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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)

TITLE: Lessons from a Baby Bird
By Allison Egley


It was spring, and the end of the school year was fast approaching. Mrs. Collins sat at her desk, wishing it would come sooner. Mrs. Collins was in her 5th year of teaching at the local Christian school and felt that the year had been a waste. Her 20 2nd graders didn’t seem to be understanding any of the new concepts she was teaching them. Worst of all, none of them seemed to have matured spiritually either. Some of her students, she was sure, had already trusted Christ as their savior. However, some seemed farther from accepting the truth than they did at the beginning of the year.

It was close to Easter, and Mrs. Collins was telling the children the Easter story and about how the children needed to trust in Jesus Christ, but it felt more like an obligation than an opportunity to affect a child’s life. The children were restless and not listening to a word Mrs. Collins was saying. Finally, Mrs. Collins decided to take the students outside.

Once outside, she told the students to look for signs of new life. At first, the students just talked to each other, but soon, you could hear the excitement in their voices as they discovered the beauty of the warm spring day.

“Look!” cried Chris. “I found a worm under this rock!” All the boys ran over to look at this new discovery.

“Oh! It’s a baby bird!” Dianne said. All around her, Mrs. Collins’ students were shouting in delight as they found the next creature under a rock or behind a bush. Finally, Mrs. Collins told the class to go back inside, amid the disappointed sighs.

When they got back to the classroom, Mrs. Collins felt compelled once again to explain why the children needed to trust in Christ as their savior.

“When we went outside, all of you found wonderful examples of new life.” Mrs. Collins began. “When we trust in Jesus Christ to be our savior, we become a new creation. The old has gone away and a new life begins.”

“But why should we trust in Jesus?” little Steven asked. Leave it to Steven to be the class skeptic. Any other day, Mrs. Collins would have punished him for trying to arouse the class. But Mrs. Collins felt this was different from most of his outbursts.

Before Mrs. Collins could answer, one of her star students, Rachel said “Well, it’s kind of like when a baby bird tries to fly for the first time. The baby bird has seen it’s mother fly to the nest and come back, but he doesn’t know how. He doesn’t think he can do it. But he has to trust his mom when she tells him to leave the nest. He has to trust his mom that his wings will work. When he finally puts his trust in his wings, that little bird has a whole new life ahead of him…. Right Mrs. Collins?”

“That’s exactly right Rachel,” Mrs. Collins said, fighting back tears. “I couldn’t have said it better myself.”

“Wow.” Steven exclaimed. Mrs. Collins looked at Steven and the rest of the class. All eyes were focused on her. “Mrs. Collins?”

“Yes, Steven?”

“Can you help me find my wings? I want to fly.”

Holding back the tears, Mrs. Collins embraced Steven. “Yes, Steven. I’ll help you find your wings.”

“And that, my little ones, is how I first learned that Jesus cared about me. I’ll always remember Mrs. Collins, because she took the time to explain the love of Jesus to me. I don’t think I’d be the same today if it weren’t for her.” Steve sighed. “Ok kids. Go out and find those Easter eggs!”

The children excitedly ran away with their Easter baskets. Then Steve felt a tug on the end of his sweater.


He knelt down to look his youngest granddaughter in the eyes.

“Yes, Beth?”

“I want to learn to fly, just like you.”

Steve let the tears flow as he knelt and led Bethany to Christ on that warm spring day. A day set aside to remember what the Lord did for us nearly 2000 years ago.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Gini Branch12/05/05
Good work. I missed the transition and had to reread that but otherwise a very appealing piece.
James Clem 12/06/05
Yeah, the transition was tough. Some kind of indicator that the scene has changed would be helpful. You don't know who is talking until midway through the paragraph. Otherwise enjoyed the story and loved the ending. Oh and Rachel is a very articulate 7-year old.
Jan Ackerson 12/07/05
This just doesn't "feel" realistic to me--the coincidence of finding all the new life, the sudden change in the students, the little girl's wisdom beyond her years...consider a re-write, with just one child learning the same lesson.

It's a beautiful story, and children do respond well to object lessons. Just needs some re-thinking, I believe.
Nina Phillips12/07/05
I agree the transition from Mrs.Collins teaching class to Steven teaching his class was a little rough. I think maybe if if you had mentioned that it was Steven speaking before he said, "Now little ones--"
It may have helped somewhat. This is a very cute story--and it would have been a little more believe able to me if the teacher had mentioned the bird's leaving the nest while they were outside. This was a very nice story, with a good message. A re-thinking would "make it fly." (LOL) God bless ya, littlelight
Marilyn Schnepp 12/09/05
The Title intrigued me, and so I stopped by to read. I had to go back and begin again due to the change of era, place and time - but, it was a sweet story; and could be made into a Great story with some editing and re-writing. Thanks for sharing, God Bless!
Val Clark12/11/05
I'm glad you entered, Allison! That's the only way to learn. It is a sweet story and the weary teacher is very well characterised. Bravo. The problem is the point of view. If it's written from Steve's POV looking back, he would not be able to see into her heart or know her thoughts and feelings. I can see how you tried to get the distance by constantly referring to her a Mrs Collins. Don't be discouraged, mastering POV and transitions are part of the journey to writing that you will be satisfied with! Yeggy
Shelley Snyder12/11/05
With some reworking, as mentioned by the others, I think you have a great story. I found that you mentioned "Mrs. Collins" a little too often and could instead refer to her in other ways such as using "she", "the teacher", etc. Keep up the good work, with a little editing, I think this story will be fabulous.