Dini Goes to Church

This is a reposting of the official account of the day Dini came to church.

On September 7, 1979, I received an urgent phone call asking for my assistance. One of our church members at the time, Ty Frederick, was trying his hand at breeding cockatiels. I was very interested in his new hobby. He called me that evening to say that a new mother was rejecting her two hatchlings. He asked if I could come over and help him. We decided that I would take one and he would work with the other. I took the hatchling home and fed him with an eye dropper and kept him warm with a towel in a shoebox. After his feathers came out, I began to teach Dini to fly and to talk. One of his favorite sayings was, “He’s a good bird.”  Then, one fateful day in the spring of 1981, I brought him to church to show the children.

The world’s longest children’s sermon began during the morning service as usual. When I took the bird out of his cage to show how he was trained to talk and fly back to me… well, let’s just say he flew and flew and sang, all through the rest of church that morning. I thought it was poetic that Ty was singing a solo in worship when Dini decided to make it a duet. No one slept through church that day! We worked all afternoon to try and coax him back to his cage. He loved singing in church. Later, after the evening service, I climbed an extension ladder and lifted a long pole with an improvised crossbar up to his perch near the sanctuary’s cove lights. He got on the crossbar, then as I slowly inched the pole down, he jumped on my shoulder like he was supposed to have done 10 hours earlier!

I looked up the life expectancy of the cockatiel—they live about 20 years. According to Wikipedia, there was one bird confirmed to have lived 35 years. Dini was a noble pet that outlived a number of our cats. For around eight of those years, he shared his cage with a female cockatiel we called DeeDee. We thought Dini would like the company and that they might even mate. He mostly tolerated her. She died unexpectedly one July. He did not seem to miss her. Dini died on May 7, 2011. He lived 31 years and 8 months with us, greeting us every day with songs and whistles and chatter. He was a very good bird.

  Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Remember the good times. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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