This article is about a pet parrot. For the historical monarch, see Ptolemy III of Egypt.

Ptolemy III
"A Beak for Trends"
by Laura Frankos
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Species: Ara macao
Date of Birth: 1950s
Date of Death: 1992
Cause of Death: Fear

Ptolemy III was a long-lived scarlet macaw. He'd been the beloved pet of Gladys Hatcher of Boston. When he was young, Gladys taught Ptolemy to read using the same flashcards her first-graders used, so he could both talk and read. Ptolemy enjoyed reading the newspaper lining his cage. While he didn't have the knowledge or experience to understand the news section, he did enjoy the sports and financial sections. His understanding of financial trends was such that Gladys started following his advice, establishing a healthy portfolio and wealth as a result. Ptolemy was fussy, preferring a regular, stable schedule.[1]

Before she died in the early 1990s, Gladys made arrangements for Ptolemy in her will. She divided her estate into quarters. Her adult grandchildren, Benjamin, his sister Linda, and their cousin Cindy Ledbetter would each get a third, and the fourth quarter would be placed in a trust to provide for Ptolemy until he died. Benjamin received custody of Ptolemy first; he also received access to a monthly allowance from the trust to pay for Ptolemy's bills.[2]

When Benjamin Hatcher took custody of Ptolemy, he received a letter from his late grandmother explaining Ptolemy's talents for picking stocks. Hatcher was initially very skeptical of Gladys' claims, but he was fond of Ptolemy and so dutifully took charge of him, keeping him at the office.[3] He tested Ptolemy, and soon found that his grandmother had been telling the truth. For his part, Ptolemy soon concluded that Benjamin was a bit of a dope, given the number of times he had Ptolemy read and re-read things. Benjmain rearranged his work schedule to insure Ptolemy was comfortable and stable. Since Hatcher's stocks were incredibly successful (thanks to Ptolemy), his employers didn't care.[4]

Unfortunately, Hatcher's stressful lifestyle and poor diet caught up to him one day, and he died in a meeting with a client. Ptolemy then went to Ben's cousin, Cindy Ledbetter, in Cicero, Illinois. [5]

Cindy and her family were considerably less attentive to Ptolemy than Ben Hatcher had been. She changed the newspaper daily, but then reduced it to changing it once a week. They paid no attention to his schedule. Moreover, the Ledbetters lined his cage with a tabloid called The Nation's Eye. While Gladys had admonished Ptolemy that he shouldn't believe everything he read, he still had an uneasy feeling about the stories. He was particularly disturbed by the stories about "aliens". He read it anyway, because he was desperate to read.[6]

After he'd been with the Ledbetters for three months, Cindy's friend Kathy Plotkin agreed to watch Ptolemy for a few days. He found the environment happier with the Plotkins: they followed the recommended schedule, Kathy's daughter bathed and played with him, and he was given a copy of the Chicago Tribune to read. Unfortunately, that night, Kathy was experimenting with a new facial mask. When she went to tend to Ptolemy first thing in the morning, he didn't understand it was Kathy, instead believing it was one of the aliens he'd read about in The Nation's Eye. Panicked that his worldview had been completely wrong, Ptolemy promptly died.[7]


  1. Alien Pregnant by Elvis, pg. 130-131, mmp.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 131.
  3. Ibid., pg. 131.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 132-134.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 134-135.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 136-138.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 138-139.