by Delia Messier
This summer our little black hen hatched five very strange babies—five yellow baby ducks! She loved them instantly and quickly started her job of teaching them how to be good chickens—clucking, then scratching, showing them what to do to find food. She clucked and scratched tirelessly, hoping they would follow her example. She did so day after day with no success! Finally, having become desperate to get their attention, she turned to a more drastic approach: She flipped them over first and then clucked and scratched, but there was still no response. Bad news! Not only were her loved babies very homely, their elevator didn’t go all the way to the top. And what was it with the water anyway?
But she did not give up and did “not throw in the towel.” Persistency prevailed, and finally there was success! The babies responded to her clucking. Holding a nice fat worm in her beak, they gathered around her, jumping up, hoping to be the recipient of this nice juicy morsel. My husband and I could see her satisfaction as she held her neck and head up high, and I am sure if she had lips we would probably have seen a smile.
All summer long, she followed her babies around the yard, keeping them warm when it was cold and nervously standing by, watching them when they splashed in the creek. Loving them was a given. She was willing to die for them and defending them when the neighbor’s dog was attacking them. Our little black hen has a good heart, a soft heart, no matter what the babies’ shape, size, color or intelligence. There was no rejection, no judging, no condemning, no envy, but only her “true love” of accepting, giving and serving.
Unknown to this little black hen with her soft heart, like a miracle, these strange babies will attain their great destiny of one day becoming the most beautiful big white pecan ducks they were created to be! But my destiny will be of course so much more awesome if I use and live with the “chicken’s” soft “heart of flesh” which our great God has given me.