Here, Birdie, Birdie:

Prodigal Parrot Returns

* You might say Fred the parrot flew the coop.

He was missing for four years, in fact, from his home in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Though there had been a few sightings of the green monk parrot since his disappearance, Fred's owner had given up on seeing him again. "Some people said a hawk would get it. Some people thought the winters would kill it," Mike Edwards told the Parkersburg newspaper.

But 11-year-old Aaron Edwards never lost hope, even when his dad told him that Fred "isn't coming home."

Well, guess what? Fred did. Last Friday a friend of the family spotted the bird 30 miles from Parkersburg and got it to fly to him.

Edwards and his son are thrilled to have Fred, now 7, back. But they say that the bird has changed.

"He used to bite everybody he didn't like," said Aaron. "He's really mellowed."

Maybe it's because he no longer gulps down french fries and M&Ms. Now he prefers birdseed.

And he's picked up a new phrase from the family's other talking bird. Fred can now say, "Here, kitty, kitty."

Aaron Edwards holds the now-mellow Fred, who was missing for four years.