Baby Duck

     Margaret was sure she had noticed something as she walked through her parent’s garden—it was something unusual, and she was sure she had not seen it there before. She called her son Neil, and together they looked under the bushes and around the plants. Yes, there it was—a baby duckling! It was a fluffy, black duckling, which looked very lost. There were no ponds or lakes nearby, not even a river, so where had it come from?

     Margaret asked all the neighbors, but no one had lost a little duckling. So the family adopted it and took it to the bottom of the garden where they made a safe, fenced-in cage for it so that the cats, foxes and other animals could not get at it. Inside they put a bowl of water, big enough so the baby duck could paddle in safety, and another, smaller bowl of water where they could put the duckling’s food. They had noticed it did not like to eat its food from a dry bowl. They watched to see which food it liked the best, and everyone in the family loved spending time feeding "Duck," as they named it.

     Every night Duck was carefully put into the garden shed where the family had made a nest of straw and where it could move around and be safe from owls and other night creatures. Truly no duck was ever cared for more than Duck.

     One day when Granddad was digging the garden he thought Duck might like to wander in the garden—maybe Duck would like to eat the garden insects. So it proved, for Duck would follow Granddad around, as he worked in the garden, and Duck just loved the worms and other things that Granddad dug up.

     Granddad grew quite fond of Duck, and the two of them would often be seen at the bottom of the garden—Duck eagerly waiting for a tasty treat, or waddling behind Granddad as he walked down the rows. Grand-dad even talked to Duck! Always, though, Duck would be put in the garden shed at night, where it was safe.

     As Duck grew, it lost its fluffiness, its feathers grew, and it learned that it had wings! It would flap them sometimes, and as more feathers grew it would flap its wings more often. Then came the day that Duck actually flew—only a few feet at first, but then more and more. Finally, one day Duck flapped its wings and flew right over the fence and hedge and out of sight. The family members were heartbroken. They left the cage door open and the shed door, too. Maybe Duck would fly back, but it never did. The family was very sad, because they had tried hard to make Duck’s life a very happy one. They had catered to its every need.

     This story reminds me of Jesus and of what He does for us. Each day He shows us how much He loves us by sending our guardian angels to protect us, by giving us our mommies and daddies to love us and to care for us. He gives us wonderful food to eat and the beauties of nature to enjoy. He has made mansions in heaven for us where there will be no more sadness, no more illness, and we will be with Him forevermore. Are we happy with His gifts, or are we tempted, by all the earthly pleasures with which Satan tries to tempt us, to wander away from Him? Let us strive to be like Jesus and to help finish the work He has asked us to do, so we may soon go to live with Him in heaven.

Sue Bennett