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The Passion Goes On...

by Donald Mehl  
10/06/2009 / Short Stories

This writing is a sequel to my original article titled, "Wings Of Passion" a love story that began many years ago. It was about my on-going relationship with the delightful house wren families that come to reside in my backyard, and steal my heart each spring. The passion goes on...

* * * * * * *

The wrens are back! The wrens are back! My house wrens have just returned for another season! Springtime has finally arrived in our corner of the north land. Oh happy day!

Several times today, I saw one checking out my wren house. The male wren will be the first to "discover" the little house after they return. Following a quick inspection of the place, he will haul a few small twigs inside. Then, he will either sit on the rooftop, or perch on a nearby branch while singing his heart out in an attempt to attract a female.

A female will soon respond to his call. If, after a thorough inspection, she approves of his housing choice, she will stay there. If the female doesn't like it, she will move on to better things causing him to start over in his search for love and family.

But...something seems to be very wrong this year!

He quickly found the house and inspected his new real estate. He even hauled a few twigs inside for a new nest foundation. Next, he went up onto the roof, but just sat there looking around. It's almost as if he thinks he would attract a female with only his good looks. Doesn't he know he can't sweep the ladies off their feet without serenading them?

The young guy is probably a first-year wren with no knowledge of such matters. He just doesn't seem to know he's supposed to start singing. I'll bet the "women folks" in the area are older and experienced, and are gathered together in a nearby treetop either laughing their heads off at him, or nervously wringing their wings in frustration.

Hours later...

The poor guy is still just sitting up there looking around like he's waiting for a bus. He needs some serious counseling. Life is short.

Wait! Now there's some late breaking news...

About the time I thought my feathered friend was destined to spend a lonely summer in his bachelor pad, I discovered that his quiet nature must have been overflowing with seductive powers. Hidden beneath that voiceless approach was a cool, smooth dude - charming and irresistible. Singing was apparently not a part of his "pick up" routine. Sometime during the night his most unusual "cruising for chicks" strategy paid a huge dividend.

By this morning he had already found a girlfriend, or maybe she found him I don't know. She seems like a sweet, perky young thing, but behind that facade, she's probably desperate and doesn't know any better. It's often said that, "Love is blind."

However, love is in the air and their blissful courtship can finally begin.

The next few weeks will be a busy time for the young couple. A nest will be constructed using carefully selected twigs all woven together forming a comfortable bed for their "kids". Then, the female will lay several tiny eggs and nurture them until they hatch.

After the babies break free of the shells that have held them captive for two weeks, they will be hungry. Mom and dad will work tirelessly without complaining - bringing breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in-between snacks for the demanding youngsters. The menu for each meal never changes, but the kids don't seem to mind. The main entre is always bugs tiny bugs, large bugs, flying bugs, crawling bugs, jumping bugs, and perhaps a juicy caterpillar as a special treat.

About two weeks after hatching, the kids will be ready to leave the nest. At that time they will be fully feathered, fully grown, and able to survive on their own.

I've often wondered what it is that prompts them to pack up and leave home. Do the parents call them away from the security of the nest? Perhaps mom and dad actually stop feeding the kids, forcing them to leave due to their hunger. In that case it's either leave or starve a cruel example of tough love.

Whatever the reason might be, it would be a scary moment of fly or crash when they decide to jump out into space. I can imagine the kids engaged in a frantic conversation at that time.

"Jake, you go first."

"No way! I'm not going first. You go!"

"OK, I'll go, but no pushing or I'm telling mom."

I've also wondered if wrens assemble for a reunion before they head south for the winter months. Is it possible that all the wren families from the neighborhood would gather in a nice shade tree for an enjoyable time of reminiscing together? In my mind's eye I can almost visualize a party atmosphere with joyful singing, loud laughter, much yakking about their summer experiences and, of course, their upcoming trip south.

The kids would be involved in the party too. At some point they would surely express their dissatisfaction with the baby food.

One might say, "Don't tell mom, but I hated those ugly green bugs that she always tried to stuff down our throat. They were so gross!

Another would reply, "Yeah, I hated them too. They were awful! But, do you know what? When mom left the nest to get more food, I just spit them out. Guess I showed her, didn't I?"

There would likely be other shared stories of the wren's experiences too - such as the horror of the first flight, the crowded conditions in the little nest where they were born, and the leaky roof on the wren house.

When the party is about over, a senior member of the group would likely command their attention saying, "Alright everybody. Listen up! We must all calibrate our compasses before we migrate. I don't want anyone flying off in the wrong direction. The "S" stands for south. We must all follow the "S" on this trip. When we return next spring we will follow the "N". Are there any questions?"

In spite of the perilous and seemingly fragile lives they seem to lead, the wrens will not only survive, but will thrive. They will find mates and homes where they can raise their families. The kids will grow and mature - eating only their simple bug diets. Their first flight from the nest will not end in disaster, but instead, the grass and bushes below will cushion their fall. Somehow, they won't become lost during their migration flight of hundreds of miles.

While we enjoy the wrens each year and sometimes find humor in their antics, we must remember they are part of God's creation. He provides for them, He protects them, He loves them, and He knows of all their needs. Matthew 10:29 scripture teaches that not even the lowly sparrow falls to the ground without God's knowledge.

Job 38:41 NKJV
Who provides food for the raven,
When its young ones cry to God,
And wander about for lack of food?

Matthew 6:26 NKJV
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Oh, what a valuable lesson that is for each of us! God cares for them...and I know He cares for you and me!

During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up!

Donald Mehl

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