs of Echo and started chatting with Alexa. He learned how to turn in and turn off the lights by voice command. His video raked thousands of views and made the day of many.
But Marion knew that her parrot could do something more.
Marion explained that Rocco is the most adorable companion she could ask for. He is also a fervent music aficionado and “loves to dance and has the sweetest personality.”
Mario continues with a big smile on her face, “I’ve come home before and he has romantic music playing.”
The National Animal Welfare Trust benefited from this cute story. And they made sure to show it on their website.
Saving The Animals
The NAWT published on their website an article about the unique story of Rocco and Marion. Their article was shared many times on social media and helped bring awareness to the cause.
They also included a link for all people who would like to be like Marion and help re-home a pet.