Yiddish Speaking Parrot
Meyer, a lonely widower, was walking home along Delancy Street one
day, wishing something wonderful would happen to his life, when he
passed a Pet store and heard a squawking voice shouting out in
"Quawwwwk... vus macht du... yeah, you... outside, ... eh?"
Meyer rubbed his eyes and ears. He couldn't believe it! The
proprietor sprang out of the door and grabbed Meyer by the sleeve.
"Come in here, fella, and check out this parrot..."
Meyer stood in front of an African Grey that cocked his little head
and said: "Vus? Kenst reddin Yiddish?"
Meyer turned excitedly to the store owner. "He speaks Yiddish?"
"What did you expect? Chinese maybe?"
In a matter of moments Meyer had placed five hundred dollars down on
the counter and carried the parrot in his cage away with him. All
night long he talked with the parrot in Yiddish. He told the parrot
about his father's adventures coming to America; about how beautiful
his mother was when she was a young bride; about his family; about
his wife and children; about his years of working in the garment
industry; and about sunny Florida. The parrot listened and
commented while sharing some walnuts. The parrot told him of living
in the pet store and how he hated the weekends. They both went to
Next morning, Meyer began saying his prayers. The parrot demanded
to know what he was doing and when Meyer explained, the parrot
wanted to pray too. Meyer hand-made a miniature yamulke for the
parrot. The parrot wanted to learn to read Hebrew so Meyer spent
months, sitting and teaching the parrot, teaching him Torah. Before
long Meyer came to love and count on the parrot as a friend and a
Jew. He was lonely no more.
On Rosh Hashanah, Meyer rose, got dressed, and was about to leave
when the parrot demanded to go with him. Meyer explained that a
synagogue was not a place for a bird, but the parrot pleaded and was
carried to the synagogue on Meyer's shoulder. Needless to say, they
were quite a spectacle. Meyer was questioned by everyone, including
the Rabbi. At first, the Rabbi refused to allow a bird into the
building on the High Holy Days, but Meyer convinced him to let him
in this one time, swearing that parrot could pray. Wagers were made
with Meyer. Thousands of dollars were bet... even odds... that
the parrot could NOT pray, could not speak Yiddish, or Hebrew, etc.
All eyes were on the two of them during services. The parrot was
still perched on Meyer's shoulder as one prayer and song passed...
but not a peep from the bird. Meyer become annoyed, slapping at his
shoulder and mumbling under his breath, "Pray!"
The parrot said nothing. "Pray, parrot! You can pray... do it now
while everybody's looking at you!"
The parrot said nothing.
After services were over, Meyer realized he owed his synagogue
buddies and the Rabbi over four thousand dollars. He marched
home... very disgusted, saying nothing. Finally several blocks
from the temple the bird began to sing an old Yiddish song and was
happy as a lark.
Meyer stopped and looked at him.
"You miserable bird... you cost me over four thousand dollars.
After I taught you the morning prayers, taught you to read Hebrew
and the Torah. And after you begged me to bring you to a synagogue
on Rosh Hashanah... why? Why did you do this to me?"
"Don't be stupid," the parrot replied. "Think of the odds on Yom
[ Author Unknown -- from 'Buffalos Chips' (buffaloes) ]
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