Shelly and the Sand Castle

Common Gull (Larus canus) by Robert Scanlon

Common Gull (Larus canus) by Robert Scanlon

Shelly and the Sand Castle by Emma Foster

One day a seagull named Shelly decided that she should fly to the beach to lay her very first egg. Shelly had previously been living near a seaside port beside a large white beach, but she felt it was not the proper place to lay an egg, especially when it was going to be her very first one. Leaving the nest that she had built on top of a pole, Shelly flew across the beach onto a giant rock.

After resting on top of the rock, Shelly surveyed the beach, searching for sticks and dirt with which to build her nest. Looking around, however, Shelly noticed that there were several children building houses out of sand. Thinking that it was a wonderful idea, Shelly promptly decided to build her first nest out of sand.

Children Building Sandcastle -©Pixabay

Flying near the waves, Shelly scooped up some wet sand with her beak until she made a small pile. She spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to get all of the sand on top of the rock. Fortunately, after glancing around, Shelly found a small plastic shovel that no one was currently using. She had seen a few children use a shovel to help them scoop up sand, so Shelly knew how to use it.

Kids Building Sand Castle ©Pinterest

“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:” (Matthew 7:26 NKJV)

After shovelling enough sand onto the rock, Shelly dropped the shovel and began meshing the sand together in a big pile, finally sitting on it so when she hatched her egg it wouldn’t fall out.

Shelly’s egg hatched a few days later. She was so excited she quickly found some food to celebrate then came back to her egg. While she was on the hunt for some food, storm clouds gathered and rain began to sprinkle. Quickly flying back to her nest, Shelly was horrified to find that her nest had dissolved and her egg was gone.

Shelly frantically began her search in the sand, but the rain began beating down so hard that Shelly was forced to stop her search and find shelter. When the rain subsided, Shelly tried to search some more, but was so anxious that she completely forgot which rock she had nested on.

Shelly searched the beach until it was too dark to see anything. Finally she had to rest in some shrubbery until morning, though she barely slept because she was so worried.

Mew Gull (Larus canus) by Daves BirdingPix

Mew Gull (Larus canus) by Daves BirdingPix

The next day was bright and sunny, and at once Shelly began her search. She noticed that there were many more people at the beach than yesterday, which made her even more worried. Shelly flew around in circles, trying to spot her egg and hoping that it hadn’t washed away into the sea.

As Shelly flew closer to the ground, she noticed a group of children building a sand castle. One of the children scooped a huge pile of sand, and Shelly could see a huge lump in the sand. When the child put the clump of sand onto the sand castle, the egg rolled down.

Seagull carrying egg to safety

Shelly swooped down and snatched her egg out of the sand with her mouth. She flew away happily, even though she could hear the children screaming and laughing behind her. Thankful that her egg was safe, Shelly immediately decided to build a nest made out of twigs and branches like the other birds. From then on, whenever Shelly hatched an egg, she made sure that her egg was hatched in a proper nest instead of in the sand.

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”  (Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV)


Another great story by Emma. Thank you again for reminding us to heed wise instructions.

Emma Stories

The Great Graduation Ceremony by Emma Foster

The Great Graduation Ceremony  ~ by Emma Foster

“A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.” (Proverbs 17:8 KJV)

Once there was a family of common wood pigeons that lived deep in a large forest. The father and mother, David and Susan, had three children, Billy, Louisa, and Will. The children had not been in the nest for very long, but were now almost old enough to fly from the nest to make their own homes.

Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) with newly hatched young ©WikiC

Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) with newly hatched young ©WikiC

One day when Susan was flying through the forest searching for worms, she met an owl named Winston who was casually sitting on a branch. Because Winston was considered the wisest owl in the entire forest, all of the birds and other animals came to him for advice on how to solve their problems. When Susan explained to Winston that her children were nearly old enough to begin flying to find their own place to live, Winston immediately suggested holding a graduation ceremony.

Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) ©Flickr Slgurossom

Susan, confused on what exactly a graduation ceremony entailed, waited patiently for most of the afternoon as Winston slowly explained every detail of what a graduation ceremony was, what must be done, and the reason for it. Susan almost wished she hadn’t said anything because Winston had a history of being extremely long-winded. From what Susan gathered, however, graduation ceremonies were for people who had reached a certain point in their lives. They left a place called ‘school’ where they learned everything they needed to know before being given a piece of paper and going to another place to learn. Susan thought it was almost like the way her children would fly from the nest.

Common Rock Pigeon Pair ©ARKive

Susan quickly flew back home and told David everything that Winston had said, and David thought it was a great idea. They began to prepare for the ceremony by inviting all of the birds and animals in the woods, though they were informed that the turkeys couldn’t attend because hunters had been spotted and the turkeys were not taking any chances.

That Saturday, Winston flew over to a large nearby branch while all of the pigeons and several other birds and animals gathered around to listen. Winston’s speech lasted a very long time, and by the time he was done Billy, Louisa, Will, and most of the others were fast asleep.

David and Susan quickly woke their children up so they could rise for their diploma. David and Susan both decided that the perfect substitute for a diploma would be the biggest worms they could find. Winston called out each of their children’s names one by one, and, while the rest of the birds and animals all cheered, Billy, Louisa, and Will took their worms. The ceremony was officially over. Everyone had a party afterwards with all of the birds bringing worms and all the squirrels volunteering to bring nuts and berries for the others. Some of the animals even gave the young birds a few graduation presents. One kind squirrel brought the largest nut he could find, while a raccoon brought an assortment of leaves she had found that would look nice in a nest.

Bok Santuary Squirrel

Bok Santuary Squirrel by Lee

When Billy, Louisa, and Will began to prepare to fly away to make their new nests, Susan tried not to cry. Finally, all of the guests left and her children flew away. She hoped they would come home to visit soon, and that they would not fly too far.


Lee’s Addition:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit….But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12:4, 11 KJV)

Our young writer, Emma Foster, has been growing up and has just graduated from High School. We trust you have enjoyed her Bird Tales over the last 5 1/2 years. She started writing for us on the blog in January of 2012. Her stories have continually improved as she has matured. I still chuckle over her first story of the parrot, Mrs. Patterson’s Parrot, that was too large to come home in the car.

About a week ago, I asked Emma to write a story about birds graduating. This was her answer to the request. I wanted to honor her for her graduation and the wish her well as she starts college and the future.

Now that she has graduated, she plans to work on a degree in writing. She has also assured us that she will continue to send more Bird Tales for us to enjoy. I look forward to those and will continue praying for her as she enters this new phase of her life.

Emma’s Stories

Some of my favorites: (All of them actually)

Mrs. Patterson’s Parrot

George The Hummingbird

I give up, they are all my favorites. Thank you, Emma, for all these enjoyable Bird Tales.

Mae and the Easter Egg Hunt by Emma Foster

Baby Chick with Easter Eggs

Mae and the Easter Egg Hunt  ~ by Emma Foster

Once there was a chicken named Mae who lived on a small farm in the country. Mae lived on this small farm with many other animals who were her friends, but despite living in such a nice place, Mae was not happy. Every day the farmer would come into the henhouse to collect all of the eggs that the chickens laid, but Mae really wanted to have chicks of her own. One day Mae laid two eggs and promptly decided to hide them behind the henhouse. Mae searched for several good places to hide them, and finally decided to hide them inside the coils of a garden hose and cover the hose with a tarp to keep the eggs warm.

Mae checked her eggs every now and then to make sure they were safe. A couple of days later, however, Mae noticed some of the farmers hiding different colored eggs in several different places around the farm. Puzzled, Mae flapped over to one purple egg to see to whom it the egg might belong. After pecking at it, Mae was startled to see the egg pop open to reveal a small piece of candy.

Variety of Chickens ©motherearthnews

Suddenly a large group of squealing children ran out into the yard. Mae was so frightened she flapped back into the safety of the hen house. She watched as the children began running around, searching for the colored eggs with candy inside them.

Mae eventually realized that each of the children was hunting for the eggs in order to obtain the candy inside each one. Confused at the overall purpose, Mae decided to stay inside the hen house while the children tried to find the rest of the eggs.

Eventually, Mae waddled outside the hen house to check on her eggs, but when she walked behind the hen house she noticed that the tarp had been cast aside and her eggs were gone. Mae began frantically searching for her eggs, but they were nowhere to be found. The only eggs she found were the brightly colored eggs filled with candy. Mae searched all over the farm to find her two eggs, but they had disappeared.

Easter Egg Huning ©Living Vintage

Mae grew very upset because she couldn’t find her eggs, so upset that she barely noticed a group of children gathering around a girl’s Easter basket. Mae started to walk past them, but she heard a small cracking sound, followed by cries from the children. Mae fluttered over to where the children stood and saw her eggs in the basket. One of the eggs was shaking while another was almost completely open. All of a sudden the egg hatched open to reveal a tiny chick. The chick peeped loudly and gazed at its new surroundings. Mae was so happy she started clucking noisily, and the children quickly drew back because they thought she was angry at them for accidentally taking her chicks, thinking they were Easter eggs.

Baby Chicken with colorful easter eggs ©Colorbox

The other chick hatched out of his egg and quickly found its mother like the first chick. Carefully pulling her chicks out of her Easter basket, Mae guided her chicks toward the henhouse, grateful that she had found them and that they were safe. Mae came back from the henhouse, however, after her chicks were safe inside, and showed the children who had watched her chicks hatch where the rest of the Easter eggs were. Mae had done so much searching she was able to find other eggs that the rest of the children hadn’t seen. She decided to show them the eggs as a way of saying thank you, which made the children very happy. From then on Mae looked forward to the Easter egg hunt that came once a year, and every year she told her chicks the story of how they hatched in an Easter basket.

Baby Chickens with colorful easter eggs ©Colorbox


Lee’s Addition:

Emma, thank you for another delightful Bird Tale. Mae is quite an adventurous hen. Trust these added photos help illustrate Mae’s surprise of finding her new chicks in an Easter Basket.

Mae also reminds us that we should not be come overly concerned as Christians.

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:34 KJV)

“And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?” (Luke 12:25 KJV)

*

Check out Emma’s other delightful stories.

*

Pete’s Soccer Game ~ by Emma Foster

Goose with Soccer Ball ©Pixabay (Pete’s Friend)

Pete’s Soccer Game ~ by Emma Foster

Once there was a duck named Pete who was taking his usual morning route around the pond in which he lived. It was Saturday and the weather was cool and breezy. On this morning Pete noticed a large group of people gathered inside a huge patch of soft green grass. Most of the people were children and they all wore matching colored uniforms.

Pete grew curious and decided to flap up and peer through the fence to see what was going on. All around Pete people were cheering as the children ran back and forth with some kind of black and white ball. At one point, Pete watched one of the children kick the black and white ball into a small net and he listened to everyone cheer ecstatically. A man wearing a black and white-striped shirt blew a whistle loudly and the team members who wore the same green uniform as the boy who scored the goal ran back to the bench cheering. Apparently, whatever game they were playing was over and Pete guessed that the green team had won something.

Pete became very interested in this game and how it worked. He decided to stay and watch another game to understand the rules. The more Pete watched from the sidelines the more interesting the game became. Eventually, he realized that the name of the game was soccer, the black and white ball was called a soccer ball, and the players could not touch the ball with their hands.

Upward Soccer 4-5 yr olds Girls

Upward Soccer 4-5 yr olds.

As Pete looked around, carefully taking in every detail, he noticed a shed that stood near the edge of the field. Glancing inside, Pete found an assortment of cones, soccer balls, and uniforms. Pete automatically decided to get into the spirit of things and pulled a green uniform out of a box and put it on. Shoving his head into the shirt, Pete wriggled and pushed his head through one of the arm sleeves. This seemed to work, but he found it difficult. Despite this difficulty, he made sure not to touch the ball with his wings just like the players.

Eventually, Pete waddled out of the shed in his green uniform with the soccer ball. He attempted to kick it again but only succeeded in rolling it onto the middle of the field. Pete flew after it to try to bring the ball back. Suddenly the referee blew his whistle and stopped the game. Embarrassed, Pete kicked the ball as best he could off the field. All of the players, however, were impressed that Pete was able to kick it so well because he was a duck. Since the team with green uniforms was short a player they were able to convince the referee to let Pete play even though his uniform was not quite right. The referee called Pete over, and Pete happily flapped back onto the field to finish the game.

Pete did his best to waddle back and forth and catch up with the other players. Every now and then he was able to kick the ball to another player. The game was tied because each team had scored one goal.

As time began to run out and there were only a few minutes left, one of the players suddenly passed the ball to Pete. Because Pete was close to the other team’s goal he quickly waddled down the field with the ball, trying not to fly.

Once Pete reached the goal he did his best to kick the ball. He kicked the ball as hard as he could and was surprised when the ball sailed over the goalie’s head into the net. The entire crowd cheered for Pete because he had helped the green team win the game. Pete had never been so happy until that moment when he scored the goal, and the team was very grateful that Pete had been there to help them. From then on, Pete watched every single game that the people played, and always wore the green uniform he had found in the shed just in case the green team was short a player.

“… to be ready to every good work,” (Titus 3:1b KJV)

Lee’s Addition:

Another great story from Emma Foster. I felt since our Duck Pete was small, he may have played with our youngest Upper Soccer team.

You might enjoy these videos I found to help show off Emma’s Soccer Duck.

*


More of Emma’s Stories

*

Lily’s New Camera ~ by Emma Foster

Lily’s New Camera ~ by Emma Foster

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) Cockatoo - Brevard Zoo

“Lily” – Galah Cockatoo – Brevard Zoo

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Timothy 6:8 KJV)

In a large zoo in the center of a city, a Galah the zookeepers affectionately called Lily lived contentedly in the parrot/cockatoo exhibit. Lily was very glad to be living in such a nice zoo. One of her favorite activities was meeting all of the people who would pass by the parrot exhibit every day. The crowds that came to the exhibit always noticed Lily because of her bright pink feathers.

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) trying to off juice.

“Lily” curious about camera

One day a man with a large camera stopped by the exhibit to take some pictures of the tropical birds for a magazine. Curious to see what he was holding, Lily flew off the tree branch she was sitting on and landed directly on top of the camera without any fear at all. The man holding the camera and the people beginning to surround him laughed as Lily pecked at the buttons in curiosity. All of a sudden Lily pressed a large button near the top of the camera and took a picture.

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) Hopping on the camera

“Lily” Hopping on the camera

The man holding the camera was surprised at how well the picture turned out and he decided to set the camera down carefully to see what Lily would do next. Lily, however, had no idea what happened when she pressed the button, but she found great enjoyment in pressing it.

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) and Dan

Next, the man picked the camera back up and moved it back and forth as Lily kept pressing the same button to take pictures. Eventually, Lily had created an entire series of photographs that the man and the crowd thought were actually quite good.

Impressed by Lily’s talent, the man decided to take the pictures to the head zookeeper. The man, who called himself Steve Watts, explained that he was a photographer for a local magazine and told the zookeeper that Lily had taken the pictures rather than himself. The zookeeper was happy to hear that Steve was going to put the pictures in the next edition of the magazine. Lily was exited too, even though she had no idea what a magazine was.

"Lily" the Galah and Dan

“Lily” the Galah and Dan (a/k/a Steve Watts)

Steve Watts

A few days later, a crowd even larger than normal gathered around the parrot exhibit to see Lily. Lily was surprised at the amount of people, especially when all of the people clustered around her as the zookeeper brought her out of the exhibit on his arm.

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) Up Close

Lily – Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) Up Close

Most of the people in the crowd were holding up the magazines that they had bought which contained some of the pictures Lily had taken, including one she had taken when she had placed her face in front of the lens. Lily was happy to know that everyone loved her pictures, and looked forward to being able to take more. Fortunately Steve came to the zoo often. He eventually gave some of Lily’s pictures to a local art gallery, which brought increased business to the zoo. People enjoyed coming to the zoo to see Lily. From then on, the parrot exhibit was the busiest section of the zoo. Lily loved the crowds of people, and became one of the most contented bird in the entire zoo.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11 KJV)


Lee’s Addition:

And now you have the birds view of Dan’s Galah encounter. Or, at least, this is Emma’s Version of the incident. Emma, we love it. Thanks you so much for keeping us entertained with your constantly improving tales of birds from their Creator. [Her parents, I, and others have been encouraging her to write about this event.]

See More of Emma’s Stories

See the Galah Encounter Article

Reginald’s Second Christmas

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Reginald’s Second Christmas ~ by Emma Foster

Christmastime was coming in the forest and Reginald had to prepare all of the turkeys for the heavy winter that was about to arrive. Already flakes of snow were falling onto the ground and the wind was cold. Fortunately, snow meant that there wouldn’t be any hunters around. The turkeys hoped that the winter wouldn’t be as bad as before when they lived closer to the hunters. Luckily, they had been able to travel deeper into the forest early before Thanksgiving to get away from all the hunters.

As the snow began to fall harder, Reginald made sure that the forts he and the other turkeys were building were ready for Christmas. They had made the forts out of different sized tree branches to make three walls and a roof to keep them from the cold wind because there was no time to build forts underground with the snow. Reginald soon found out that Oliver needed some help building his fort because Oliver kept knocking his branches over accidentally. Eventually Reginald had to build Oliver’s fort for him because Oliver kept knocking over the branches whenever he tried to help.

To prevent Oliver from doing any more damage, Reginald brought him farther into the woods in order to look for berries and acorns for the winter. The turkeys Reginald brought with him used their army helmets, which they used to protect themselves, to gather up the acorns and berries to take home. Because Oliver had lost his in the river on the way to their new home at Thanksgiving, Reginald let him borrow his own helmet to use.

Turkey in Snow ©SABaking

Turkey in Snow ©SABaking

At one point, the turkeys came to the river they had crossed before that hadn’t yet frozen over in the winter. Reginald watched as Oliver wandered close to the edge, and before Reginald could stop him Oliver dropped the helmet into the river and the helmet drifted away.

Reginald just shook his head and hopped down the river to try to catch his helmet. But the water rushed faster than he thought it would, and soon Reginald was far away from the other turkeys. Reginald finally found his helmet hanging on a stray branch that leaned over the water, but next to it was another helmet, which Reginald guessed was Oliver’s because he had lost it on the way to their new dwelling.

Turkey Track in Snow ©WikiC

Turkey Track in Snow ©WikiC

Reginald took both of the helmets home and made sure that Oliver didn’t see his old one. Eventually the snow began to fall hard so the turkeys had to stay in their forts. But on Christmas morning Reginald built a fire to melt the snow away so the turkeys could exchange their Christmas presents. Most of the presents were made out of branches to make rakes so each of the turkeys could keep the snow out of their forts. But Reginald gave Oliver his old helmet back as a Christmas present. Oliver was so happy he accidentally knocked over his fort again. Reginald just shook his head.

In the end the turkeys were very happy in their new homes, even though there was a lot of snow in that part of the forest. Fortunately, that meant that no hunters were nearby. But even though no hunters were seen Oliver still wore his helmet everywhere, at least until he dropped it in the river again for Reginald to retrieve.

*

“How hast thou helped him that is without power? how savest thou the arm that hath no strength?” (Job 26:2 KJV)

“They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.” (Isaiah 41:6 KJV)


Lee’s Addition:

Emma, that is another great story in the life of Reginald. He is proving himself to be quite a leader and a helper to those in need. Especially, Oliver.

Keep up the great articles. We are all enjoying them as your writing just keeps improving. Lord’s Blessings as you finish up your Senior Year in High School in just a few more months.

*.

More of Emma’s Stories

Reginald The Turkey Commander – Part 3

*

Reginald The Turkey Commander – Part 3

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Reginald the Turkey Commander – Part 3  ~~ By Emma Foster

Once again Thanksgiving was coming and Reginald was keeping watch with the rest of his turkey friends to see if any hunters were nearby his home in the woods. This year Reginald and most of the other turkeys had congregated together to determine whether or not they should migrate to another location deeper in the woods. They had kept themselves hidden for the entire year but Reginald had seen several hunters nearby.

Eventually Reginald and the other turkeys decided that it would be best if they traveled deeper into the forest to keep away from the hunters. Reginald decided that they should all travel south where the forest was thicker and the trees were taller. One by one the turkeys all put on their army helmets to sneak off farther south. But Reginald’s cousin, Oliver, had some difficulty putting on his helmet. He kept putting it on backwards. Reginald simply shook his head and spent a good ten minutes trying to pry the helmet off Oliver’s head before finally it popped off.

Reginald set off with the rest of the turkeys behind him. Oliver was the last out of all the turkeys, convinced that a hunter might come out at any moment. He assumed it would be better if he kept watch behind all of them.

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey heading out

The turkeys trekked all day long. At one point a large old tree tipped over and crashed nearby. Oliver, thinking it was a gunshot, began to run around gobbling hysterically. Reginald had to run after him and try to calm him down so the hunters wouldn’t hear Oliver gobbling loudly. After some time Reginald was able to explain in exasperation to Oliver that the noise had only come from a tree. To keep Oliver from getting into any more trouble, Reginald simply shook his head and placed Oliver next to him for the rest of the trip.

WildTurkey(Meleagrisgallopavo) Flock ©WikiC

WildTurkey(Meleagris gallopavo) Flock ©WikiC

Eventually the turkeys came upon a wide rushing river. Lying across the river was a fallen tree trunk that the turkeys could easily use to cross. In single file the turkeys marched on the log across the river. Reginald and Oliver went last, and when they were both halfway across Oliver slipped and fell into the river.

Oliver continued to gobble loudly and flap his wings as the turkeys ran down the bank after him. One of the turkeys grabbed a stray branch and held it out for him. Oliver grabbed the branch and, with the help of Reginald, was dragged back to shore, soaking wet and without his army helmet. Reginald simply shook his head and marched on.

WildTurkey(Meleagrisgallopavo) Flock ©OhioDNR

WildTurkey(Meleagris gallopavo) Flock ©OhioDNR

Reginald led the other turkeys farther into the forest, not wasting time to let Oliver dry off. Oliver did have time to dry off late that night when Reginald and the other turkeys built a small fire deep in the forest. They were sure to make the fire just big enough so that no hunters would see them.

After a lengthy discussion, the turkeys decided that this part of the forest was just the right place to hide from the hunters that Thanksgiving. Once again Reginald was able to keep the turkeys safe and they were able to celebrate their Thanksgiving without fear of the hunters. Even Oliver was able to celebrate Thanksgiving although he caught a cold from getting wet. As for the hunters, in order to find any turkey at all they had to hunt at the very other end of the forest far away from Reginald and his friends. Once again, the turkey’s journey had been a success.

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) at LPZ

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) Resting by Lee at LPZoo

“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming [even turkeys]; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

“Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” (Isaiah 55:4 KJV)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Praise the Lord For All His Blessings!

**

We have another delightful and interesting story about Reginald, the Commander Turkey from Emma. If you have missed his other adventures, you can read them here:

Reginald, Turkey Commander

Reginald the Turkey Commander on Christmas

More of Emma’s Stories

*

Abigail and the Pumpkin Carving Contest

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) Female-©WikiC

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) Female-©WikiC

Abigail and the Pumpkin Carving Contest ~ by Emma Foster

Once there was a small Robin named Abigail who lived in a tiny nest in a massive oak tree by a pumpkin patch. As autumn steadily approached, more and more red and yellow leaves fell into Abigail’s nest. Every day Abigail pushed them off down into the pumpkin patch on top of the growing pumpkins. Eventually, Abigail noticed that most of the pumpkins had grown really large and the leaves no longer covered them up.

pumpkins-small-nipomo-pumpkin-patch

Several families began coming to the pumpkin patch near Abigail’s nest. The parents picked heavy round pumpkins to take home to carve. Sometimes the owners of the pumpkin patch would come and teach some of the children how to carve a small pumpkin of their very own. One day Abigail decided that she should carve her own pumpkin for Halloween.

Flapping down into the pumpkin patch, Abigail surveyed a small pumpkin left alone in the corner. Carefully watching to see how the kids carved their pumpkins with small knives, Abigail began to carefully peck with her beak to make a small hole. She decided that this would be the eye. Abigail pecked out an identical hole next to it and another hole underneath the two, making the other eye and nose. Lastly, Abigail pecked out a long wide oval to substitute as the mouth. But looking around, she noticed that several children were cutting a hole in the top of their pumpkins and pulling out seeds. Abigail followed them, pecking until she could pull off the top by the stem with her beak. Abigail began pulling out gobs of seeds and pumpkin insides with her beak. This proved to be her favorite part because of how much she loved pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkins Tasty Bird ©Nipomo Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkins Tasty Bird ©Nipomo Pumpkin Patch

After triumphantly finishing her pumpkin, Abigail realized how late it was. Almost everyone had already gone, but one of the owners was nailing a sign up on a telephone pole. Flying over to it, Abigail read the sign. The sign read: PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST THIS SATURDAY.

Abigail grew excited. Today was Monday. If she began practicing, she could carve a pumpkin good enough to enter the contest.

Wind up Bird Pumpkin ©Daneof5683

Wind up Bird Pumpkin ©Daneof5683

For the next several days, Abigail spent most of the day carving pumpkins until pumpkins with all kinds of faces were scattered about the pumpkin patch. When the contest day arrived, Abigail rolled her best-carved pumpkin over to the judges who had gathered near the crowd as the contest began.

Everyone in the crowd was astonished that a bird had entered a carved pumpkin in the contest, but the contest continued as planned. Abigail waited patiently as the judges examined each of the carved pumpkins by each of the participants, and eventually the winner of the contest was called. Abigail did not win the contest, but she had fun anyway. She considered the most fun part of the day was giving away the rest of her carved pumpkins to each of the contestants.

Pumpkin Inspector came by to check out Abrigail's Pumpkins.

Pumpkin Inspector came by to check out Abigail’s Pumpkins.

From then on, Abigail entered the contest every year. She even won a few times. She was sure to carve a pumpkin for each of the contestants in the contest whether she won or not. For Abigail, the best part of carving the pumpkins and giving them away was being able to eat the pumpkin seeds.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) ©Laura Erickson

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) ©Laura Erickson

“I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35 KJV)

(Photos added by Lee. Sorry, but I couldn’t resist these photos. I just imagine Abigail’s Pumpkins had to be rather fancy.)

*

See Emma’s Other Stories

The Best Toolmakers in the World by Emma Foster

New Caledonian Crow (Corvus moneduloides) ©Jolyon Troscianko

The Best Toolmakers in the World

 By Emma Foster

Once there was a group of crows that lived on an island off of eastern Australia. They were New Caledonian Crows and every day one of them would leave their group of large nests in the trees to hunt for food.

On one particular day, one of the crows named Oliver flew to a tree trunk to search for food. Oliver carefully ripped off a piece of a plant to scoop out some worms from the trunk. In order to scrape the worms out, Oliver bit the strip of the plant with his beak to give the side of it a sharp, jagged edge. After pulling out the worms, Oliver grabbed them in his beak and made ready to fly away.

But as Oliver was about to fly back to his nest he spotted two creatures he had never seen before.

New Caledonian Crow (Corvus moneduloides) by Ian Montgomery

New Caledonian Crow (Corvus moneduloides) by Ian Montgomery

They were tall, wearing long white things that looked like tails to Oliver. They were hiding in the bushes as if they were watching him, but because they didn’t appear as if they would attack, Oliver flew back to his nest leaving his tool behind.

The next day, Oliver returned to the same tree trunk and made another tool just like the one had constructed the previous day. But before he dug into the trunk for more worms he noticed the same creatures sitting behind the bushes and watching him make his tool. This time, they had a strange machine.

Glancing down, Oliver realized that the tool he had made yesterday was gone, and he guessed that the creatures must have taken it. Thinking, that all the creatures wanted was whatever he made, Oliver attempted an experiment. After pulling out some worms and placing them in his claws, Oliver flew close to where the creatures sat and dropped his tool. After flying away, Oliver hid and watched the creatures pick it up and examine it. It seemed that they were taking notes on the way he had shaped the tool.

The next day Oliver made another tool after digging out worms then flew back to the bushes. This time he waited in front of the bushes, and the two creatures came out from behind the bushes. Oliver remained where he was.

Eventually the two people cautiously came closer to him. The entire time they used the strange machine Oliver had seen before. Oliver watched patiently, wondering what they were doing. One threw a couple of nuts down and Oliver assumed that this was payment to him for giving them his tool. After a few minutes Oliver flew away with the nuts, still confused.

New Caledonian Crow (Corvus moneduloides) by Ian Montgomery

New Caledonian Crow (Corvus moneduloides) by Ian Montgomery

But what Oliver didn’t know was that the people were two scientists studying New Caledonian Crows in eastern Australia. They had been documenting exactly how Oliver had built his tool out of the plant in order to get his food. And according to studies, besides humans, crows like Oliver are the best tool makers in the world. But Oliver never knew why they were there or where the people had come from. He did, however, fly back to the other crows to explain what he had seen. The other crows appeared to be very impressed at how Oliver had become a tool entrepreneur. From then on, the other crows considered Oliver’s tools to be better than of all the others when it came to catching food.


Lee’s Addition:

“Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:20 KJV)

Emma has given us another Bird Tale, but this one is actually based on some research she did about this interesting bird. She didn’t tell me which articles she had read, but I found several on the internet. One link and a video are below. Some of the articles found on line try to explain this behavior as part of evolution, but as the verse above says, we know where wisdom comes from. The Lord created the birds with enough knowledge to develop this habit. Crows are known as being very intelligent.

Thanks, Emma, for a very good article. Now we know how the birds must feel when they are being “watched” by those scientist. Keep up the great stories.

*

More of Emma’s Stories

Wild New Caledonian crows possess tool-craft talent

This video shows the New Caledonian Crow working with his tool very successfully. His friend joins in the search for worms, but doesn’t quite have the knack of the first one. This was part of a research project of the scientist.

Patty Becomes a Teacher ~ by Emma Foster

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) ©WikiC Female -2 young

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) ©WikiC Female -2 young

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: (Job 12:7 KJV)

Patty Becomes a Teacher ~ by Emma Foster

Once there was a finch named Patty who lived in a large oak tree by an elementary school. She had built her nest up in one of the highest branches of the old oak tree so she could watch all of the students in the elementary school go out and play for recess and come back inside for class.

One day Patty decided that she would teach her own children different subjects just like the teachers in the school. In order to accomplish this, Patty watched the teachers every day through the window just to see what they taught. However, most of the subjects the teachers taught didn’t apply to her. For example, a bird wouldn’t have any reason to learn math.

Patty decided that her children should be taught subjects that birds would learn as they grew up. By now, they both already knew how to fly, but Patty knew her children would have to learn other things as well.

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) Nest ©Animalspot

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) Nest ©Animalspot

Patty began to teach her two children, Maggie and Robert, on Monday because Patty noticed how school always began on Mondays. Her first class was Advanced Nest Building, as Patty called it, which taught Maggie and Robert how to build extravagant nests that could span an entire tree branch. Patty had Maggie and Robert follow her around and explained to them what type of sticks and moss to pick up to make their nests large and sturdy so that they didn’t break apart in the rain.

Birds Learning About Worms ©BirdsOutsideMyWindow

The next class Patty taught Maggie and Robert was what Patty titled Advanced Worm Catching. Maggie and Robert watched their mother sit on top of a tree branch before swooping down to catch a large round worm. Throughout the week, Patty taught them how to catch worms at the right time and place and added that the best time to catch them was after it rained.

The third class Patty taught them was Self Defense, in case something ever attacked the nest. One day, a squirrel crawled up the tree in search of some acorns and Maggie and Robert watched as Patty batted the squirrel away with her wings. They were sure their mother must have done a good job because a teacher from inside the school opened up the window to see what was making all of the racket outside.

Bird Chasing Squirrel ©Houston 2 - Mark Rogerson

Bird Chasing Squirrel ©Houston 2 – Mark Rogerson

Patty was sure to teach Maggie and Robert these subjects every day just like the teachers did with the students at school. When Maggie and Robert grew up they built their own nests just like Patty taught them in Advanced Nest Building. And when Maggie and Robert had children of their own they taught them the same things that Patty had taught long before so that they knew how to catch good worms, build large nests, and keep their young protected.

The teachers at the school never understood where the loud squawking was coming from inside the large oak tree, but Patty knew it was her grandchildren practicing in case a squirrel ever climbed the tree. Patty felt very proud that her children and grandchildren thought that she had done a good job as a teacher.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psalms 32:8 KJV)


Lee’s Addition:

Wow, Emma! Your stories just keep getting better all the time. Lord bless you as journey through your Senior year in High School. May you continue to develop your writing abilities the Lord has given you.

(Photos and verses added by Lee [that is why the pictures don’t exactly match the birds in the story])

*

More of Emma’s great stories. You can see her steady development in her Bird Tales.

Watch for a new page for Emma’s Stories in the left menu soon. We need to honor her with her own page. She has well earned it.

UPDATE: Just Add A New Page For Emma – – Emma’s Stories

*

 

Frank’s Driving Lesson – by Emma Foster

 

Green Broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) by Peter Ericsson

Green Broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) by Peter Ericsson

“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” (Proverbs 29:23 KJV)

Once there was a small bird who lived in the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. His name was Frank. Frank was a Green Broadbill, and originally Frank had lived in Asia before being taken to the zoo. Frank was happy because he was kept in an exhibit with many interesting birds just like himself. Because he had such a bright green color, people would often find him interesting to search for in the exhibit.

Frank would often watch the different people who came to the zoo. Many times people would take pictures of him because they had never seen a bird like him before. Frank enjoyed it when people noticed him. Most of the time he would fly around the exhibit to different high spots for people to capture nice shots of him. Other times Frank would fly really close to the people.

But sometimes Frank became tired of flying around. He thought that maybe there could be another way for him to get about.

One day Frank was sitting on a branch high up in the exhibit so he could see a large part of the zoo. He watched one of the workers carefully drive a golf cart with buckets of food to feed the animals. Frank suddenly had an idea. If he were to drive the golf cart around, people were bound to notice him even more than they did already.

Green Broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) lesser ©©coracii

Green Broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) lesser ©©coracii

Frank watched carefully as the worker stopped the golf cart in front of his exhibit. He waited until after the worker had fed all of the birds and watched as the worker started the golf cart up again and drove away. It seemed simple enough to drive.

The next day Frank waited patiently as the worker came back to feed the birds once again. Once Frank was sure the worker wasn’t looking, he flew over to the golf cart and twisted the keys the way he had seen the worker do the day before. He flew down and pressed the pedal to the right like he had seen. The golf cart shot forward a little bit. Frank began flying back and forth rapidly in order to steer and press the pedal. Unfortunately, he didn’t get very far before the worker noticed the golf cart had begun to drift forward. The worker stopped the cart and shooed Frank out. Frank flew back to his branch. His plan hadn’t worked very well.

Green Broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) ©WikiC

Green Broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) ©WikiC

However the next day Frank woke up to see many different people gathering around him. They were all incredibly excited and were taking multiple pictures of him. A news reporter was filming footage of the entire spectacle explaining to the camera how Frank had been seen driving a golf cart around the zoo. The news reporter explained that someone had taken a picture of Frank driving the cart and had sent it to the local newspaper. The news reporters had discovered it and decided to do a story on it.

After hearing the reporter, Frank understood what was going on and was extremely happy. He was famous.

But eventually the crowds stopped coming. Frank realized, however, that even after the big story the same people would still come to watch him. He decided he was appreciated no matter what. From then on, Frank wouldn’t try to do anything unusual so people would notice him, especially driving golf carts.


Lee’s Addition:

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11 KJV)

Well, Emma, you have done it again. What a delightful story, especially, because Broadbills are some of my most favorite birds. We saw a Green Broadbill in the Wings of Asia at Zoo Miami. He was very friendly, like your Frank. Set right out near us. We weren’t in a golf cart, but maybe he was watching our cameras. Maybe he was thinking that taking pictures would be easier than driving.

Green Broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) by Lee at ZM 2014

Green Broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) by Lee at ZM 2014

*

More of Emma Foster’s Bird Tales

*

Georgina Goes on Summer Vacation – by Emma Foster

Northern Mockingbird Viera Wetlands

Northern Mockingbird Viera Wetlands

Georgina Goes on Summer Vacation

~ by Emma Foster

There once was a Mockingbird named Georgina who lived in a large bustling city in the south. She had built her nest on top of a street light in the middle of a busy street. Every day, Georgina would watch the busy cars drive by as they beeped their horns. The scenery was nice during the winter, which was always mild, but Georgina never liked the city during the summertime. It was too hot and crowded for her.

Every day, since Georgina was a mockingbird, she would try to mimic the sounds that she heard in the city all of the time. But the hotter it became, the more Georgina grew tired of all the noises in the city and the hard work of mimicking them.

It was on one very busy, very hot day that Georgina decided that she needed a vacation. She decided that it would have to be somewhere cool and near the ocean. First she needed a map.

Georgina was flying around one day when she found a quarter that someone had dropped on the sidewalk. Georgina picked it up in her beak and used to it buy a map by the newspaper stand.

When Georgina flew back to her nest above the busy street, she searched the map looking for a place that seemed like a good vacation spot. Eventually she decided that she needed to fly north because it was colder up north no matter what time of the year.

Georgina left the busy city early one morning to fly north. She decided that she would come back in a few weeks when it was sure to not be as hot. For now, it was cool because it was early in the morning.

Georgina guessed that if she followed the map she would be able to travel farther up north in the direction she wanted to fly. She would stop when it became cold enough.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) At Sunset Beach NC ©WikiC

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) At Sunset Beach NC ©WikiC

After a few days, the weather was still hot, but it was nice because Georgina was flying close to a beach. Georgina settled on top of a tall palm tree and made her nest out of broken sticks and twigs. She watched the waves ripple back and forth. Seagulls flew in all directions and the palm trees swayed. Georgina liked the peace and quiet. This was much better than the city.

But after a while, Georgina began to become uncomfortable. She had gone on vacation to get away from the noises of the city, but the ocean was pretty noisy too. Georgina mimicked a lot of the noises of the beach, but she eventually began to get tired of it. It was really hot near the beach as well. She didn’t remember mockingbirds ever going to the beach, and the heat was probably why. Georgina began to miss the city and all of its noises.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) In Flight ©Flickr Tom Wicker

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) In Flight ©Flickr Tom Wicker

Georgina decided it was time to fly back to the city. As she began traveling back, the weather didn’t seem as hot as she remembered it to be. When she flew back to her nest on top of the street light, the weather already felt cooler in the city.

Georgina decided she would never go back to the beach. She would always be content where she was. Even if the summer was a little uncomfortable in the city with all the people, Georgina would stay all year round. And the next time she decided to travel, Georgina would buy a travel magazine.

THE END


Lee’s Addition:

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11 KJV)

Great story, Emma. Many times humans act like Georgina and become discouraged with how things are. They think like the cattle. They think the “grass is greener on the other side.” Maybe a nest in a tree rather than on a street light. Keep up the great stories. We are all enjoying them.

See more of Emma’s stories along with some of our other guest writers.

*