A young minister befriended an old man at the Soldiers and Sailors’ home. The man had been a pirate in his younger days. One day, the old man said, “Matey, I’m a makin’ my way to Davey Jones’ locker soon, and I need to ask you a favor.” The preacher agreed to help if he could.
“Me old parrot needs a home when I die. Could you make him yours for me?” The pastor agreed, but the old man gave him a warning.
“My parrot, he speaks like a pirate. I hope he don’t cause you no trouble.” The preacher assured the old pirate that he could handle it, and the old man was much relieved.
Shortly afterwards, the preacher began to regret his decision. When the Stewardship Committee came to visit, the parrot said, “Give me your booty, or I’ll have your guts for garters.” While giving increased shortly afterward, the members of the committee never looked at him the same.
When the Ladies Aid Society came for a meeting, the parrot said, “Blow me down, matey!!! Behold ye beauties on deck.” The meeting went rather awkwardly.
The preacher soon noticed that people were giving him funny looks, and he was worried that his ministry was in danger, but he knew he had to keep his promise to the old pirate. He tried everything to teach the parrot better manners. He preached to the parrot, he sang to the parrot, and he catechized the parrot, but nothing worked.
The last straw came just before Thanksgiving, when he was speaking with a prospective member at his house. As they were discussing the new member’s upcoming baptism, the parrot let loose with a barrage of piratey language that I can’t even type here, and ended by saying, “Walk the plank, go to Davey Jones’ locker!” The embarrassed preacher took the parrot out the room, removed him from his cage, and threw him in the freezer. Then he returned to talk to his guest.
An hour later, the preacher remembered the parrot. “Oh my, what have I done?” he thought as he retrieved the half frozen bird and attempted to revive him. He went to bed that night worried that the creature would be dead in the morning.
But the next morning, the parrot had recovered and greeted him politely. “I heartily repent of my fowl language,” he squawked, “and resolve humbly, in reliance on the grace of God, to put my sins behind me.”
The preacher was astonished at the change. “I am sorry for my anger, dear old bird, and I ask your forgiveness. But what has caused you to change?”
“I saw what you did to the turkey.”