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Country Echoes

By MAE BABER

R. D. 2, Brandon, Wisconsin

There is somewhere an old familiar line about 'the fly in the ointment' and I am beginning to understand it only too well. (Around here we might easily change it to poultry in the soup). In some cases these flies might be called stumbling blocks, and it is said that we should make of our stumbling blocks stepping stones. Instead of falling over them, they should ever inspire us to surmount them, or step upon them.

Now, I never thought of my perky old white rooster as a stepping stone. (It's true I have considered jumping on him with both feet). I very well know he is a menace to my welfare.

We are in the questionable habit of keeping one or two male birds with our flock of chickens. This, year it was only one, last year only one remained until spring. He put a three inch gash in my left leg one day. I found his rival dead on the floor early one spring morning and I assume he met the same fate as was intended for me. He didn't reckon with my size, however and I survived his onslaught. Instead of it being the end of me it was the end of him. This year my Casanova has taken to chasing me again. He wants to be ruler alone in that hen house.

Being dyed-in-the-wool country folks we like to hear a rooster crow in the morning and we keep them partly for that effect, you see. We sort of conclude that it is a poor farm that can't support one rooster. Butif this goes on much longer I'm going to invest in a mechanical one. I'll take my crows without gashes. I have enough trouble staying out of the gander's way and in the spring of the year one just naturally takes a detour around his lady's nest. Only recently we removed the gobbling head from off a turkey who climbed your back the moment it was turned from him. Now, tell me if you can, how does one make stepping stones of these hindrances? I can't get anywhere near the creatures. Only one thing they have done for me. They have furnished inspiration for this poem:

VANQUISHED VANITY

We had a rooster in our humble hennery, He had his foolish spurs all set for me I banged him with a pail, I flung him high, But he would never learn he had to fry. His harem gaily sings, they lay their eggs, I tend their needs without end an gered legs, While he who thought himself a pompous elf Brought only judgment on his silly self.

How much longer this year's battler will endure I cannot say. He somehow does not have the right method of attack or perhaps I am learning to fence with the feed pail. 'Could be I need Amos McCoy tactics and should study cock language. All I can say at the moment is that I am deeply grateful that the cats and dogs are friendly. The poultry may soon have me edged off of Edgewood Acres

Seriously, though, I do believe God wants me to learn a lesson from these enemies of mine. They are battling an enemy so much larger than they that they can't possibly win and must pay for their transgressions. When we try to embrace sin aren't we going to come out the same way? Pride is most certainly a sin. Let us learn this well. 'Pride Goethe before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.' PROVERBS 16:18