*The Genius* 4/19/02
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By Al Batt
My favorite bird in the whole wide world is the Black-capped
Chickadee. He is like the Dale Carnegie or the Zig Ziglar of
the avian world. The chickadee has a positive attitude. Just
like Mr. Carnegie, the chickadee makes friends and influences
people. This tiny bird's "chick-a-dee-dee" call is among the
best motivational speeches I have ever heard. It begins singing
"Spring's here" when our long winter's back is about to break.
It is amazing the power housed in my feathered friend. The
chickadee sings and I feel wonderful. My admiration for the
chickadee has been a lifelong one. When I was a boy, a
teacher told me that chickadees could be fed by hand. Such
information was instant inspiration for me. I immediately
came up with a plan. We had a number of birdfeeders
hanging from the various lilac bushes in our yard. I stacked
a couple of straw bales near one of the feeder laden lilacs.
I procured a pitchfork with a broken handle and impaled the
tines into one of the straw bales so that it protruded from
the straw at an angle perpendicular to the ground. On the
end of this pitchfork handle, I secured a Handy Andy work
glove with baling twine. We didn't have any duct tape on
the farm, but we had an abundance of baling twine. The
yellow glove was situated like a man's hand asking for a
handout. Into this glove, I placed some of the chickadee's
favorite food-black oil sunflower seeds.
This job done, I retreated to the kitchen of our old farmhouse
and waited. I took up sentry duty by the window over our
kitchen sink. I didn't have to wait long. The chickadees are
a curious and a hungry bunch-just like my in-laws. The
chickadees were the first to discover this new odd feeder.
They visited often and regularly. Blue Jays and nuthatches
also became regular customers. For two weeks I kept the
gloved feeder filled. Then and only then was it time for my
big experiment. I would go outside and remove the straw
bales. Then I would put the yellow Handy Andy glove on
my grimy little hand. I would stand as still as possible,
perfecting the ability that most men have of being able to
do things without the necessity of having to think about
anything. This comes in handy when our wives ask us
what we are thinking about and we are truthfully able to
reply, "Nothing." I would stand for as long as it took. Sooner
or later, the chickadees would come to feed from my gloved
hand. They would come one at a time according to a
determined pecking order. Occasionally, even a nuthatch
would stop by for a snack. The chickadees were great to
My mother would have me perform my little trick whenever
relatives would come by for a visit. I'd stand outside until
the chickadees arrived while my relatives would gather
around the kitchen window and watch in amazement. My
mother and my relatives were in agreement -- I was a genius.
That was the general consensus. That is, until my next
report card arrived.
Write Al and let him know your thoughts on his story!
Al Batt lives on a farm near Hartland,
Minnesota. Besides being a husband to Gail,
father and grandfather; Al is a newspaper
columnist, a radio and TV personality, a
storyteller, a tour leader and an avid birder.
Be sure to check out the interview we did with Al
in case you missed it:
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Thank you for your "site". I have been on your email list for a few months now, thanks to a friend who "passed it on". Your daily inspirations have touched my heart time and time again. Last night, I had an experience that I believe will touch your heart, as well.
My 2-yr-old son, Harrison, and I were walking from the children's department at church to the choir room. We had just climbed the stairs and were walking, hand in hand, across the large, empty foyer.
Harrison looked all around ~ and then looked up. As though looking in His face, he said, "Hi, Jesus! Hi, Jesus!"
I smiled and asked rhetorically, "Are you saying "hi" to Jesus?"
Then he abruptly stopped, dropped my hand and folded his, and said, "Pray!"
Following his lead, I stopped, and asked, "Do you want to pray?"
So I folded my hands and prompted, "Dear Jesus..."
Needing no prompting, Harrison simply prayed, "Jesus, I wuv you... I wuv you, Jesus!"
Now that's what I call WORSHIP!
Thought For The Day:
"A great leader never sets himself above his followers except in
carrying responsibilities." --Jules Ormont
Verse for the Day:
"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross!"
Kid's Thought For The Day:
"A kid who can't catch the ball says his glove doesn't fit right."
Parent's Thought For The Day
"Parents are not interested in justice, they are interested in quiet."
Coach's Thought For The Day
"You must do the things you think you cannot do."
Writer's Thought For The Day:
"It's important that a novel be approached with some urgency. Spend too long on it, or have great gaps between writing sessions, and the unity of the work tends to be lost." --Anthony Burgess
Deep Thought For The Day:
"I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap."
/_/\/\ MICHAEL T. POWERS
\_\ / HeartTouchers@aol.com
/_/ \ "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no
\_\/\ \ longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I
\_\/ live in the body I live for the Son of God, who
loved me and gave Himself for me."
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