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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Many interesting things are learned in parking lots while waiting for others to return. In another season and on a day unlike any other before it or since – since no two are alike – I was more or less patiently waiting for the return of some kin I had dropped off at the uptown VA for a doctor visit. The vehicle and I were occupying one of the very few shaded parking spaces available and I was happily and/or reluctantly involved in the activity of thinking. This is something I regularly do since I don’t know an acceptable way to stop this mental process - outside of assuming ambient temperature.

Both windows of the conveyance were down and the chirping of several birds attracted my attention – they were just in front of me in the small trees and bushes of the median. Three mockingbirds were interacting, two looked to be parents of the third, an almost mature offspring.

The youngster had already crossed the threshold of flight, but was still begging for sustenance from the parents. It was a bit like it had just graduated from bird high school, but still wanted to be supported. Occasionally I would hear its adult voice but mostly it just gave its whiney little chirp for another insect. You don’t have to ask me how I knew the difference in the voice tone if you have ever raised children or kept grandchildren for any length of time.

The adults would eventually bring it a tidbit but seemed to take their time doing so – almost as if they were encouraging it find its own bugs. Once I saw the adult birds swooping at each other and squawking as if they were disagreeing on bird raising techniques and/or when to let the young one be on its own. Nevertheless this pair was almost through with their obligation and this fledgling would soon be self-sufficient enough to bring home its own bacon, even if it was bug-shaped.

I was struck with how much the extended wings of the adult birds reminded me of the shape of the wings of the British WWII fighter aircraft the “Spitfire”. This plane was one of the main reasons Britain was able to fight off the German aerial attacks that were meant to totally destroy the nation. This “feisty” aircraft was a new design and it matched the best the Germans had, if not excelling them just a bit.

The mockingbird is also very feisty and will take on all comers when defending its nest or young ones. Many times I have seen an irate mockingbird chase away a much larger crow – known for eating baby birds – diving and pecking at it in flight until they were out of sight. They will also dive and peck at dogs, cats and even humans, especially when their young ones are prematurely on the ground.

We as humans might take a lesson from this in being more proactive in protecting our young ones from the many predators and predatory companies desiring to make victims of them or in the very least, profit from their lack of experience. Whether Christian parents are big or not, they can peck away until their young one is released from the clutches of the evil one. At least it may seem like small pecks to us when we pray, but it’s not our strength that does the job, it’s God’s, our job is to continue in prayer. ec


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