Frank Ficker of Freiburg must have thought he had it all: successful wife, nice home, and a mistress on the side. But the family parrot, a pro at imitating Frank, blew the lid on his cheating ways.
Be careful what you say around these guys - it can get around.
Frank Ficker's wife, once described her husband, who she met through a personal ad, as "so affectionate." It's likely she has a few other adjectives for him now, ever since she found out he was fooling around with a woman name Uta.
The affair that Frank, 50, was having might have gone undiscovered had his wife, we'll call her Petra, also aged 50, not owned a grey parrot name Hugo.
Hugo, like many of his species, was something akin to a living tape recorder, and especially good at imitating Frank.
"Hugo always liked to mimic Frank and he could do his voice perfectly," said Petra. That included perfect renditions of Frank asking who was at the door or yelling at his nephews. But one day Petra heard the bird repeating something she'd never hard before.
"I heard him doing Frank's voice, but saying 'Uta, Uta,'" she said.
Since Petra didn't know an Uta, nor had she ever heard Frank mention her, her suspicions were raised. A search around the house turned up two plane tickets to Paris, one for Frank, another for Uta, who was, evidently, the other woman. It turns out that Hugo was often within earshot when Frank would make secret phone calls to his lover.
"I kicked him straight out," she said. "It's just me and my parrot now." Divorce proceedings are pending.