That little bird was determined to secure a long strand of Kessy’s tail hair for her nest. I had just settled into my Coffee Clutch chair next to Kessy, Saturday by my side and Lil’ Bit on my lap. Kessy worked on her hay, Saturday fought back sleep, Lil’ Bit purred, but watched intently the tiny brown bird.
|This tiny Carolina Wren would win!|
When I brush Kessy and comb her thick long black tail and mane, I gather the hairs and pile them on an oak tree fork for the birds to use as nesting material. I wedge them there so they’ll stay and birds of all kind use them. The phoebes in the barn line their nests with Kessy hair, red-eyed vireos do too, and every fall we find another one or two neat little nests with a blanket of black tail hair woven snuggly inside. We have a little collection of bird nests on the back porch all with Kessy’s hair as the finishing touch.
So determined was the little wren to collect her horse hair building material she managed to dislodge the ball from the tree crotch, and drop it to the ground. She descended immediately upon it, grasped the most perfect strand and began hopping backwards, but the entire wad of hair simply bounced along with her.
For a second it seemed she’d made progress, until Lil’ Bit could stand no more, and leaped from my lap to stalk the tiny industrious bird. Mrs. Wren let go her prize and flitted safely to a branch. Lil’ Bit gave the tempting hair pile a respectable investigation then wondered away to do whatever young cats do on early morning romps.
Mrs. Wren was back on the hair ball in an instant, falling from the tree would not stop her, and surely no curious feline with a limited attention span mattered much, so back to her task she must go. After all, somewhere in one of our buildings she had a nest to complete. Deeply restored in her endeavor she had managed to nearly jerk lose a most perfect strand—then our guinea fowl came cackling, strutting and bouncing her way. Forced by yet another interruption and hurdle to achieving her goal, Mrs. Wren flew to her safe haven branch, then from sight.
I wondered if she might give up, after all it seemed a colossal effort for a single strand of horse hair, no matter how magnificent. Then almost as quickly as the guineas wandered away the tough little bird swooped from the thick mat of green forest wall to the wad of horse hair. She wasted no time in finding the single hair she’d nearly freed from the ball, tugged, tugged and tugged and finally flew away with her prize trailing in the wind behind her like a kite’s tail.
I was about to pour my second cup of Folgers, most Coffee Clutch gatherings are at least 2 cuppers, when she reappeared fussing over that bundle of horse tail hair. I happen to know a perfect nest requires more than a few strands of hair. And I had no doubt Mrs. Wren would eventually have all she needed, she has the determination that will guarantee success.
We all have that same determination within in us. Some of us can, no matter the challenge dig deep and like Mrs. Wren, keep coming back until we too have grasped our prize or accomplished our goal. All of though have also said, “That’s enough, I’m done.” And sometimes that’s the correct choice.
But if we give up after a few set backs on something too important and our inner self tells us to keep trying, follow a new direction, give it another attempt, then it is best to follow that inner voice. Think of this tiny brown bird, all her set-backs, and her determination and find the drive inside to make hardship, bad breaks and obstacle, merely interruptions and learning curves. Dig in and win!
Gitty Up, Dutch Henry
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