Humor of Spanish-Speaking Bird

Humor of Spanish-Speaking Bird is adapted from David Sedaris’ humorous book of modern adult fables about talking animals, “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.”

Here is an excerpt from the chapter ‘The Migrating Warblers’ in the book “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk,” pages 10 & 11:

A yellow warbler and her husband are telling some other birds about their annual migration to spend the winter in Guatemala.


From the southern tip of Texas, the couple would fly over Mexico and then into Central America.

“My family’s been wintering in Guatemala for as long as I can remember,” the warbler would explain.

“Every year, like clockwork, here we come by the tens of thousands -- but do you think any of those Spanish-Speaking birds have bothered to learn English? Not on your life!”

“It’s really horrible,” her husband would say.

“Well, funny too,” his wife would insist. “Horrible and funny. Like this one time I asked this little Guatemalan bird, I said,


Here her listeners would cock their heads, confused and a little more than impressed.

“Wait a second, you speak that stuff?”

“Oh, I’ve picked some up,” the warbler would say in that offhand manner of hers. “I mean, really, what choice do I have? I guess I’m a pretty quick study. At least I’ve been told that I am.”

“She’s terrific with languages,” her husband would boast, and his wife would raise a wing in protest.

“Well, not always. In this particular case, for instance, I thought I’d asked where all the big horseflies were. A reasonable question, only instead of COB AYO, which is ‘horse’, I said CAB EYZA. So what I really asked was ‘Where are all the big HEADflies?’”

Thinking this was the end of her story, her listeners would quake with polite laughter.


The rest of this tale (which is less funny), and others like it, can be found in the Sedaris book “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.”


Return to Humor of Language Learners.


Looking for something else?

Use this search feature to find it:

Custom Search


Know a Funny Story About Language Learning?

Share your humorous stories about language learning with the world.

Everyone has a few tales to tell. Tell us yours!

Anything that happened to you, or a friend. Something you heard, or read.

Any humorous stories about using foreign languages on your travels.

Any foreign signs mislead you? Any tangled translations seen abroad?

Your name will be on the story, so you may become famous on the internet.

Enter a Title for YOUR Humorous Story:

Tell Us YOUR Funny Story about Language Learning![ ? ]

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

Your Name

(first or full name)

Your Location

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

Check box to agree to these submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)


Easiest Languages have thousands of words similar to English, so:

“This is The Easiest Way to Begin Learning Foreign Languages.”

Helping More People Begin Foreign Languages The Easiest Way.