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The Cardinals - A Short Story

The other day while visiting a friend, a stark lesson of life was learned.  A pair of cardinals had built a nest in a bush beside the front deck.  Such beautiful birds as they are, it was a joy to watch them build the nest and get prepared for the arrival of their little ones.  Cardinals are monogamous birds which we could also learn from.  Both birds took part in preparing a safe, warm place for the eggs to be laid, little ones to hatch.  The expectant parents would watch them grow up and one day leave the nest to go on and begin the cycle once again.

All went as planned and the eggs were laid.  The mother patiently sat on the eggs to keep them warm and provide the protection and perfect incubation temperature to bring the new little ones into the world.  After a few weeks they hatched as expected, naked and blind, but under the watchful care of their parents they were doing fine!  A few days later they had just begun to get their fist feathers (more of a fuzzy covering really), and their ravenous appetites were keeping the both of the parents busy providing for the little ones.

The next day as we peered over the railing to see how the little ones were doing, they were gone!  We knew they couldn't have flown away being so young, and the first thoughts were that a raccoon or some other predator had gotten into the nest and eaten them.  Errands had to be ran, so with out further thought the empty nest was left where it was, thoughts of sadness and wonder in our minds.

Upon arriving home, the thought occurred that maybe they had fallen out of the nest.  The worst of fears turned out to be true!  Here they lay on the ground under the nest, unprotected, and unfortunately no longer alive.  The parents were still trying to feed them, not realizing there hopes had already been destroyed for this brood of young ones.  In time they gave up and left to go on their way, likely to try again as nature intends for them to do.

We could guess forever and never really know what happened.  Did a predator or another bird throw them out of the nest?  Did the parents suspect something was wrong and do it themselves?  Did the little ones somehow fall out on their own?  Nature can be cruel in this way but it is the way of Mother Nature.  While we can never really know what happened, we do know the finality of the outcome.

Do we take our children for granted in the same way?  Do we have hopes for their futures but forget to prepare them spiritually for anything that comes their way?  We make plans for them to go to college, sometimes before they are even born, but do we prepare them for heaven as soon as we should?  Do we acquaint and prepare them with the reality of life, death, and life after death?  Or do we only prepare them for this life, which can be short, cruel and fleeting?  We as a society take so many things for granted.  We assume we will have time to do all the things we want or should, but what happens when we or they fall out of the nest?

Life on this earth is a fragile thing.  Every minute, even second, is precious and can be taken from from us in the blink of an eye.  We must take full advantage of everyday, because each one could be the last!    If we don't, we would be like the baby Cardinals, no future, no hope, and no reason to be.  Life is so full of wonder and hope, which also reinforces the reason to be sure of your faith in God and and Jesus Christ.  Without it, life could simply end for us, with no hope for a future beyond the finality of death.

written by: WM8C, April , 2004  Not for use without permission.

[ The Cardinal ] The Star Fish ] Touched My Soul ] About Courage ] Special Tribute ] Moving Thoughts ] Make a Friend ] Food for Thought ] Little Fireman ]


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