Pavo Rotti, my parakeet was in one of his pensive moods, pacing the floor of his cage. I felt it best not to intrude on his thoughts but he saw me watching him.

“It’s not often that a cure-all can come upon us Big Guy,” he said, pausing to poke the spotted print on the bottom of his cage. “Especially one taking so little effort.”

“Cure-all for what budgie buddy?”

“For the ills and sadness of mankind. Right here in black and white it says that our problems can be resolved by bringing prayer back into the schools. A minute a day is enough.”

“That’s a pretty ambitious plan. How do you know it’ll work?”

“Your pals in the political playpens say so Big Guy. In fact, they’re launching a bipartisan crusade to make public this prayerful panacea.”

“I’m looking forward to it Pavo.”

“But I have a concern Big Guy. Many folks out there still don’t believe this works. Suppose they don’t want to be involved. What happens to them?”

“Majority rules Pavo. Make minority thoughts illegal. Then we toss them in jail and let our prisons do what they do best, rehabilitation. It would be for their own good.”

“By the way Big Guy, I hate to show the shallowness of my upbringing, but how exactly does prayer work? I’ve noticed that politicians are always prepared to pray, especially when surrounded by TV cameras. What’s in it for them?”


“That’s it? They pray to get votes?”

“No. Mostly they pray for riches and salvation. They use the practice of praying to get votes. It’s an image thing.”

“Big Guy, I’m confused. Enlighten me. As a member of a middle layer of the Animalia I don’t have experience in prayer and its merits. I don’t have access to its benefits.”

“Au contraire my micro midget. You receive the daily assistance of prayer without knowing it.”

“I thought only you big guys could pray and that the rest of us bony skeletons were merely your subjects. How does it work for me?”

“Are you ready for an example?”

“Fire away exalted exemplar.”

“What do you do when your seed cup or water dish needs a refill?”

“That’s easy Big Guy. I sit in front of them hoping somebody will come along and do the deed.”

“Exactly. What you’re doing in essence is praying for a full seed cup. And your prayers are answered when I come along and fill it.”

“Wow! Then it’s similar to what happens after I’ve spotted all the news in the paper. I stare at it for a while hoping the mess will go away and lo and behold, it gets changed and I get a new slant on life.”

“You’re beginning to get the concept.”

“But, hold on a second Big Guy. Do you do the same thing when you want your seed dish filled?”

“Not exactly. But I give a prayer of thanks after its filled.”

“Why after the fact.”

“So my dish won’t be empty at the next meal.”

“And it works every time?”

“Hasn’t failed me yet.”

“That’s what I call real power Big Guy. So that means you’ve got a Bigger Big Guy somewhere keeping your plate filled.”

“The Biggest.”

Pavo climbed up to his perch and worked over his cuttlefish bone for a few minutes while I vacuumed the seed hulls from around the base of his cage. When I came back after storing the vacuum he was staring at me from between the bars. His beady orbs bored in on mine.

“I’m puzzled,” he pouted. “You say your prayer has never failed you but what about conflicting requests? Like when Phallix the cat is preying on me for lunch and I’m praying not to get impaled on his incisors.”

“Your prayers are the strongest Pavo. Your morality is from the higher plane. You win.”

“Then I guess only atheists get eaten alive.”

“There’s a truth in there somewhere Pavo.”

“But if it works for you, why doesn’t it do the same for everyone else in the world. There seems to be a lot of folks who aren’t as successful. Is there something wrong with their prayer language?”

“Language is immaterial to the process. You can pray in Arabic, Olde English, Latin, Hindi, Swahili or any of the three hundred fifty plus languages across the face of the earth.”

“And they all get answered?”

“Let’s say they all get a hearing.”

Pavo’s eyes narrowed and he squinted quizzically at me. “Hold on a minute Big Guy. I detect a dodge in your rejoinder.”

“I never equivocate Pavo. That’s the essence of the system.”

“In other words, you pray and get heard but you don’t always get the results you want. Then, what do you do to get the action? For example, suppose I wanted a new bird cage. What must I do?”

“Sometimes it pays to have an intercessor. Someone who acts on your behalf. Someone like me who has the means to pay for it.”

“Aha! Finally the truth,” said Pavo shinnying up the side of his cage. He hopped over onto his trapeze. “Put the cover on my cage Big Guy. It’s time for me to sleep on my newly found revelations.”


About D. B. Guy

ex-traveler, ex-Navy vet, ex-depression baby, long time retiree, current lounge chair occupant, husband, grandfather, computer novice-junkie, man-about-town(ret.), jolly good fellow
This entry was posted in My Pal Pavo. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Prayer

  1. Jean says:

    Dear Mr. Big Guy,

    You gave Pavo a charming explanation of what prayer is all about. The operative word here is “love”. It is obvious you love Pavo very much otherwise you wouldn’t bother to keep his feed cup full, fresh water and change the papers in the bottom of his cage to say nothing of an ongoing dialogue of conversation. And oh yes, provide him with a sturdy cage to protect him from predators such as Phallix.

    However, it is also obvious that you love Phallix and Phydeaux too. No doubt your cat food and dog chow bill is considerable. Vacuuming cat and dog hair is no small job beside walking Phydeaux and taking care of Phallix’s litter box.

    We all know that felines and canines are natural enemies but usually only kill each other for sport. They don’t seem to care much for eating each other even though Phallix continues to lick his chops at the sight of Pavo. If Phallix and Phydeaux can learn to love each other enough to live in relative peaceful co-existence together, maybe Phallix and Pavo………oh, never mind.

    I’m sure your menagerie wonders where you get the resources to provide for all their comforts. It’s really none of their business of course. Some people are nosey-know-it-alls though and think they have figured it all out. I, for one, am just grateful that you care enough for your pets to look after them so well.

    I pray that you will continue – always.



  2. D. B. Guy says:

    Dear Miss Jean:

    The explanation is simple. Most folks I know treat their pets like family members. And pets take care of their families too. It is in their genes. But love is always best when it is reciprocal.

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