I haven’t been out for awhile due to one thing and another, but he must remember me from all the times I went out while he was a baby and spoke to him up in his nest. So whenever I am outside and he is anywhere nearby, he gives me a shout, and I say hello.
I had my trekking poles so I could give Chloe a little bit of exercise. She is a bit like her mistress, prone to gaining weight at the slightest sniff of food, forget about actually eating it, and she needed a walk. After our first greeting across the fence from one another, the hawk flew behind me and caught up, still staying in the trees on the other side of the boundary, but a little closer this time.
I told him he should come on over. If he wanted to stay safe, we had plenty of trees, plenty of food—he should have known that anyway. His parents had sat on the tomato fence in our garden, diving for mice, squirrels, rabbits, and other goodies that they took to him for supper every night, way up high in the pine tree to the east. I kept walking and again he flew to catch up, but once again landed on the other side of the fence.
When we reached the point where the path cut inward to the center of our property, I told him it was time for him to make his decision. “Come on,” I told him. “You’ve been here before. You grew up here. You know it’s a good place and a safe place. If you stay over there, who is going to look after you?”
I waited a minute then turned and headed down the path toward the drive. His wings flapped behind me like a big rug flapping on a clothesline in the wind. I turned, only to see he was headed away, deeper into the woods.
I suspect I will still hear from him once in awhile and even see him again. At least until that time when something nabs him and he stops showing up. It’s a pity. He would last longer if he stayed close by, but now some neighbor may shoot him just for fun, or he may stray into some other hawk’s territory and lose the fight for it. That’s what happens when you turn your back because all you can see is restrictions instead of safety, and when all you want to see of the other side of the fence is freedom instead of danger. Sooner or later, one way or the other, it will be too late to come back.
In the fear of Jehovah is strong confidence; and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of Jehovah is a fountain of life, that one may depart from the snares of death. Prov 14:26,27.
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