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7 March 1999 Issue

Under Her Wings

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating
picture of a mother's love. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park,
forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.
One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on
the ground at the base of a tree.

Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick.
When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's
wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried
her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings,
instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown
to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived
and the heat had singed her small body, the mother had remained steadfast.
Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings
would live

Go on to What's In a Name?
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