THOUGHTFUL ITEMS FOR SCOUTERS
Thanks to Scouter Jim from Bountiful, Utah, who prepares this section of Baloo for us each month. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the link to write Baloo on www.usscouts.org. CD
Cub Scout Roundtable Leaders’ Guide
We give thanks for our families, our blessings, our Scouts, and all creations of nature. We hope to learn to esteem all created things, and encourage our Scouts to do the same. Amen.
In Honor of Birds
I have a Scouting friend who will not wear a feather when he dresses as Akela in Indian costume. Feathers have special meaning to the various nations of Native Americans. Birds are an important part of the creation story for the Pahute Indians. They built the dry land on which all other animals came to live. The spread the seeds over the earth that would be the grass, berries and trees that the other animals would need to live. In honor of their work, the birds were allowed to always be carriers of seeds, and the gods gave them bright plumage and songs so they could make the beautiful. As we honor our feathered friends, let us remember those that came before us and walked softly on the earth.
I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs. Joseph Addison
It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.
Pay the thunder no mind – listen to the birds.
Oh, the little birds sang east, and the little birds sang west. Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Today I am sure no one needs to be told that the more birds a yard can support, the fewer insects there will be to trouble the gardener the following year.Thalassa Cruso
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. James Dent
I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven. Emily Dickinson
Hast thou named all the birds without a gun?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Words are heavy like rocks, they weigh you down. If birds could talk they wouldn’t be able to fly.
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s Heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
Dorothy Frances Gurney
Give a drink of water as alms to the birds which go forth at morning, and deem that they have a better right than men [to thy charity]. For their race brings not harm upon thee in any wise, when thou fearest it from thine own race. Ma'Arri
The world has different owners at sunrise . . . Even your own garden does not belong to you. Rabbits and blackbirds have the lawns; a tortoise–shell cat who never appears in daytime patrols the brick walls, and a golden–tailed pheasant glints his way through the iris spears.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.
It's a warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries.
John Edward Masefield
hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places standing alone on the mountain-top it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make — leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone — we all dwell in a house of one room — the world with the firmament for its roof — and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track.
Every year back spring comes, with nasty little birds, yapping their fool heads off.
To me, the garden is a doorway to other worlds; one of them, of course, is the world of birds. The garden is their dinner table, bursting with bugs and worms and succulent berries. Anne Raver
Garden: One of a vast number of free outdoor restaurants operated by charity–minded amateurs in an effort to provide healthful, balanced meals for insects, birds and animals.
Henry Beard & Roy McKie
The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew into the air came to rest upon the earth and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing.
Chief Luther Standing Bear
What is the singing of birds, or any natural sound, compared with the voice of one we love?
Henry David Thoreau
The birds I heard today, which, fortunately, did not come within the scope of my science, sang as freshly as if it had been the first morning of creation. Henry David Thoreau
There are 8,600 species of birds in the world today. They are found everywhere. Birds play a vital role in the balance of nature. They eat insects, pests and small animals. Fruit eating birds are best for scattering seeds for these plants. Seed eating birds digest seeds and in so doing keep millions of weeds from the earth. . . . Birds have between 1,000 and 25,000 feathers.
An estimated 63 million people are feeding birds in their yards. Research by Metz Farms Wildlife Feeding Specialists of Grand Rapids, Michigan, also shows that $2.3 billion is spent on birdseed each year. unknown
Poor indeed is the garden in which birds find no homes. Abram L. Urban
Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.
Henry van Dyke
In this sequestered nook how sweet
To sit upon my orchard seat
And birds and flowers once more to greet. . . .
I May Never See Tomorrow
Heart of America Council
I may never see tomorrow
There’s no written guarantee
And things that happened yesterday
Belong to history.
I cannot predict the future
I cannot change the past
I have just the present moment
I must treat it as my last.
I must use the moment wisely
For it will soon pass away
And be lost to me forever
As part of yesterday.
I must exercise compassion
Help the fallen to their feet
BE a friend unto the friendless
Make an empty life complete.
The unkind things I do today
May never be undone
Any friendships that I fail to win
May nevermore be won.
I may not have another chance
On bended knee to pray,
And I thank God with humble heart
For giving me this day.
Why the Birds Wear Bright Plumage
Pahute Indian Legend
Scouter Jim from Bountiful, Utah
Why the North Star Stands Still and Other Indian Legends, William R. Palmer, Published by the Zion Natural History Association, Zion National Park, Springdale Utah]
A Long time ago-long ago-so long ago that no Indian can remember, and no tree can remember, and no rock can remember; so long ago that there were no Indians and there were no trees, and the rocks had not been made, there were only Tobats and Shinob, the two gods. Tobats and Shinob were first. They made the trees and the rocks and the Indians.
In that time Tobats and Shinob were standing on a tiny speck of land no larger than their feet and everywhere else there was water. They had come to this little island in the water world to see what should be done.
Tobats said to Shinob, "Here is the world we are making, what shall we do next?" Shinob answered, "There is too much water. We must make more land. Tu-weap, the earth, must be on top of the water. It must stand up high above the water so the living things can find it." Tobats said, "Yes, the earth must stand above the water." Then he added, "Go now .and make more earth. Make it stand above the water. Call someone to help."
Shinob called loudly to wooten-tats, the hummingbird. "Why do you call wooten-tats?" Tobats asked. "He is so little," Shinob answered. "I called him because there is no place here for anyone to stand. Wooten-tats can stand in the air while he works."
In a few moments wooten-tats came. He came from somewhere. He came not on the water for his feathers were dry, and he came not on the land for there was no land. He came from somewhere. He stood in the air close before Tobats and Shinob.
Wooten-tats asked, "Why did you call me?" Shinob said, "We have come to make tu-weap, the earth, so the living things can have a place of their own to live. Can you build?" "No," answered wooten-tats, "I am not the builder bird. Call pa-sof-piech, the swallow. He builds with mud." Tobats said to Shinob, "Call pa-sof-piech, the swallow." Shinob said to wooten-tats, "Bring pa-sof-piech here. Go quick."
The little bird darted away and soon came back with the swallow. Wooten-tats stood still in the air but pa-sof-piech flew around looking for a place to light. He saw only the foot of Tobats and there he came to rest. He looked around and saw leaves growing in the soil under Shinob's feet.
Shinob said to pa-sof-piech, the swallow, "Are you a builder? Can you build land out on that water?" Pa-sof-piech looked again at the leaves under Shinob's feet and answered, "I can make a place out on the water for the earth to rest. I can make a foundation." "All right," said the gods in chorus, "Do it now. Do it quick."
The swallow plucked a leaf and flying outward, dropped it on the water. He plucked another and laid it beside the first, then another and another and another. He stuck them together with mud from under the feet of the gods. Tobats and Shinob went away, but the swallow worked on for many days and the hummingbird helped him carry leaves which grew on the plants as fast as the birds could pluck them.
After a while the blanket of leaves was so large that .pa-sof-piech and wooten-tats could walk over it for a long, long way without getting their feathers wet.
Shinob was watching their progress and one day he raised a strong wind. It bellied up into the sky like a great storm cloud and it traveled very fast. The two birds saw it coming and hurried away for they had never seen clouds like that one before. The wind was loaded with sand. The sand came from somewhere. It was not off the water for it was dry, and it was not off the land for there was no land. It came from somewhere. Tobats threw it out upon the shoulders of the wind.
When the wind reached the leaf blanket it said, "Now I can rest. I can lay my load down and rest." It dropped the sand down upon the blanket and had to go on without its load because it could not pick it up again for the sand had spread everywhere. Some of it ran over the edge and made a big solid bank that tied tu-weap, the earth, down so it could not float away. The swallow and the hummingbird saw the wind pass over and drop its load and they hurried back to see what had happened. They found the leaf blanket covered deep with sand which stood high above the water.
In great excitement the two birds flew back to the somewhere they came from. They met the robin and told him there was a place out over the water where he could take his family and live. They said to the eagle, "Go out over the water and find the place to build your nest." They went to the crow and to the magpie to the ducks and to all the birds and told them where to go. They went also to cooch, the buffalo, and tu-ee, the deer, and to the elk and the bear and the coyote and to all the animals and told them the earth had been made so they could have a place to go and make their homes. There was great excitement among the animals and among all the living things and many took their families and went out over the water to find the place that had been made for them.
Now all of this movement came about too fast and too soon, for there was no food growing yet upon the new earth. 'tu-weap was not ready yet for the living things to come. They soon grew hungry and they saw that they must perish unless the gods helped them. In distress they caned loudly to him.
Shinob heard the cries of the living things and hurried to tu-weap to see what was the matter. He said to the living things. "What will You eat?" They answered, "There is nothing here to eat. We are hungry. We will soon have to die."
Shinob went away. When he came back he called the animals together and asked, "What do you eat?" They answered, "How can we eat? There is nothing here to eat." Shinob went away again and when he came back he asked that same question, "What will you eat?" This time the birds spoke up cheerfully and said, "We will think about it. We will talk about it. When you come again we will tell you."
The birds rose up like a cloud and began to swirl around in great flocks in the sky. They chattered and flapped so noisily that the animals could hear nothing else. The animals huddled together in their hunger and sulked. They felt uncomfortable and mean. Then the birds left tu-weap and flew far away. The animals saw them receding in the western sky like a thin streak of cloud. For a long time the birds were gone and the animals grew very lonesome for their twitterings and song .
One day the elk lifted his head and said, "I see something in the sky." The others looked, but they could see nothing. They laughed at the elk. After awhile he lifted his head again and said, "I see something in the sky. It is coming this way." The animals looked intently, but still they could see nothing. They laughed at the elk and called him foolish names. When the elk lifted his head again his antlers were raised very high and with great dignity he said, "I see something in the sky. It is much nearer now." The animals looked and this time they saw a dark streak in the west. The coyote whispered to the squirrel, "It is the birds coming home." The squirrel was overjoyed and he ran from animal to animal chattering, "1t is the birds. It is the birds."
When at length the birds arrived they. flew everywhere over the land. They came laden with seeds of grass, and seeds of berries and seeds of trees. They scattered them all over the face of the land. Then Shinob sent strong winds to roll the sands around until the seeds were well covered.
The animals now were very poor and hungry. They grumbled and growled at everything and pushed each other around. The birds flitted cheerfully about and sang their songs. They never grumbled. Soon the earth began to crack and little green shoots came thrusting upward from the soil. In a little while the earth was green and there were berries and fruits and grass and roots for the living things to eat. They grew fat and were once more happy together.
One day Tobats and Shinob, the two gods, came and called the animals together. Shinob said as if he had never asked the question before, "What will you eat?" The animals all sang out in joyful chorus, "We will eat the things that the birds brought for us. We will eat leaves and grass and fruits and berries." Shinob said, "It is well. If you will eat only the foods that grow out of the earth you will be happy. Do this and the living things will always be friends."
Old Tobats asked, "What will we do for the birds to pay them for the great thing they did?" Shinob answered, "Let them always be carriers of seeds to make the earth brighter. Let the winds be their helpers. Always they will be happy for their work is to plant seeds of beauty. Give them bright plumage and put songs in their throats so they can always make the earth beautiful and the living things happy."