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The Cowbird, The Hummingbird and The Eagle

Updated on March 24, 2012

Deep within the forest green

where various creatures dwell

three warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrae

had a tale to tell.

This trio consisted of passerines

with a special vocal apparatus

a cowbird, hummingbird and eagle

each with their own unique status.

Possibly hatched around the same time

they were truly a sight to see

classified as "birds" with wings and beaks

they were as different as could be.

FIRST was the lazy cowbird

who could care less about achievement or fame,

because she ate ticks off the backs of cows,

this is how she obtained her name.

This six-inch long shiftless parasite

had only one thing on her mind

to lay her eggs in any other

nest that she could find.

Innocent birds would hatch those eggs,

amazed when they would see

this stranger among her babies

and as selfish as could be.

Taking food from siblings,

even knocking them out of their nest!

The baby cowbird ruled the roost

and became an unwelcome guest.

SECOND was the tiny hummingbird,

two inches long, the size of a thumb,

wing-beat seventy-five times a second,

so powerful, they would hum.

Metallic green, an irridescent jewel was she,

remained busy for several hours,

long, thin bill with projected tongue,

sucking nectar from red flowers.

During the breeding season,

this wee bird was ready to fight,

she fearlessly attacked invaders

that came near her nesting site.

THIRD was the courageous eagle,

about forty inches long,

with a wing span of six to eight feet

and claws that were very strong.

In flight, his tail spread like a fan

as he gazed with binocular eyes,

soaring with flattened wings

against unlimited skies.

One day they ran into each other,

with conversation among the three,

"Tell me, cowbird," queried the eagle,

"what do you want to be?"

Yawning, she replied,

"I only want a free ride,

if I had my druthers,

live at the expense of others,

I'm content to eat flies

and let others raise my breed

I have no desire

to assist those in need."

"How about you, hummingbird?"

asked he

"I'm busy,"

simply said she.

Gazing at the two below

majestic against the sky,

confident, strong, with piercing eyes,

he replied as he bid "good-bye,"

"Those who have a purpose

are the ones who will excel,

you, alone, can make your life

a heaven or a hell."

The eagle went on to remain a great bird,

to this day, unaware of his name,

displayed as an emblem of the United States,

a symbol of power and fame.

The smallest bird in the world,

an emerald in flight,

unique with her talents,

a significant delight,

achieving her purpose,

never satisfied,

she decorates gardens

far and wide.

While the cowbird continues to loiter

never bothering to work or to play

a nuisance to all whose path she crosses

wasting her life away.

So, which one of these birds

would you like to be?

which one are you,

out of the three?

Small can be great

or great can be small

size doesn't really

matter at all.

Content where you are

but continuing to strive

is the secret of

enjoying being alive.

You can soar like an eagle

and lay a foundation

who knows, what you achieve

could affect a whole nation?

Or be little, but great

like the hummingbird,

adding joy to one's life

by a smile or a word.

But don't be like the cowbird

who only eats flies!

One never knows what can be done

unless that person tries.

Blessings, Sparklea :)

Comments

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    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      5 years ago from Upstate New York

      THANK YOU JODAH! I entered this poem in a contest at my workplace quite some time ago, so decided to share it on the hubs. I think it won second place. I don't write a lot of poetry, but for some reason, these words came to me. I so appreciate your taking time to read it and to comment. The eagle is so powerful and the most respected of birds. I love the eagle...Thank you for your vote too...God bless you real good, Sparklea :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Spaklea. I have seen your comments of a couple of my friends hubs, so decided to come check your hubs. I love this poem. I particularly love eagles and can imagine myself soaring as one up high and closest to God. Hummingbirds are amazing also, imagine the power in those wings that never stop. A cowbird must be like a cuckoo that lays it's eggs in the nests of others. It is not the most pleasant of birds but it is still one of God's creatures and it does have a purpose by aiding the cows to be rid of annoying flies and ticks. There are people among us with characteristics of each. Great message. I choose the eagle. Voted up.

    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      6 years ago from Upstate New York

      OH, WOW, THANK YOU FROM MY HEART, EPIGRAMMAN!

      There's another poem I wrote quite awhile ago that I want to post on HP if the clock will stop winning the race!

      I am so touched, and honored, you are posting it on your FB page!

      I entered the above poem in a contest at work years ago, and it won 2nd place.

      I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cats! I think it is common knowledge on HP that my husband and I have four who own us.

      Ontario Canada is so beautiful...I have seen many pictures. One of my favorite authors, Ann VosKamp lives in Canada.

      Thank you for your beautiful comments, so much appreciated and you have a wonderful day. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      6 years ago

      Good morning from Colin and his cat crew Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel at lake erie time ontario canada 10:01am with first cup of coffee, some nice J.S. Bach piano music playing and a glorious sunny day over the lake. I love the names of your beloved cats and yes there is a definite

      'sparkle' to the way you write. In fact , lol, I thought I was reading my 'poetic' twin here, lol, and what a fabulous writer and storyteller you are and to tell it all through your gift of poetic prose. Hubbravo from the epi-man and it's so very nice to meet you.

      I am sending to you my warm sincere wishes and I will post your most awesome poetic fable to my FB page for all to see and read.

    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Deborah thank you for re-visiting this hub, means so very much! I entered this in a contest at my work place years ago. It won second place...this was back in the 1990's!

      Faith Reaper and I follow each other. SO thankful for my friends on HubPages, you being one of them. God bless you real good Deborah. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      7 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I know I have read this before but I wanted to say how I love your poem about life and your writing is simply beautiful.. I can feel the word of God flowing though you. I feel love..

      God Bless you my spiritually friend

      Have you read any of Faith Reaper's work? she would love you

      sharing'

      Debbie

    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      kittythedreamer: THANK YOU so much for taking time to read my poem and for commenting, and voting. I so much appreciate it. I really don't write much poetry, but decided to share this one, hoping readers would be inspired by the message. Blessings, and THANK YOU AGAIN! Sparklea :)

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Kitty Fields 

      7 years ago from Summerland

      Clever, Sparklea! I loved it. Voted up and awesome.

    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Shimmering Dawn: Thank you for reading my poem and for your feedback. Eagles are so very awesome! I so appreciate your taking time to comment. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • shimmering Dawn profile image

      Dawn 

      7 years ago

      There is so much wisdom in this narrative of yours. The soaring eagles does not flap too much but uses the air currents to rise high. It build its nest high in the mountain tops. I guess the Eagles is my kind of bird! Thank you for sharing these pearls of wisdom!

    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Deborah, THANK YOU for your thoughts and comments, so very much appreciated! Yes, I would love to be the eagle, but am SO fascinated with hummingbirds too. I have a picture that was in our newspaper of a hummingbird in her nest that she built on a CLOTHESPIN on a homeowners line. PRECIOUS! They are the most fascinating creatures. Blessings always, Sparklea :)

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      7 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      This is precious. I want to be the eagle.. lol.. I want to soar.. but I do like the hummingbird too... love your hub your poem.. makes my heart swell

      voted up

      debbie

    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Capedium: Thank you for reading my poem. I don't write alot of poetry, but I have a few that I wish to share on HubPages, and I so appreciate your taking the time to read this one. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Drtruthman profile image

      Drtruthman 

      7 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      A great story done with poetic magic and enlightenment. The message came across well, while yet demonstrating the beauty and art of your poetic ability. Great job. I voted UP all across. Lee

    • badegg profile image

      Del Banks 

      7 years ago from Southern Blue Ridge Mountains

      What a great message that young and old alike can relate to! Great work!

    • Capedium profile image

      Ov Overo 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      You are a perfect poet!.. Message was well convey!. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      glmclendon: Your comments mean so much, and THANK YOU. It is my hope to uplift and encourage through writing, and feedback is so important. Thanks again, blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Larry, thank you for visiting and commenting on this hub, you know how much it means to me! You are a constant source of encouragement in my life. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      teaches12345: Thank you for your comment on this poem. I am hoping this message will show people that big and small make no difference, that we are all here for a reason, we just have to search, pray and be thankful for lessons we learn on life's journey. I so appreciate your taking time to read it. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Michelle, THANK YOU for your vote and for taking time to read this. So much appreciated! It is my hope this poem sends out a positive message to all who read it.

      Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • Sparklea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sparklea 

      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      billybuc: Thank you from my heart for your encouragement, so very much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this hub, means the world to me. Blessings, Sparklea

    • glmclendon profile image

      glmclendon 

      7 years ago

      That was a good story.It also had a good lesson for life in it. The more you write the better you get. Keep up the good work and we will continue to read these works of art.

      Stay Well

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 

      7 years ago

      As always an excellent offering with a uniqueness that is all your own. An excellent message from which many will benefit.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      I was fascinated with the story and how the birds looked at thier world differently. I love the message and Yes, we would all love to soar like eagles but are thankful when the small things we do make a difference. Outstanding work! Voted up.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      7 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Loved this hub. Trying is important, it is something we should do. Not trying is worth nothing. Was going to say "Wonderful message" but biiybuc got to it before I did. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a wonderful message for all to read; hopefully many have and will. "Small can be great and great can be small"....wonderful lines throughout. I applaud your outlook on life and I will return soon to applaud you again.

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