The worth of a bird

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I’m not a huge fan of birds.

One time I told someone birds are the reason God created BB guns and sling shots.

Kidding. Just kidding. Don’t send me letters.

It’s just that I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” one late, late night in high school with a girl named Vicki and it creeped us out and we went for a drive in her dad’s van and ran out of gas on the road that runs parallel to the 91 freeway in California and had to traipse across a field and knock on someone’s door past midnight to call Vicki’s dad and he was mad.

So, as you can see, I’m not a fan of birds.

Plus, there’s George, my mom’s late parrot who was mean and once chased me and my husband into my mom’s garage. We had to protect ourselves with rolled up newspapers and bribe George with fruit to get him back in his cage, only to have him curse at us.

I swear that parrot used to put the stink eye on us as soon as we’d walk in the room, but if my mom was there he’d be all, “Pretty bird” and “George wants a cracker.”

Nope. Not a fan of birds.

However, the other day I came across a YouTube video of a crow in Russia that figured out how to sled. It was on top of a snowy rooftop with a jar lid. It placed the lid on the top of the roof, stood on it and slid down the slope - then it did it again! It picked up the lid in its beak and carried it up to the top, this time to another section of the roof. However, that didn’t work as well, so it went back to the original spot and sledded down. Then it tried a fourth time, but couldn’t get the jar lid to stay and flew away. A sledding crow! I must’ve watched that video a dozen times.

A couple of years ago, a team of researchers at Oxford University did an experiment with Betty and Abel, New Caledonian crows. They put a piece of meat in a tube and set out two wires, one straight and one with a hooked end. New Caledonian crows had been known to use twigs and other things as tools to catch prey, and the researchers wanted to see if Betty and Abel would pick the better or right tool in their experiment. They did - they chose the hooked wire and snagged the meat with no problem. And then Abel stole the hook from Betty, leaving her with only the straight wire, which she took and, using her beak, bent it into a hook.

The researchers tested her again using straight wires only, and Betty made a hook nine times out of 10.

Crows that sled and make and use tools!

Every once in a while we get a glimpse of creation as it was meant to be. I think God gets a huge kick out of watching birds figure out how to have fun with a jar lid and a snow-covered rooftop.

More so, I think he gets a huge belly laugh watching Russian kids discovering a sledding crow and capturing it on video and putting it on YouTube and then having someone in Florida who is so not a fan of birds find it and take great delight in it.

Truly, the world is vast, and there’s so much that’s not worth celebrating. So much pain and suffering, so much rudeness and crassness and baseness, greed and disrespect, dishonor, distrust, hunger in the midst of excess.

The world is imbalanced. Life can be cruel and unfair.  It’s easy to think that, if there even is a God, he surely doesn’t care.

But Jesus said God cares about sparrows. He cares about crows.

Hear the words of Jesus:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And yet not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many flocks of sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7)

So, if he cares enough let a bird in Russia have a ski vacation, then surely he cares about me and you.

Nancy Kennedy is the author of “Move Over, Victoria - I Know the Real Secret,” “Girl on a Swing,” and her latest book, “Lipstick Grace.” She can be reached at( 352) 564-2927, Monday through Thursday, or via email at nkennedy@chronicleonline.com.