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Talking Sparrow Greets Customers

There are plenty of talking birds in the world, but one grocery store has made a name for itself with an unusual talking sparrow in a story now making the rounds on various national media outlets, including a video report at ANN.

The elderly Yae Nakano and her three daughters run the small Nakano Grocery Store in Mie prefecture. The store had pet birds, so when a child living nearby found a swallow on the side of the road with an injured leg, they brought it to the store hoping they would care for it. The store decided to keep it as a pet, and put “Chibi-chan” in a cage out where customers could say hi.

What makes this story unusual is that gradually, in the six years since, the bird began to replace its chirping with words that it heard frequently. It can now say nine words, including “Good morning,” “Good day,” and “Irasshai,” an all-purpose phrase meaning roughly “Come in” that is used to greet customers in stores across Japan.

The bird is popular with customers, and now has brought the store its 15 minutes of fame in the national media.

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