I was reflecting on this the other day when I could see splashes of colour through the leaves in the Mango Tree. Sophie spends a good hour or so in the Mango Tree with her friend Sarah every afternoon. Bethany wandered by, aiming a slingshot at a passing fowl. She also wields a stick proficiently. Matthew reached out and picked up a small chick and put it on his lap. Feathers were ruffled and it was returned to its mother. That's strange I thought. He can't usually do that.
Later that afternoon we were working in the garden. Matthew reached down again and picked up the same small chick. This time, the mother fowl did not just ruffle her feathers but jumped up and attacked the small boy. Matthew screamed and dropped the chick. The mother human went nuts. The students laughed.
Matthew was scratched, but not badly. No blood and the mark had disappeared by the end of the day. The chick died the next day. Not because of Matthew's crazy mother, but because of some sickness, which would explain why it was so easy for Matthew to pick up the chick in the first place.
How protective chooks are of their little chicks! It reminded me of Luke 13:34 where Jesus compares himself to a hen protectively gathering her chicks under her wings, and made me consider the judgement coming on those who mistreat his little chicks (e.g. Luke 18:7).
P.S. The slingshot was confiscated and returned to its owner. Sticks are also banned. The other children frequently catch and cook small animals to eat, and my children watch and learn.