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Dickens and I

Dickens and I

Time to read: “70 Seconds…70 Seconds”

Naked Leader Week 1062 – Monday 26 February 2024

Dickens and I

At NL we love inspirational stories – please send yours to us at

This story was told to me at a briefing for an event – it is shared with permission:
“Dickens was a South African grey parrot. I had owned him for four years, over which time he built up a vocabulary of about 250 words as well as learning the first part of the Kurt Weil classic Mack the Knife.

We were as close as any pet owner can be with their companion. He used to impersonate me, copying a phrase I use with my daughter – ‘hello baby.’ He even mimicked me whispering when I was going out to work in the early hours ‘bye,bye’ – yes, he would actually whisper to me to avoid waking up my family! He also knew when I went away overnight. He seemed to miss me, and would show his upset by pulling out his feathers.

Over Christmas I was away for two weeks on a trip to his homeland, South Africa. This was a longer absence than usual and Dickens became upset, pulling out more feathers than normal. I was getting updates from home as Dickens grew even more distressed.

My wife and daughter did not know what to do – I would even talk to him down the phone! I did this when no-one else was near to me, of course!

It was all to no avail. Dickens lost his appetite. My family took advice, refusing to be spoon fed he stopped eating and became very weak.

One evening towards the end of my stay, I got a call from home.
 Dickens had passed away.

My logical voice kicked in and said “it was only a parrot.”

And then I heard what had happened – goodbye logic.

Dickens had fallen so ill and weak that he could no longer sit on his perch. My family placed him in a box so he could sleep and possibly regain some strength. As my daughter passed by his makeshift bed of soft tissues, Dickens suddenly stuck his head over the box, looked at her and whispered ‘hello baby.’

Then he closed his eyes, and he died.

I share this story for everyone who has ever known the love of an animal.”

Carl Daeche

Thank you Carl

With my love and best wishes to you all



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