Monday, August 16, 2010

Jewel # 65 (Aug 16, 2010)

To my dear grandchildren

The Comical Puffin 

"Hast thou not heard, that . . . the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?"  (Isaiah 40:28)

The colorful bird called the puffin lives in the Arctic waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  It has a comical look because of its bright-orange, high, flattened bill with blue and red stripes.  Its white, puffy face is topped with a black skullcap.  Add to this a body with a black collar and cape and stubby, orange legs and feet.  Though it seems to be a strange-looking bird, it is well-suited to its environment.

The puffin is an expert swimmer and diver and is skillful at catching seafood to eat.  Its beak can hold several fish crosswise while pursuing and catching others.  How does a puffin manage this?  The answer is spines on its tongue and on the roof of its mouth that spear the fish and hold them firmly.  They usually catch about ten fish during each dive.

Some colonies of puffins contain hundreds of thousands of birds.  Sometimes they make their homes in burrows or they may build nests on cliff ledges where the female lays one white egg.  The eggs are a remarkable example of the Creator's special care.  Instead of being oval like chickens or round like other birds', puffins' eggs are round on only one end and pointed on the other.

Why do you think the Lord God made their eggs such an odd shape?  When He created puffins, He knew that their eggs would be laid on rocky ledges.  A round or oval egg  would easily roll off the ledge if left unattended even for moment.  However, a pointed egg just turns in a small circle and can easily be returned to the nest.

It takes almost a month for the chick to hatch.  While the chick remains in the nest, it is fed a continual diet of fish.  When the tired parents leave the fat chick after about six to eight weeks of care and constant feeding, the young bird eventually goes to the edge of the cliff and flies down to the water.  Soon it is diving for its own food.  It later migrates north with the colony, returning south in the spring to the same rock on which it was born.

These birds live in the northern oceans of the world but are not forgotten by the One who created them.  The Lord God once said, 

"Consider the ravens [and other birds]: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?" 
(Luke 12:24).  

He is making it plain that He thinks more highly of human beings than of the rest of His creatures.  He has shown this by giving us a never-dying soul and a home in heaven for those who trust in Him.       

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