The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Mel White 

A bird-brained story

On the Bright Side


Every now and then I come across some especially interesting story – something I didn't write but kind of wish I would have – and if there is no copyright infringement involved, I like to share it. These days I get a lot of neat things via email and several of the social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, but the story below is one I got by hand from my mother some years ago.

Mom didn't remember where or when she got it except that it was a long time ago (like in the 40s or 50s) – she handed it to me on a yellowed sheet of paper, the story typed up on a manual typewriter. It was marked "Author Unknown," which as a writer makes me a little sad because I'd like to give someone credit for this.

Anyway, since the message is still rather entertaining today and definitely worth repeating, I'd like to pass it on to you as this week's offering:

How the Birds Formed a Church

A group of birds decided to form a church.

So they called a meeting and the duck stood up and said, "I think we should require baptism by immersion. It's the only way we can get their pocketbooks wet."

But the rooster said, "No, we should baptize by sprinkling – many people don't like the embarrassment of being all wet."

So the argument was on.

But the parrot said, "I don't think baptism is the important thing...what we need is a good program."

Then the mockingbird said, "What about the choir? We must have a good choir! And don't forget the organ!"

"Oh," said the thrush, "we don't want an organ – a piano is much better."

But the titmouse didn't want a musical instrument at all. And the sparrow said it would be just as well if they threw out the music altogether.

The goose stood up and said, "What we really need is a preacher that is good with young people. If we don't attract the young people, the other churches in town will gobble them up for sure."

But the starling thought it was more important that their preacher be a "good mixer."

And the blue jay figured that if the preacher would lay off sin and stuff like that, almost anyone would do... as long as he was popular among the townsfolk.

But the real wrangle came over the budget. Some thought everyone should tithe, provided they could afford it. Others thought they should do away with collections and just have faith.

So finally the owl arose and smoothed his feathers. Everyone grew quiet for they knew he had great wisdom.

"Brothers and sisters," he said. "All these things are secondary. I'll tell you what we need – what we need is sincerity!"

"Yes sir!" repeated the owl, quite pleased with himself. "Above everything else, we must be real sincere – even if we don't mean it!"

And so they formed a church...

And it was for the birds.

Mel's footnote: I like this story because it's clever and funny as it is, and it has a good message about pompous people who want something good and noble and then start putting restrictions on it. And I also like it because I think it would be easy to change the story (without changing any of the ideas or the message and only a few of the words) to something like, say, "How the Birds Formed a Social Movement" or, "How the Birds Formed a Working Government."

© Marilda Mel White. Mel is a local writer/photographer and co-owner of Tehachapi Treasure Trove; she has been looking on the bright side for various publications since 1996. Mel welcomes your comments at


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