In Cynthia Rylant’s short story, “Papa's Parrot,” the main character, a 12-year-old boy named Harry Tillian who can't seem to spare the time to visit his papa at the family candy store during the afternoons. I firmly believe that the message in this story is to always appreciate the people around you before it's too late.
The story begins with Harry and his friends visiting his father's candy shop everyday after school. However, once Harry grew older and entered Junior High he began to feel ashamed of his father's occupation and when time passed he began to visit him less and less. Overtime, he finally decided to no longer come by. Therefore, Harry's father became very lonely in the store so he bought a parrot, Rocky, so that it will keep him company. Harry disagreed to his father's action and believed it was the strangest thing he's ever done, but Mr. Tillian just ignored him.
After a while, Harry began to drift away from his father. In the story it mentions, “Mr. Tillian grew to like his parrot, the more he talked to it instead of people, the more embarrassed Harry became,” this quote proves that Harry let his embarrassment take over, thus, forgetting to appreciate what he has before it's too late. Even if you feel ashamed by a family member, you should always spend time with them and let them know that you love them. Although, when they were at home things were totally different. Harry and his father were really close and even teased each other during dinner.
Towards the end of the story, Mr. Tillian suddenly becomes ill at the store and must go to the hospital. Harry goes to the hospital and promises to take care of the store and Rocky. While at the store, Harry hears the parrot repeat and repeat: "Where's Harry?" "Where's Harry?" He starts to cry as he begins to understand that the parrot is saying what it has heard Mr. Tillian say so often. Harry begins to understand how much his father loves him and...