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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sweet to the Taste (08/23/12)

TITLE: I Wonder
By Patsy Hallum


There must have thirty hummingbirds darting around in my yard, from feeder to tree, tree to feeder. Their flight so fast I could hardly keep up with them until each landed for just a few seconds to sip the nectar from the feeder. I enjoyed the picture as my mind wondered.

Can they taste the sweetness of the nectar? Is their taste the same as mine? Does it taste like steak or maybe like broccoli to them? Does the nectar they draw out of the flowers taste the same to them as the artificial nectar does? Are bumblebees just midget hummingbirds? How can two little hummingbirds chase off a huge crow?

“I wish I could find the answers to my questions,” I told my dog, Lady. She tilted her head whining, her eyes shining as if to ask “What questions?”

“I'd like to know how our tastes differ, girl. How did you taste the piece of steak I slipped you at the dinner table last night, sweet or bitter? Do you know why cat food has to have sugar in it? Does corn taste the same to the chickens as it does to a cow? I know you can't tell me, dear friend.” I patted her back, catching her as she placed her paws on my chest, giving her a big hug before going on to the barn to milk the cows.

“Mornin' Bossy, Gertrude.” I grabbed the stool by the door, banging it on the bucket I carried. “Wake up girls, time to give lots of milk.”

Gertrude looked around at me with a soft “Mooooooo-umph.” She always put a little umph on the end of her moo. She moved her four feet to the feeding stations slowly. Bossy quietly followed her lead. I poured a generous amount of their food into each box. I never had to force them into the stanchion, they willingly went to get the meal.

As I sluiced Gertrude's udder with vinegar water, washing all the debris away before milking, my thoughts wandered again to what they tasted when they ate their food. It was a mixture of oats, barley, corn, and molasses. Tasted sweet to me. How did it taste to them? Do other people taste food the same way as me? Do the rats and mice that populate the barn get fatter because of the molasses? Can a rat get as big as a cat? Can animals go to heaven? Do they have a language to speak to their higher power? Can they … .

Hey, didn't Pastor say that we never know about others relationships with Christ? No matter how they act on the outside, we can't see what's on the inside. Only God can know how a person really feels. Each person has to deal directly with God through Jesus about their salvation. He said that you have to believe in Jesus, confess your sins, and ask Jesus to come into your heart. Each person has to taste the bitterness of life without Him, before they can taste the sweetness of the life with Him. That life can be as sweet as you want to make it... Hmmm, I want it sweet.

Lord, I give you my heart, I believe in you, I confess my sins to you...

“Moooooooo-umph,” I jerked my feet back so hard I almost spilled the pail. I had milked her dry and was still pulling on her teats.

“Oh, sorry girl,” I stroked her neck in apology. “Didn't mean to hurt you. I have just made an important decision.” I picked up the stool, moving to milk Bossy.

“Moooo-umph.” Gertrude threw her head up, then sideways, fixing her big brown eye on me.

“Are you asking me what decision I made?”

“Ooumph.” she grunted, moving her rear toward me to swipe her tail across my shoulder.

“I just gave my heart to the Lord, so I can taste the sweetness of resting in His arms forever. I feel so good!”

“Mooooooooo.” Bossy had chimed in, giving a stereo sound. For the first time, Gertrudes' Moo didn't have and “umph” on the end. I firmly believe they knew what I was saying. I still don't know the answers to my questions, but now it doesn't matter. I am a Child of God.

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This article has been read 371 times
Member Comments
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/30/12
This is definitely an out of the box story. I hate to say this but your MC is a tad wacky. She must be as I've had similar conversations with animals and my middle name is Tad Wacky! :)You did a great job of writing on a topic that is closely related to the others this quarter, yet you still came up with a fresh POV and delightful characters (my favorite was Gertrude! Any cow that puts an umph in her moo is tops in my book. Not only was it a fun read but it had a perfect message. Many people think just going to Church is enough but your character showed how important it is to surrender one's self to Jesus.
C D Swanson 08/31/12
Cute and sweet read. Thank you. God Bless~
Theresa Santy 09/01/12
I hope this one gets high marks for uniqueness, because I've never seen faith approached at this angle. How interesting it is to consider what food tastes like to all the different creatures on earth. I'd never considered this before.

And when you mentioned the pastor's message, it made me wonder about humanity. I wonder if life, faith, and spiritual journeys taste different for each individual. Either way, I agree with you, acceptance of the Lord is sweet to the taste.

Laura Hawbaker09/02/12
Certainly an interesting take on the subject! Good descriptive writing; I could see the hummingbirds and hear Gertrude.
Janice Wappel09/03/12
Since I love animals of all kinds, I enjoyed this piece. I too have wondered about hummingbirds and their taste buds! Nice story, Thanks!