Favor Our Feathery Friends ...
I left a comment on a friend's blog last night ... Micki Peluso (author) on AuthorsDen
“Isn't it strange and wonderful that birds play a role in your book as well as mine? i've always been drawn to avian metaphor. There is in the Torah the mitzvah of "shooing away the mother bird" the exact meaning of which has been the subject of endless speculation throughout the ages ... I don't know but for me there is nothing quite so wonderful as either the mother duck or goose leading her sturdy band of ducklings and/or goslings in an "unwaddlingly" straight line across the road.
I recall a particularly memorable exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and quite the favorite for many generations of kids-both the child-kid and the adult-kid ... that of the eggs under the heating lamp left to their own devices and with plenty of advisory notice that the egg shells not be touched or their battle weary occupants given any assistance whatsoever ... that before long the indefatigably worn-out but victorious chick emerges from the shell, obviously worn out, more than a tad shaken up but as cute as can be.
This I've always known was one of His (look up ...!) ways to cause folk to cry over something quite wondrous, profoundly complex yet simple enough to mesmerize the most callous.
And it occurred to me, while typing, that I really do have a penchant, a fascination for birds but with one very important proviso … that they be depicted peaceably and beautifully, for which reason I realized for the first time why I have never liked Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, but I’ve always loved The Birdman of Alcatraz-not that it is solely about birds, but that they are depicted so well and lovingly. Unlike “The Birds” … "Birdman" depicts them as servants and friends of mankind rather than as his tormenters.
What is it about the Torah injunction that commands us to “shoo away the mother bird” before we take her eggs-lest we forget-that she had been dutifully attending them? Why have I embraced this image, found it appealing? Or that of the mother duck waddling at the head of her flock as it files along ever attentive to keep up with its leader?
We borrow the metaphor of the nest from our avian friends to warm the image of our homes and the nestegg to symbolize our saved up monies that we’ll enjoy only when our future becomes our present.
We are quite taken with the bird, aren’t we? She is a nurturer of her young, both in and out of the egg, but considering all that attaches us to the bird none is more important than “flight” to which mankind has always aspired
Because he does not and cannot fly, man has made all sorts of wondrous machines-but no matter how scientifically and technologically advanced-they are all based on the engineering and aerodynamic qualities that He created with which to distinguish the bird, be it a thrush or an eagle, from all other creatures.
Need I remind you ... so many of our "superheros" flew: Superman, Mighty Mouse, Batman, Underdog.
And from the ridiculous to the sublime ... do we not await the chirpings of the birds as a wakeup call that Spring has sprung?