THE OAK AND THE STARLING
By Joyce E. Johnson © 2006
Like breezes that blow scattering leaves astray
So it was with the starling from the north that day.
Carried to earth some distance away
By the wind’s strong force, on the ground it lay.
Like a tiny glider it was off on its own,
Having traveled so far its venture unknown.
It was quick to land and needed rest
For it grew too late to build a nest.
Now like a tower there stood strong, but not still
A tree of might, of force, and will.
Its branches did sway with ease and grace,
And rooted so deeply down under its base
Was the largest trunk he had ever seen.
And so it was with this starling so keen
Who grew weary and afraid for the night had begun
To consume the light left behind from the sun.
Where can he take his refuge this night?
The leaves floated down, airy and slight.
He gathered them into a crunchy warm pile,
Then snuggled down in it to rest for a while.
The tree stood proud as a sentry in view,
And like a protector to the starling it knew
This would make a good place for the bird to nest,
For the Oak was the biggest, wisest and best.
The hours passed on and daylight broke.
Breaking the silence the starling spoke,
“What kind of tree must you surely be,
that you stand with greatness over others that I see?
That you speak with age and dignity,
Yet, share your covering, I will not forget;
Your strength and fortitude to me you let.”
Tree leaves rustled. The limbs would creak.
The staunch, old giant began to speak,
“The rings on my trunk tell my history be it told
that I am an Oak and a hundred years old.
I’ve sheltered many a wildlife and prey.
But they soon move on and cannot stay.”
The starling found twigs for his nest to assemble.
The tree fanned its breezes, a soft like tremble
Sending its whispering covers to rest
On the starling, his friend asleep in its nest.