From high up in my tree house I could watch the world around and beneath me. I knew most of the names of the trees and many of the birds that skipped around in their leaves.
Colorful butterflies danced through the trees. Some were so hard to spot that Dad got me some books, with butterfly pictures, so I learned a lot.
If any new bird or butterfly came into view I went to the books to search for a name or a clue. It was like a new game all the time. All these creatures were friends of mine, and so all their names I had to find.
Day after day when my homework and chores where through it was off to the tree house to see what was new. Mom would put me a snack in a sack along with my bird book and I was off to the trees.
I would tie my book bag and a snack on a cord and pull them up after I had climbed to my fort. There, I sat back and watched the clouds in the sky, wondering what it would be like to fly.
Then all of a sudden the breeze rocked me around and almost made me climb down to the ground. My knees got weak but I held on tight. Right there and then I knew for a fact, I was not made to fly so I forgot about that.
When school was through some plans were made for a trip to the beach and to a state park. We took lots of pictures and I learned a lot. But, there is no place like home and I was glad to get back. But, before any exploring I had to unpack. Now to the fort high up in my tree with my books and my snacks tied to a string.
We only left for just a few days but I searched for anything new that might have moved in while I was away. I didnít know why but something seemed special today. I was in for a treat, a real surprise.
From atop a nearby old dead tree, a flash of red feathers caught my eye. Something red peered around at me. A flash of red, there, I saw it again. A bright red head was sticking out of a hole at the top of that old dead limb.
What could it be?
Where was my book about birds? It was nowhere to be found then, I remembered it was still on the ground. I pulled up my string tied to my bag and hurried to open the bird book I had inside.
Wow! Could this really be? A Redheaded Woodpecker, something I had never seen. It was pecking a hole in top of that old dead snag. It must have been the Daddy and I called Mr. Redhead.
Chips were flying all the way to the ground and he was making that hole perfectly round. The hole was getting deeper and deeper and in a short time all I could see was his little black tail poking of that tree.
Soon it was done and he jumped inside. But, then all of a once out popped his head. He called out so loud that everyone heard and even I knew what he had said. ďIíve finished my house and I am moving in. Iíve come to live here and make a lot of new friends.Ē
In just a few minutes another bird came. It was dressed just like him and they both looked the same. It must have been the mommy, to myself I said, and they were dressed just alike in black, white and red.
Now I have two new friends and I already know their names. Mr. And Mrs. Woodpecker have moved in upstairs and will be protected by the One who cares. I know God must have sent them to live in that old empty tree so I could watch them raise their new family.
- Uncle Burney
("McDonald Manna, July, 2006")