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His Master's Voice
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Written by: C. W. Booth

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Little Bird Showed MeÖ

A few weeks ago I stood on my front porch watching the morning awaken the day from slumber. Two large beech trees stand close together and side-by-side just ten yards from our door. Summerís end had come, but the air was still warm.

First a male woodpecker lighted on a branch a few feet over my head on the right beech tree. Mom woodpecker soon appeared and landed on the left beech tree. Seconds later a young woodpecker chick fluttered to a branch beside dadís. Dad began pecking, while the chick watched. Dad stopped. Dad pecked again. The chick began imitating dad and together they practiced the fine art of drilling holes in branches to find food.

As that family continued their pecking lessons, a female finch landed in the left beech tree. Dad finch landed in the right. Chick finch came falling and blundering into the lowest hanging branch under momís, barely grasping the branch in time. The finch chick was clearly rattled; it ruffled all its downy feathers in a violent shiver. Dad finch began chirping sharply, but finch chick just clung stubbornly to the branch. Mom finch finally leapt down behind finch chick and pecked it on the tail feathers. No reaction. Mom repeated her actions and finch chick tentatively bent forward, beat its immature wings for all they were worth and plunged five feet before power stroking back up into a higher branch. Mom followed.

Children. We teach them by example, like the woodpecker. But sometimes we have to teach them by more tangible means, employing finch-like methods that will get their attention and goad them to take proper action. And always it is more for their benefit than for that of the parents. In neither situation, not the obedient woodpecker chick nor the stubborn finch chick, did the children thank their parents. Kids! Parents, just keep pressing on.

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Page Originally Posted: August 14, 2013
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