Ted and Red – By Emma Foster

House Finch male ©Glenn Bartley-Wichita StateU

Ted and Red

by Emma Foster

Once there were two finches named Ted and Red who were brothers. They lived in two trees that had been planted next to each other. Their trees were in a courtyard by a museum, which provided them with plenty of shade because Florida was almost always hot. Both birds had many friends in the courtyard.

The birds spent most of their time flying around the beaches and hectic streets searching for food or just having fun watching the different tourists around the coast. Many times, people on the dock would feed them breadcrumbs.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

But as summer came, the days grew hotter and longer, and there were many rainy days. Ted and Red stayed in their nests most of the time under the protection of their large shady trees. Their friends stayed in their little homes too: the fish remained comfortable in their pond, the two cranes who lived nearby nestled in their nests in the bushes, and the black snake stayed in his small hole in the grass.

House Finch Resting

One day when there wasn’t much rain, Red went out to search for some food. While he was gone, the clouds grew black, and Red knew he needed to hurry home. However, when he reached the courtyard, the rain poured down harder, and Red couldn’t see very well. He flew toward a light that he saw up ahead and accidentally flew into the museum, sliding across the slippery floor. Red knocked against a small object, sending it crashing to the ground. An alarm went off somewhere, and Red quickly flew back outside and into his nest, where he told Ted what had happened. The rain slowly lessened, and the alarm stopped. Several museum employees had to clean up the mess. Red felt terrible for breaking the vase, but Ted and their friends told him it was an accident and it wasn’t his fault.

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) by Raymond Barlow

Just then, another alarm went off, and someone ran out of one of the entrances, holding a large vase. Ted, Red, and their friends thought fast. The fish quickly pointed to the machine that visitors inserted quarters into to obtain fish food to throw to the fish. Ted and Red flew against it and beat on it with their feet as hard as they could, while the two cranes beat their wings against it. The black snake followed behind the man in case he turned around, hoping that the man would be too scared to step over him. The fish food spilled across the walkway, and the man stealing the vase fell over, while the security guards ran after him and caught him. The security guards were afraid to step over the black snake too. Ted and Red flew back into their nests. Red felt much better afterwards, knowing that he made up for his earlier mistake.

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) by Ian

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) by Ian

Ted and Red spent the rest of their summer with their friends in the courtyard. From then on, whenever it rained Ted and Red were careful to stay in their comfortable nests. To their friends, they were now considered honorary security guards.

What an interesting story, Emma. I trust our readers enjoy it as much as I do. The teamwork of this mixture of critters reminds us of how, as Christians, we work together, even though we have different gifts. The seems to blend us together to accomplish His Will.

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 ESV)

See More of Emma’s Stories

Susie And The Water-skiing Contest

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Susie And The Water-skiing Contest

~ by Emma Foster

High in North America, as summer was coming, there lived a flock of Canadian geese. They all lived together by a large lake. One of the Canadian geese was named Susie, and she loved to swim in the water every day.

On a particularly hot day, Susie was out on the water when she spotted a group of people in a boat. One person was driving the boat very quickly around the lake. Another person was holding onto a rope and riding along the water on a board of some kind.

Susie was very interested in this new sport she had discovered. She decided to call all of the geese together to watch the people.

When all of the geese had watched the people for a few minutes, they grew very excited. They decided to play the same game too, only they would have to build everything from scratch.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) On Shed ©Flickr Darron Birgwnheler

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) On Shed ©Flickr Darron Birgwnheler

In an old shed in the backyard of one of the houses by the lake, Susie and the other geese found a long, thin piece of wood, an old rope, a canoe covered in cobwebs, and a few fishhooks. The geese shoved a hook into the back side of the boat and into the piece of wood, and tied the rope to both hooks. One goose sat down in the boat to direct it, four more geese stood behind the canoe to cast it off and push along in the water, and Susie stood on the piece of wood, bending down to hold the rope in her beak in case the hook came off. Another goose stood in the back of the boat to make sure that the hook in the boat did not come out either.

After taking off, the four geese started flying so that Susie was dragged behind them on the piece of wood. It took several attempts before Susie could stay on the board, but by the end of the day she was able to do a few tricks.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) ©WikiC

The Four Canadian Geese and two friends that joined them. ©WikiC

The next day, one of the geese came back to announce he had seen a flyer for a water skiing contest at the end of the week at that very pond. Susie immediately decided that she and the other geese should enter. It was only Tuesday, so they had plenty of time to practice. Susie wanted to make sure she could pull off all of the tricks she had seen the people do when they were on the lake.

By that Friday, Susie and all of the other geese had had enough practice so that they were able to accomplish all of the tricks. The geese even invented some of their own.

On that Saturday Susie, the geese, and lots of different people met on the lake and the contest began. A few people went before Susie and the other geese. They were really good and were able to perform all kinds of tricks. Finally, it was Susie’s turn. She jumped onto the piece of wood while the other geese got to their positions.

"They Were Off" - Canada Goose ©Pixabay

“They Were Off” – Canada Goose ©Pixabay

Then they were off! Susie did her best to perform all of the tricks she had practiced. This time, she tried to jump higher in the air when she performed one. One of the tricks was when Susie did a flip in the air after jumping the ramp and flying for about ten feet. Once Susie had completed her routine, she skidded onto the grass sticking the landing perfectly. Everyone cheered.

At the end of the contest, a blue ribbon was awarded to Susie and the geese. From then on, Susie entered the contest every year, and she always kept the blue ribbon pinned to the back of the shed where they had found the piece of wood, hooks, rope, and canoe.

Lee’s Addition:

Thanks, Emma, for another great bird tale. You just keep improving and each one becomes your best. This is definitely one of “your best.”

The teamwork and ingenuity by that group of geese reminds me of these verses:

Now the company of believers was of one heart and soul, and not one of them claimed that anything which he possessed was [exclusively] his own, but everything they had was in common and for the use of all. (Acts 4:32 AMP)

O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. (Psalms 34:3 KJV)

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; (Acts 2:44 KJV)


Emma Foster’s Other Tales

Guest Authors

Bird Tales

Canada Goose – Wikipedia

ABC’s of the Gospel



Plus – Elephants Helping A Calf Out of a Waterhole

Baby Elephant at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

Baby Elephant at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

Focusing On Wildlife.com shared this video of Elephants Helping A Calf Out of a Waterhole.

It is very touching and neat to see them all work together to get the little one out.



As these elephants helped the youngster, may we remember these verse to encourage us:

For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. (Psalms 72:12 KJV)

Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. (Psalms 30:10 KJV)

Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. (Psalms 54:4 KJV)

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper,…(Hebrews 13:6a KJV)


Pacific Golden Plover’s Teamwork

Pacific Golden Plover

Pacific Golden Plover

James J. S. Johnson

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost [psêphizei tôn dapanên], whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish’.”  (Luke 14:28-30)

Imagine how inconvenient it would be for a bird to emigrate from Alaska, to Hawaii, only to run out of fuel en route, fall out of the sky from exhaustion, only to drown in the Pacific Ocean, somewhere north of Hawaii.  What a shame that would be!  And yet the Golden Plover’s pre-winter migratory mission, each year, would seem doomed from the start for that very reason – yet the little sandpiper-like migrant survives the journey on less fuel than seems possible.  How do they do it?

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) by Ian

“The average weight of the golden plover before it leaves Alaska to fly to Hawaii is 200 grams.  It is a small bird about the size of a pigeon.  It is also a bird that does not swim!  Researchers have concluded that 70 grams of its 200 grams is burnable energy. The rate at which the bird burns fuel when flying is about one gram per hour.  This means right at 70 hours of flight is possible. Now we have a potentially disastrous situation.  The flight to Hawaii takes 88 hours of  continuous, non-stop flight!  The little bird must fly for 3 days and 4 nights without food or rest or stopping at all. Impossible! How does it do this?  The birds fly in a formation that breaks the wind, taking [~1/4] less energy to fly.  New leaders are constantly rotating in and out. Formation flight saves energy and when the birds arrive in Hawaii, they have as much as 6 grams of fuel left over.  God must have built the reserve fuel supply into the plover in case of a strong head wind along the way.   Scientists are not certain how the plovers navigate from Alaska to Hawaii and back, since there is no land under their flight path.   Utilization of earth’s magnetic field seems to be the best solution at this point.  Some have suggested that they use the sun and stars.  And how do the young birds find their way to Hawaii without an experienced adult guide, weeks after their parents have already flown back to Hawaii?  A one degree mistake in navigation over the more than 4,000 kilometer flight and the birds miss Hawaii completely!  But they never miss!”

[Quoting Dr. Jobe Martin, The Evolution of a Creationist, rev. ed. (Rockwall, TX: Biblical Discipleship Publishers, 2004), page 203, emphasis added.]

Pacific Golden Plover Map

That’s amazing!  Due to their instinctive behavior to “take turns” as “point man”, the migrating plovers use only ¾ of the food energy they would need to use if flying solo.  Birds display God’s providential programming in their anatomies and physiologies!  Why is that?  Because God carefully planned them before He created their original ancestors on Day 5 of Creation Week (Genesis 1:21).  God planned their genetics, their bio-diversity potentials and limits, their developmental biologies, and all of the bio-engineering needed to accomplish all the contingent details, —  and God has been actively participating in and regulating their lives and world ever since.

As humans we often need to plan out projects before we undertake them; we need to “count the cost” before embarking on an expensive and risky undertaking.  Yet God has already done this for the Pacific Golden Plover, to ensure its successful migrations twice a year.   And notice how God designed teamwork to be part of His plan – and that teamwork involves bearing one another’s burdens.

Bear  ye  one  another’s  burdens,  and  so fulfil  the  law  of  Christ.        (Galatians 6:2)

In sum, collaborating with teammates is usually a good idea, — so long as your colleagues are aimed at the same goal as you (see Amos 3:3.)

Dr. James J. S. Johnson has served as a lecturer (on ecology, geography, and history of Alaska) aboard 4 cruise ships visiting Alaska and the Inside Passage (Norwegian Wind, Norwegian Sky, Radiance of the Seas, and Rhapsody of the Seas).  During those trips he tried valiantly to (and did) eat lots of finfish, such as Pacific salmon and halibut, and shellfish, such as Dungeness crabs – but no Golden Plover.


I asked Dr. Jim to post this article because of the devotional emphasis he used. We have used the Plover before, see Incredible Pacific Golden Plover, which is all about the science and creation aspect of this remarkable Plover. Just wanted to review for you an amazing bird our Creator has created for us to learn about and from.


Incredible Pacific Golden Plover

Charadriidae – Plovers

Wordless Birds