"The Magpie"
[Author Unknown]

12-16-98 Story of the Week from Church Within #10
Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to The Church Within Story of the Week [S.O.W.]

This week's SOW #10 , contributed by: Patije

Story of the Week

"The Magpie"
[Author Unknown]

In a meadow lived a magpie. From his perch the bird could see every creature that moved beneath. The magpie collected bits of things that it kept tucked away in its nest.

The magpie believed that the meadow belonged to him and everyone and everything that crossed beneath his tree was truly beneath him.

All the creatures in the meadow knew the magpie and they were all very careful to say only things the bird liked to hear and they did whatever he told them to do. This was because the magpie had a terrible temper and would often pelt those he did not like with the things he had stored in his nest. The things were usually hard or sharp.

All the animals knew better than to cross the magpie.

It came to pass than a small field mouse took up residence in the hollow of the tree's roots. The mouse said a cheerful "Good Morning" to the bird every day. Each day the mouse offered to share some of the things he had collected with the bird.

Magpie was so furious at the appearance of this cheerful little intruder that at first he didn't even speak to him. Then he recovered himself and began pelting the mouse with bits of things in an effort to get him to leave.

On the first day the bird dropped twigs and branches down on the mouse. Mouse very happily gathered the twigs and took them inside his burrow.

The second day the bird threw acorns and hard nuts down on the mouse, often leaving him red with welts and bruises.

Mouse collected the things and took them inside.

On the third day the magpie was really seething with hatred for this mouse. How dare he invade his territory and then ignore the bird's best efforts to drive him away? The bird waited for the mouse to leave his hole and then rained a collection of stones down on him.

After licking his wounds, mouse hauled the stones into his burrow.

The fourth day mouse was out in the field and spotted a boy standing by the tree. The boy was laughing and standing over the magpie. He had felled the bird with his slingshot and was preparing to crush it beneath his boot.

Quick as a flash mouse ran to the boy and bit him hard on the ankle. The boy shrieked and dropped his weapon. Then ran home crying.

Mouse scurried over to magpie and began to smooth his ruffled feathers. Then he went inside and brought out bits of cloth and some of the sticks the bird had used to pelt him and fashioned a stretcher.

He placed magpie on the stretcher and pulled him into his burrow where he nursed him back to health by feeding him acorn broth by a twig fire. He served the broth in stone bowl.

It took nearly a week before magpie was well enough to speak. He could not believe that it was mouse who had saved him.

When he could talk, the bird said, "Why? After the way I treated you, why would you save me?"

Mouse looked truly shocked by the bird's words.

"Why? After all the kindness you have shown me, how could I do otherwise," mouse said.

"Kindness!" gasped the magpie. He did not say more, because he was suddenly ashamed of what his real intentions had been.

"You gave me twigs for my fire and branches to build my furniture," Mouse said. "You gave me enough acorns and nuts to feed me through the winter and enough stones to make these fine bowls. True, your aim was often poor, but how could I be angry with so generous a neighbor?"

From that day on the magpie became truly generous, to mouse and all the other animals in the meadow. He flew far and wide collecting bits to share with them.

Only now he was sure to give his offerings gently and he never again cast a stone at a neighbor.
The Prayer
Dear Ever Loving Parent,        
Help me to discover Your gifts... even when they are in the most Unlikely of Places. Your Will is My Will.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Infinite Love, through me, to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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