This is actually a repost of my reply to Rebecca O'Connor's query: So what’s the story behind your parrot’s name?
My “parrot” is actually a chicken. He came to me as an orphan, just a couple days old. Of course, at the time, I had no idea if I was dealing with a he or a she, but thinking positive, I decided to assume it was she; plus, I very superstitiously figured it would help encourage development in that direction. Or at least wouldn’t hurt.
So this little cheeper looked like a penguin–black with white “diaper”–and I like Spanish, so I thought maybe Pingüino. Well, that’s as hard and awkward to say as it looks, so I needed something else. I looked up “tuxedo” in my Spanish dictionary: esmoquin. Hmmmmm, maybe Esme? Like the JD Salinger story? (Only now it would be with love and squawking?)
Names are important, though, so I had to be sure: I checked the dictionary again. Esmerarse: to take care; to do well.
And thus Esme became my first (but not my last) inappropriately named rooster. He’s a sweetheart who will ring his bell to get my attention, loves to play fetch, and follows me everywhere. Sometimes he’s just “Es” for short, but I can’t imagine him having any other name.