I stepped outside our farmhouse bright and early this morning just in time to see two adolescent grackles falling from the sky. "Grackles", in case you didn't know, are like blackbirds. They are loud, screechy, and plentiful in Nebraska. This particular pair had just been booted from their nest and were flopping about in my front yard. Two adult birds were overhead, squawking and watching from the safety of the trees.....
At first my heart went out to these ugly, inept creatures. Their big, bulging eyes seemed too large for their weak heads, and they had no idea where to look. The newbies would hop two steps in one direction, then back two, then forward two, and so on... they weren't really getting anywhere.
Then my mother hen (who isn't really a mother yet, just likes to boss everyone around) came up to the young bird and began pecking at it. It wasn't violent or mean, more like a nudge. She ran that baby bird all the way across our yard and underneath the trees. The barn cats looked on in disappointment as their potential breakfast took off.
I know that the one bird is safe beneath my pine. I can't speak for the other bird (I can't find it at the moment.) What seemed like a cruel act, or possibly even interfering from the hen, ensured its temporary safety. I became inspired by the hen this morning.
We have all heard that it takes a village to raise a child. But quite often a village isn't available in a world where a Mommy and Daddy, or Grandma and Grandpa, or Aunt and Uncle aren't even around. What if we were just "Momma Hens" to some lost little guy. We wouldn't have to let them live with us, pay for their college, enable them in their disruptive behaviors, or even meddle in their daily lives. We could simply give them some tough advice to get them going in the right direction. They wouldn't have to be our children, just someone who desperately needed some guidance.
I know you know someone in your life like that. Take a lesson from the hen. Reach out to a young person today. Consider being a mentor, coach, or friend. It might not take a village......
Linsey Knerl at 11:02 PM