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The Scottish preacher John McNeill liked to tell about an eagle that had been captured when it was quite young.
The farmer who snared the bird put a restraint on it so it couldnít fly, and then he turned it loose to roam in the barnyard.
It wasnít long till the eagle began to act like the chickens, scratching and pecking at the ground. This bird that once soared high in the heavens seemed satisfied to live the barnyard life of the lowly hen.
One day the farmer was visited by a shepherd, who lived in the mountains where the eagles lived.
Seeing the eagle, the shepherd said to the farmer, "What a shame to keep that bird hobbled here in your barnyard! Why donít you let it go?"
The farmer agreed, so they cut off the restraint. But the eagle continued to wander around, scratching and pecking as before.
The shepherd picked it up and set it on a high stone wall. For the first time in months, the eagle saw the grand expanse of blue sky and the glowing sun. Then it spread its wings and with a leap soared off into a tremendous spiral flight, up and up and up.
At last it was acting like an eagle again.
The Top 14 Upcoming Thanksgiving-Themed Movies
14> To Kill A Walking Bird
13> My Best Friend’s Dressing
12> The Texas Coleslaw Massacre
10> The Fabulous Baster Boys
9> 12 Hungry Men
8> Silence of the Yams
7> For Love of The Game Hen
6> I Know What You Ate Last Winter
5> All the President’s Menu
4> White Meat Can’t Jump
3> When Harry Met Salad
2> The Story of U.S.
and the Number 1 Upcoming Thanksgiving-Themed Movie...
1> The Wing and I
[ The Top 5 List www.topfive.com ]
[ Copyright 1999 by Chris White ]
Mike the Headless Chicken
On September 10, 1945, Mikeís short life was about to take a turn for the worse. On this day, Mike received a death sentence. His owners, Lloyd and Clara Olsen, decided that it was time to slaughter a group of birds, some to sell and to prepare others for themselves. Out to the hen house they wentÖ
As you can probably imagine, Mr. Olsen was the one whacking the heads off while Clara plucked and cleaned the birds. Bash! Down came the ax and off went Mikeís head. Mikeís head was surely dead. Mikeís body was not.
Now I know what you are thinking - it is well known that chickens will run around frantically when their heads are chopped off. Thatís probably where that old expression comes from. And, everyone knows that a headless chicken just canít survive more than a few moments.
Apparently, Mike forgot to read the rulebook for playing the game of Life. His head may have been lying on the floor, but he had no problem standing up and strutting around as if nothing had actually happened. The next day, Mike was still flopping around, so Lloyd decided to feed him to see how long he could keep the bird alive. Day after day he continued to gain weight.
Mike could easily balance himself on the highest perches without falling. His crowing consisted of a gurgling sound made in his throat. Mike even attempted to preen his feathers with his nonexistent head (apparently he never noticed). It seems that Mike could do just about anything that any other chicken could do, if you exclude all of the functions of his head.
As Iím sure you can imagine, headless chickens are not an everyday event. In the tradition of that famous huckster P.T. Barnum, there was money to be made in this oddity. A promoter by the name of Hope Wade came along and convinced Lloyd that Mike would be a big draw in the sideshow circuit. Miracle Mike, as he soon came to be known, toured up and down the West Coast of the United States. Just six weeks after his beheading, Mike was featured in a Life magazine article and his fame grew. For just 25 cents, anyone could pay to get a look at Mike. At the height of his popularity, Mike was raking in a cool $4,500 per month, which was no small potatoes in those days. They probably would have thrown in his head as a bonus - it was stored in a canning jar and toured along with Mike.
So how was Mike able to survive? Scientists examined him and determined that Mr. Olsen had not done a very good job at chopping Mikeís head off. Most of the head was actually removed, but one ear remained intact. The slice actually missed the jugular vein and a clot prevented him from bleeding to death. Apparently, most of a chickenís reflex actions are located in the brain stem, which was also largely untouched. Mike was also examined by the officers of several humane societies and was declared to have been free from suffering.
Through his open esophagus, Mike was fed a mixture of ground up grain and water with your typical eyedropper. Little bits of gravel were dropped down his throat to help his gizzard grind up the food.
One serious problem that Mike commonly experienced was that he would start to choke on his own mucus. The Olsens came up with the simple solution of using a syringe to suck the mucus out. But, one day tragedy struck. Mike was traveling back home to Fruita and was roosting with the Olsens in their Phoenix motel room. They heard Mike choking in the middle of the night and quickly realized that they had left the syringe at the sideshow the day before. Miracle Mike was no more.
The exact date of Mikeís belated departure from this world was never recorded. Years later, it was estimated, based on Lloydís information, that Miracle Mike died in March of 1947. Eighteen months living without a head could be considered a worldís record.
But wait, the story is not over! Mike actually has his own holiday! On May 17, 1999, Mikeís hometown of Fruita held the first "Mike the Headless Chicken Day" in honor of one of its most famous citizens. Some of the events included the 5K Run Like a Headless Chicken Race, egg tosses, Pin the Head on the Chicken, the Chicken Cluck-Off, and the classic Chicken Dance. The food offerings included - you guessed it - chicken, chicken salad, and the like. Letís not forget the great game of Chicken Bingo in which the numbers were chosen by where chicken droppings fell on a numbered grid.
THE STORY OF THE UGLY BABY, BIG CHICKEN.
One day the farmer was out near the hen house. The farmer noticed this big, ugly chicken
outside the lot. The farmer picked up the big ugly chicken and threw him back into the chicken lot.
The farmer often noticed how peculiar this big, ugly chicken acted. But the big bird soon learned how
to scratch in the dirt for itís food.
The big bird grew AND GREW, HE BECAME THE BIGGEST CHICKEN ON THE LOT.
This big bird was crazy and acted crazy. He was the craziest chicken the farmer had ever seen.
One day the game warden was driving by, he was so surprised when he saw the big bird in the chicken lot.
He stopped his jeep and ran toward the farmer.
The game warden screamed there is an eagle in with your chickens.
The farmer laughed, Naw, it is just a big ugly chicken!
The ranger said, NO! IT IS AN EAGLE.
The farmer said, Naw! It is a big, ugly, stupid chicken.
The ranger said, I will prove to you this is an eagle.
So the ranger grabbed the big bird and climbed up the ladder in the barn.
Once he was in the hay loft the ranger released the bird, and it slowly fell to the ground and started scratching
in the dirt.
The farmer said, See, I told you it was a chicken!
The ranger asked, Will you sell me that chicken?
The farmer said, Sure!
How much do you want for the eagle?
The farmer said, I get $2.00 per chicken.
So the ranger said, Tomorrow, I will come and pick up the eagle.
The farmer said, The chicken is yours, do as you want.
The ranger came early the next morning, he loaded the big, ugly, stupid chicken in a cage in the back of
The ranger drove for several hours, climbing higher and higher up a mountain.
Finally, the ranger reached the pinnacle of the mountain, it was a cliff dropping many hundred feet.
The ranger unloaded the cage and took the big, ugly, stupid bird out of the cage.
The ranger held the big bird high in the wind, and the ranger said, We will see if you are a chicken or an eagle?
The ranger forcibly threw the big bird over the cliff, the bird fluttere...
MAVIS LAYS AN EGG
On a bright, beautiful day, full of promise, Mavis laid an egg. This was not an extraordinary event since Mavis was a chicken, but Mavis was not pleased.
"An egg? An egg? What do I want with an egg?" said Mavis to herself. "An egg is just not in my plans. Iíll have to get rid of it."
Mavis sat on the edge of her nest looking at the thing for a while, then she went out into the barnyard and picked up a rock. She carried it into the henhouse, lifted it over her head, and was about to crash it into the egg when she heard, "Stop!"
Old Biddy Hen was standing in the doorway. "Child, what on earth are you doing with that rock?"
"I was just going to crack open this egg," she said softly.
"Whatever for?" Biddy asked. "It looks like a perfectly good egg to me."
"Well, if I donít, my life will be ruined. First, Iíll have to sit on it night and day, and then, it might hatch. Iím just not ready to have a cheeping little chick following me around all the time. I donít think I can handle it. I want a life."
"Looks to me like youíve got a life there. Who knows what it will become, the next cock-a-doodle rooster or maybe Mother Hen. Life is full of possibilities. Mavis, everything you said is true, but it sure would be a shame to break such a beautiful egg,Ē Biddy said kindly.
"I donít know what to do. I wish it were someone else and not me."
"I know," said Biddy, "These kinds of Choices are not easy. Itís important that you think about it first. Donít rush your decision. Thereís time for planning. You canít put that shell back together after itís broken."
Biddy put her big, warm wing around Mavis and held her close. "Why donít we pray about it together, and after that, Iíll be here if you need me,Ē she said.
"Thanks, Biddy, youíre the best."
"Youíre pretty OK yourself," Biddy whispered.
Donald Barnhouse tells of the time when a prairie fire swept across his fatherís land & burned everything, house, buildings, crops, everything.
Later on, his dad was walking across the burned ground, kicking this object & that. Finally, he came to a charred piece of something that looked like a stump from a tree, & he kicked at it. When he did, little baby chickens started running in all directions.
He bent over to look at it, & discovered that that charred lump was an old momma hen who had covered her chickens to protect them from the fire. So they were still alive, but in the process she had given her life for them. But that is what mother chickens do.
HOW MANY WILL BE SAVED?
There was a debate between two famous rabbis about this. One said that the number saved would be one third of the world. To support this he pointed to the ancient Flood in which Noah and his three sons and their families were saved. But of these three sons, Shem, the ancestor of Israel, received the greatest blessing. The second rabbi disagreed and said that the number saved would be much less than that. He pointed out that there was a multitude of people who left Egypt during Israel's great exodus. But it was only two, Joshua and Caleb, who actually entered into the land of promise. (See J.B. Lightfoot's Commentary)
The Bible does tell us in many places that the number of those who will be saved will be few. Paul, the Apostle, wrote in his letter to the Romans:
"Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: 'Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved.'" (Romans 9.27)
The number of those saved will be a "remnant," a small portion of those who could have been saved. Jesus explains why at the end of Luke 13. He said, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem... How often I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not" (13.34).
Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
One of the greatest messages ever proclaimed was delivered by Jesus Christ and is referred to as the "Sermon on the Mount." His message is as relevant today as it was when it was first spoken. Our Lord opens this message not with a joke, but with the Beatitudes.
The Beatitudes cover the glorious hope and are rewards that Christians can expect now as well as in eternity. The second Beatitude is, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Matthew 5: 4)
To mourn means to have a broken heart. In the Greek, it means to have a deep inner pain which occurs when something tragic happens, such as a death of a loved one. It also means to have a desperate sorrow over evil and suffering. In this Scripture it is mourning over sin against God and the results of it which leads to spiritual death and eternal separation from God. It is a brokenness of heart that comes from understanding the suffering Christ went through upon the cross and realizing that our sin put Him there.
True Godly sorrow is not "I'm sorry I got caught! I'm sorry I have to pay the price for my sin!" This sorrow focuses on self and simply moans over the personal consequences of it's own sin. It is total self-centeredness that does not consider the heart of God. It leads to death because it does not lead to repentance.
Those who are God's true mourners live a life of repentance, they mourn over the sins they have committed as well as over the sins of others and they have great regard of God's honor, such as Ezekiel, Isaiah and Jeremiah. The psalmist who wrote psalm 119 wept "a stream of tears because God's Word was not obeyed." ( v. 136)
True mourners sympathize over the afflictions of others. "When Jesus saw [Mary] weeping and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping" over Lazarus' death, "He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled." (John 11: 33) "Jesus wept." (John 11: 35) They also have compassion on perishing souls such as Jesus did over Jerusalem and her coming fate. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing." (Matthew 23: 37)
King David found comfort in the everlastin...
CHICKEN FOR DINNER
When my dad was a small boy, he wanted to go fishing, but no one would take him. He sat on his porch with his fishing pole and pretended to be fishing until that became too boring. So he put a hook on and put a piece of bread on the hook. My grandmother let her chickens run free. It wasn't long until he got a nibble. He jerked and hooked a good-laying hen through the head. Dad got a spanking, he remembered, but he also remembered the family had fried chicken that night. My dad recalls, "It was worth it."
God would never discipline us like that, to the point we would say, "Well, the discipline was inconvenient, but the sin was well worth it."
YOU NEED SOMEONE, SOMEONE NEEDS YOU
A rooster minus a hen equals no baby chicks.
Kelloggís minus a farmer equals no corn flakes.
If the nail factory closes what good is the hammer factory?
Beethovenís genius wouldn't have amounted to much if the piano tuner hadn't showed up.
A cracker maker will do better if there's a cheese-maker.
The mort skilful surgeon needs the ambulance driver who delivers the patient.
Just as Rogers needed Hammerstein, you need someone and someone needs you!