How does Harry grow up when he visits his father's shop alone in "Papa's Parrot"?

Quick answer:

On the afternoon when he goes alone to his father's shop, Harry grows after hearing the parrot say, "Where's Harry? Miss him." He realizes that his father has been saying this over and over because Harry hasn't been visiting him often. Harry decides that he must be less self-centered and consider the needs of others, in this case his father.

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In the short story "Papa's Parrot" by Cynthia Rylant, the father of a boy named Harry owns a candy and nut shop. Although Harry doesn't like candy and nuts, he is fond of his father, Mr. Tillian, and when he is young he frequently drops by to visit his father in the shop. However, when Harry enters junior high school his interests change, and he visits his father less frequently. He is also embarrassed by the fact that his father buys a parrot to keep him company while he is working.

One day, Mr. Tillian collapses at the shop and has to be taken to the hospital. While his father is convalescing, Harry volunteers to take care of the shop and the parrot. One afternoon shortly after Harry arrives at the shop and starts cleaning up, the parrot starts talking to him. At first it says nonsense, but then it begins to repeat, "Where's Harry? Miss him," over and over. The parrot could only have learned and remembered these phrases if Mr. Tillian had repeated them over and over. Harry comes to realize that his father has been missing him a great deal. This helps him grow in maturity as he learns that he has been self-centered and has not been considering the needs of his father. It is a manifestation of his new-found maturity that as soon as he finishes up at the shop, he goes to visit his father.

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