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Little Bird Turns Into Inspiration

Author Unknown

Woodpecker in near by tree helps morning pass.
I know it may come as a surprise to some of my old drinkig, fishing and hunting buddies, but I've recently become a bird-watcher.

I don't carry binoculars, a note pad, or an Audubon Guide. When I say I'm a bird-watcher, I'm really saying I watch a bird.

It's a beautiful red-headed wood-pecker. I know there are several species of woodpeckers ranging from Woody Woodpecker to a variety of others I don't know as well as I know Woody.

The one I've been watching has a bright red head and gray feathers dappled with short yellow lines. It's about 8 inches long and makes a throaty sound sort of like a shrill coach's whistle blown in short blasts. Until I started watching this particular woodpecker I thought the only sound they made was the machine-gun rat-a-tat-tat when they were pecking wood.

I've never been a big fan of woodpeckers. Maybe because I live in a log home and get a little nervous every time I hear one pecking.

It all stated several weeks ago when I heard this woodpecker pecking ouside the window of my upstairs bathroom. Since I've been battling cancer, I've been equipped with a number of what medical professionals refer to as "appliances". It takes me an hour or longer each day to take care of them. During this time I read or look out my window and watch the seasons change.

It was while I was peering out the window one day that I first noticed my wodpecker friend. She (I know it's a she because of continued observation) was pecking a hole in a dead tree killed by the ice storm of 1994.

I thought it was just a chance sighting, but she kept coming back on a daily basis until she had a large hole bored into the tree with a hollow big enough for her to get inside, completely out of sight.

Then one morning I noticed the top of the dead tree had broken off right at her hole. I thought she'd be discouraged having her home destroyed, and I'd probably never see her again.

I was wrong.
Later that morning I heard the familiar rat-a-tat-tat and there she was pecking another hole farther down the tree trunk. She was pecking with an enthusiasm and determination I hadn't noticed before. Soon she had another home hollowed out inside the tree.

I often wonder if it was meant to be that she decided of all the dead trees to pick one right outside my window. Was it part of the Master's plan to show me that perseverance and determination can be the difference between success and failure - winners and losers?

I believe it was.
I've had some pretty rough days recently in my ongoing battle with cancer, but every time I'd feel that maybe cancer was winning I'd think of that little woodpecker. If she wouldn't give in to the troubles she has faced, I wouldn't either.

I know she's a winner, I know I am, too.
It soon became evident that even if the cancer did win a round, I'd just bore another hole and dig in for a better fight in the next one.

Bird watching can be a special learning experience, especially if you watch the right bird.