Hours and days of preparation spent
lovingly building her nest. Twigs
and grass skillfully woven with
feathers and fur, a place
of warmth and safety, a place
to hold her precious cargo.
Hours of pain and sweet satisfaction
as she gives birth to two
perfect little eggs
creamy white, lightly speckled. Her
mothering instincts usurp all others,
the overwhelming need to
care for and protect.
Days of sacrifice and hunger,
keep them safe,
keep them warm. Afraid to
leave these tiny eggs
for even a second,
so helpless, so vulnerable to
thieves and vandals
wanting an easy meal, the use
of a nest they did not build.
Her sacrifice finally rewarded
by movement! A tiny crack appears!
her chicks emerge
still helpless, still vulnerable
must guard them,
must protect them.
Days consumed with feeding their
ravenous hunger. Tiny mouths agape
always wanting more. Still
needing her warmth at night,
her fearlessness against
all foes and dangers
large and small. Watching as their
tiny bodies become plump,
full of soft baby feathers.
Days of teaching begin with
their first encounter
with the world. Ever so gently
she nudges them to
take their first steps. Will
their wings hold them aloft, or
will they plummet to earth,
easy prey for predators?
Guiding and leading she shows
them where to find food. Teaches them
how to recognize danger. Who is
a friend, who is an enemy.
Too soon time passes. The day
has come to let them go. Is this
handsome bird of brightly colored plumes
her son? Look how he moves across
the sky, so proud and strong, ready
now to claim he own territory,
pursue his own mate. And her daughter,
plain and subdued, an exact image of her mother,
ready to start a family of her own.
For a few precious moments in time
they were given into her care. Has
she done her job well? Will they
succeed? Are they ready
to meet the challenges of life? Ready
for the joys and triumphs,
the sacrifices and pain? She can
only hope and pray, as she watches them
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