Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hawk Meditation

Hawk in the bushes

On a cold day recently, I was waiting for the Mattapan Trolley to take me to work. I was just sitting at the stop when I noticed a lot of flutteration in bushes across the tracks. A house across the street always has a bunch of sparrows roosting in the bushes in front. And those bushes now were swaying and flinging back and forth. Something large was in the bushes! And the sparrows were jumping and popping in and out, fussing and cussing whatever it was!

I thought it must be a cat. Then, I saw wings, and thought an ill-advised crow must be crowding in around there. But as I watched, the uproar moved across the front of the house, and finally emerged at the edge of the porch, as a very angry hawk! I have never seen such frustration and injured pride. It must have been a very young hawk to have decided it could climb into those bushes and catch a fat sparrow. Of course, there was no room for it to maneuver, and the sparrows easily evaded the hawk. The hawk sat for a good ten minutes on the porch rail settling its feathers and its pride before it took off to sit in a tree and watch for squirrels.

We all make the mistake of thinking we can get by with short cuts from time to time. It usually ends as it did with that hawk, with frustration and injured pride. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but most of us humans don’t run the risk of starving when we learn it.

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