Laugh a little
Meyer's talking parrot
Meyer, a lonely widower, was walking home along Golders Green Road one day, wishing something wonderful would happen to his life when he passed a Pet Store and heard a squawking voice shouting out in Yiddish: Quawwwwk...vus macht du...yeah, du...outside, standing like a putzel...eh?"
Meyer couldn't believe what he was hearing. Suddenly, the proprietor came out of the shop and grabbed Meyer by the sleeve. "Come in here and check out this parrot..."
Meyer was soon standing in front of an African Grey. The parrot cocked his little head and said: "Vus? Kenst reddin Yiddish?"
Meyer turned excitedly to the owner. "He speaks Yiddish?" "Vuh den? Chinese maybe?"
In a matter of moments, Meyer had written out a cheque for £500 and carried the parrot, still in his cage, out of the shop and into his car. All night he talked with the parrot in Yiddish. He told the parrot about his father's kosher butcher shop in Neasden; about how beautiful his mother was when she was a young bride; about his family in Israel; about his years of working in the City; and about Birchington, Kent. The parrot listened and commented. They shared some nuts and raisins. The parrot told Meyer of what life was like living in the pet store and how he hated the weekends. They then both went to sleep.
Next morning, Meyer began to put on his tfillin, all the while, saying his prayers. The parrot demanded to know what he was doing, and when Meyer explained, the parrot wanted to do likewise. So Meyer went out and bought a hand-made miniature set of tfillin for the parrot. The parrot wanted to learn to daven and learned every prayer. He wanted to learn to read Hebrew so Meyer spent weeks and months sitting and teaching the parrot, teaching him Torah. In time, Meyer came to love and count on the parrot as a friend and a Jew. He had been saved.
One morning, on Rosh Hashanah, Meyer rose and got dressed and was about to leave when the parrot demanded to go with him. Meyer explained that Shul was no place for a bird but the parrot made a terrific argument and was carried to Shul on Meyer's shoulder.
Needless to say, they made quite a spectacle and Meyer was questioned by everyone, including the Rabbi and Cantor. At first they refused to allow a bird into the building on the High Holy Days, but Meyer convinced them to let him in this one time, swearing that the parrot could daven. Some bets were made with Meyer. Thousands of pounds were bet that the parrot could NOT daven, could NOT speak Yiddish or Hebrew, etc. All eyes were on the African Grey during the service. The parrot perched on Meyer's shoulder as one prayer and song passed - Meyer heard not a peep from the bird. He began to become annoyed, slapping at his shoulder and mumbling under his breath, "Daven!"
"Daven...parrot, you can daven, so daven...come on, everybody's looking at you!"
After the Rosh Hashanah service was over, Meyer worked out that he owed over four thousand pounds. He marched home, angry, saying nothing. Finally several streets away from the Shul, the bird began to sing an old Yiddish song and was happy as could be.
Meyer stopped and looked at him. "You miserable bird, you cost me over four thousand pounds. Why? After I bought you your own tfillin and taught you the morning prayers and taught you to read Hebrew and the Torah. And after you begged me to bring you to Shul on Rosh Hashanah, why? Why did you do this to me?"
"Don't be a schmuck," the parrot replied. "The odds will be much better on Yom Kippur."