The Clever Road Runner

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
"I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are Mine." Psa. 50:11
The road runner is a strange North American bird full of comical manners and mischief. Belonging to the cuckoo family, it is nearly two feet long and has long legs with two toes in front and two in back. It blends into the desert countryside in its drab white and olive feathers. Year after year it lives in the same nest made of sticks and often lined with snake skins.
When chased, the male allows its pursuer almost to catch it, then leaps into the brush and disappears. If an intruder approaches the nest, the female remains quietly on her nest until the intruder is almost upon her before flying away. If she has chicks, she hops away from the nest and pretends to have a broken leg, limping along just beyond reach of her enemy. This leads the intruder away from her chicks a safe distance where finally she flies off. How did she learn to do this? The Creator gave her this instinct when He placed the first road runner on the earth.
This swift-footed bird prefers to walk, but will fly occasionally. It is interesting to watch one strutting through the desert with its neck and head stretched out, stopping often with its tail feathers and bristly topknot bobbing up and down. Its black eyes are always alert for its next meal—insect, mouse, lizard, snail or young snake—which it catches in its long beak.
This bird's life seems to be full of fun. If a horse and rider appear, it is quite ready to run in front of them, challenging them to a race. After tiring of the game, it disappears off the side of the road.
It frightens cats by rushing toward them with its wings spread, head stretched out and beak open, making odd noises. Most cats will make a quick getaway, but some cats will hold their ground and even swipe at the bird with their paws.
The road runner is not afraid of rattlesnakes. It will circle the snake and tease it to strike. When the snake strikes, the road runner jumps into the air or hops aside where the snake cannot reach it. The moment the snake's body is straightened out the bird quickly pecks it with its sharp beak. The angry snake coils and strikes again and again, but always with the same result. Finally, tired out, the snake cannot continue the fight, and the bird finishes it off.
God has given special abilities to each of His creatures, and He takes pleasure in caring for them. He cares for you too, but more than that, He loves you and invites you to be His child. The Bible explains how: "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:26). Are you part of His happy family?