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Don't Feed Parrots Chocolate, Despite What Happens In Minecraft

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Polly want a cracker? How about a chocolate chip cookie? Players in the "Minecraft" video game can befriend a parrot with a chocolate chip cookie, but in real life, don't. Even small amounts of chocolate can poison a parrot. A campaign of concern broke out on Reddit that millions of children who play the game would try to tempt the family's blue-eyed cockatoo with chocolate chip cookies. Jens Bergensten, "Minecraft's" lead designer, says the cookies were intended to be a sly reference to the Nirvana song "Polly," but the game's next update will offer treats that are more friendly to parrots. Real parrots have a diet of seeds, nuts, berries, insects and larvae. I got to see "Minecraft" larvae.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "POLLY")

NIRVANA: (Singing) Polly wants a cracker. I think I should get off her first. I think she wants some water to put out the blow torch. It isn't me. Have a seed. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.
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