summer there seemed to be more robin redbreasts than ever before
in and around happy valley. Paddy and Paden both loved to watch
the pretty little birds as they hopped around on the ground looking
for food. They enjoyed watching them occasionally putting their
ears to the ground as they listened for worms and other food moving
just below the surface and then the birds would quickly strike
and eat their meal. The two little mice also enjoyed listening
to the beautiful song that the robin redbreast would sing. It
was such a beautiful, peaceful creature they thought.
glorious morning Paden and Paddy were sitting at the edge of the
homeground right about first light. They were listening to the beautiful
song of a robin redbreast that was sitting in a cedar tree nearby.
As they listened and smiled one of the most respected community
elders was walking by. The elder, named Brogan paused to listen
to the beautiful song with Paden and Paddy. The two little mice
straightened up immediately out of respect for Brogan. He smiled
at their courtesy and greeted them.
the three mice listened to the robin redbreast Thunderhawk and Blaze
flew into a tree nearby. This put Brogan on full alert and he gently
put his arms around Paddy and Paden and said, "Boys, its time
for us to get back inside. Those two hawks are probably looking
for an early morning meal and we're most likely it!" Paden
said, "Mr. Brogan, we have seen these two hawks many times
and we were wondering if they may have been sent by the Great Creator
to protect us."
head tilted to one side and he said, "Oh lads
thirsty birds are no friend of ours! They eat mice! They don't protect
them." Paddy chimed in, "Mr. Brogan. Sir. We have seen
these two hawks do some weird things and the weird things appeared
to be saving us from danger!"
smiled knowingly and said, "Boys
your imaginations are
full of visions that appear true to you, but with experience you
will see are not at all things are as they appear! For example,
are you two familiar with the legend of the robin redbreast?"
and Paden looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and shook
their heads "no". Brogan said, "Well lads, would
you like for me to tell you the history of how these beautiful little
birds once terrified all living creatures in happy valley including
humans in the beginning?" Paddy and Paden looked at each other
with their eyes wide open and both said at the same time, "Yeah!
Cool Let's hear it!"
pushed his beret back and slowly began the story; "In the beginning
the Great Creator made all of the creatures here on Mother Earth
and he was at first pleased. One of his creations was a very large
bird that was as red as fire. It was also huge. The bird could not
fly because it weak pathetic little wings and it weighed more than
three hundred pounds." Paden and Paddy looked at each other
and said, "No way!" Brogan said, "Aye lads. More
that three hundred pounds and they were bloody well vicious. The
big bird was called the robin redbeast.
mighty robin redbeast had defied the Great Creator and hunted every
one of the Great Creators favorite creatures
the native humans
who originally roamed these beautiful smoky mountains were included.
The robin redbeast was an ugly critter and it did not have the beautiful
song that it has today back then. In fact, the robin redbeast simply
made one sound. It was an ug ga lee sounding, very loud, very deep
CHIRRRRRRRP! It sounded somewhat like a bull bellowing in the fields
today but it said chirp instead of moo."
said, "Are you kidding us Mr. Brogan?" Brogan looked stone
faced and serious as he said, "Lads
these terrible creatures
were more horrible that I'm even explaining. In fact, it is said
that there may still be a few eggs of the terrible redbeast laying
in a cave up near cades cove and that one-day they may hatch and
the terrible redbeasts may return." At this momentary pause
Paden and Paddy looked at each other and their eyes were bulging
out of their heads in fear.
Brogan continued, "Anyway lads, have you ever noticed in the
early spring how the robin redbreasts return from their winter stay
down south in large flocks?" Paden and Paddy thought for a
minute and then said, "Yes". Brogan shook his head and
smiled knowingly. Then he continued, "Well lads, back then
the robin redbeasts worked in large groups and coordinated their
efforts to stalk and destroy other creatures. They were ruthless.
They hunted day and night and destroyed simply for the nasty pleasure
of it all.
you notice today a robin redbreast will hop along on the ground
and sometimes put its ear to the ground to detect food it wants
to eat. Have you noticed that lads?" Paden and Paddy shook
their heads up and down and Brogan continued, "Well lads, back
in the day the humans began to try to hide from the beast by covering
themselves with Mother Earth but the nasty beast could hear 'em
breathin' under there and they quickly pulled them out from their
hiding place, just like the little birds we see do with worms and
such today. It was terrible."
humans tried to fight back but the nasty creatures were too smart
and they set ambushes and stalked the humans relentlessly. The Great
Creator became aware of the terrible goings on through the prayers
and chants of the native humans. The Great Creator rebuked the robin
redbeasts and warned them that if they continued to act so far outside
of Mother Natures plan that there would be severe consequences.
great and powerful redbeasts laughed and defied the Great Creator
by continuing to live the wicked lives that they had been living.
Then one hot day in the middle of the summer the Great Creator passed
over the Great Smoky Mountains and caused all of the robin redbeasts
to fall into a deep, deep sleep. While the terrible beasts were
sleeping the Great Creator transformed their physical bodies. The
Great Creator reduced their size to be small like they are today.
He gave them stronger wings so that they could fly, because now
many creatures may want to take vengeance on them.
Great Creator also gave them a beautiful singing voice so that they
could repay some of their treachery by singing glorious songs that
would be pleasing to the listener. The Great Creator also changed
their color from fire red to the color you see today. However, he
kept the blaze of red on their chests to always serve as a reminder
of their terrible deeds and the blood that was shed a result of
their defiance of Mother Nature and the Great Creator.
Great Creator also allowed the name to be changed to robin redbreast
and the new birds, who were pleasing to the Great Creator were allowed
to multiply in great numbers and travel freely to many other areas
where they would bring joy through their beauty and the serenity
of their song. That lads is how the beautiful robin redbreast got
to be what they are today!"
and Paddy's mouths were hanging open and their eyes were as wide
open as they could get. They had been listening intently and were
amazed. Paden said, "Mr. Brogan, is that for reals?" Brogan
raised his eyebrow, pursed his lips and shook his head up and down
and said, "Aye lads. That's the truth. It's amazing how things
aren't always as they appear isn't it?" Paden and Paddy shook
their heads up and down in agreement. Then Brogan said, "Now
lads, maybe you ought to rethink your imagination induced thought
process that those murderous hawks might be your friends. Ya' know
what I mean?"
and Paddy looked up at the hawks who were still sitting there. Thunderhawk
and Blaze were looking directly at them and the two little mice
gulped. Then they looked back at Brogan and Paddy said, "I
think that you're right Mr. Brogan. They sure are looking right
at us. They just might be thinking about eating us, what do you
think Paden?" Paden looked up at the hawks and then back at
Paddy and said, "I think you're right. We shouldn't get too
confident in thinking that any predator is really our friend."
smiled and said, "That's the spirit lads. Always remember.
A mouse always thinks
safety first!" Then Brogan slipped
away and Paden and Paddy silently made their way back into the homeground
to think about all that they had heard and seen that early morning.
It had been something that was good for them. Mice must always stay
alert because of the many predators. Brogan's story had taught them
a powerful lesson. It would be a beautiful day in happy valley with
robin redbreasts singing their glorious song and Paden and Paddy
would marvel for a long time about how the bird they loved so much
had come from such a terrible past. The Great Creator had been listening
and he smiled. Yes, it would be a great day after all!
© 2003 Geoff Hampton
Hampton is an internationally known author, speaker, motivator and
business consultant. Hampton is the Executive Director for St. Mary's
Health and Fitness Center in Powell, TN and is also a regular columnist
for the wellness/fitness Website www.fitcommerce.com
and Canku Ota. He can be reached by E-mail at GEOFFLHAMPTON@aol.com.
His national anti-obesity/diabetes campaign, The Wellness Wakeup
Challenge can be reviewed at www.fitcommerce.com/wellness Many of
his health/wellness past features can be located at www.fitnessmanagement.com
by looking in the Library of Articles section under Management Advice
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