Ara Vertrees is an advisor to the King in Jimalia, a thriving island nation in the middle of a vast ocean. Her macaws are trained to fly home to the palace to repeat confidential information. When their messages become more and more troubling, she finds herself in the middle of a crisis she never expected. Ara's story is full of adventure, friendship, mystery, love and loss. Join Ara and her companions as they fight pirates, uncover deception, find love and fight for Jimalia.
Ara and Mr. Filbert sat at a table and ate supper together. While they ate she told him all about her trip to the orphanage and Bertrand’s prospects with the navy while picking things off of her plate for Trekker. Whenever she gave him something he really liked, he gave an appreciative, “Mmmmm!” Which set everyone in earshot into a chuckle.
Occasionally Trekker relished attention from strangers. Mostly he preferred to keep to himself, but a mood struck him tonight. He started dancing so rigorously that Ara’s hair fluffed up and she had to take him off her shoulder and onto her wrist. He danced and hooted as a crowd came around to watch his performance, “Whewwww!” He shrilled, then followed it up with a mumbled imitation of singing.
“An arm and a leg, ha-HOOOOO!” Trekker’s laugh exaggerated every time another person joined in their own laughter, until nearly the entire hall was erupting with laughter.
“Why does he say that?” Mr. Filbert wiped his eyes, “Thrice now I’ve heard it.”
“I don’t really know, he says it all the time.” Ara rubbed Trekker’s feathers, “It’s the clearest thing he says, most of the time he just mumbles. I don’t really know where the phrase comes from, I’ve tried to research it and only know that it’s used to describe when something is very expensive, but I’ve never discovered its origins.”
“Well, I think I can settle that mystery for you, Lady Ara.” Mr. Filbert took a sip of champagne.
“Really! Do go on.” Ara leaned forward, eager to perhaps finally solve the puzzle.
“Besides carving and sculpture, I paint portraits. Portrait artists such as myself charge by the limb. The cost can be changed dramatically by hiding arms and legs behind furniture or other subjects. A full body portrait is an expensive commission. I believe that is the origin of the phrase.”
“Aaahh well, that is quite interesting. It certainly makes sense.” Ara nodded, thinking it over. Unfortunately, it shed no light on why Trekker would say it.
My name is Brit and I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. My work with animals brought macaws into my life. They frightened me, moved me, hurt me, loved me and made me grow. I hope that my novel will help people understand these birds better! They are breathtaking and intelligent, but do not make good pets for most families. They require a lot of space and attention, can be very destructive and can easily outlive you. They can be incredible companions to the right people. Please keep all these things in mind when considering a macaw as a pet!"