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WITandWISDOM(tm) - June 23, 2000

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

Don't get married only because of the money. You can borrow it cheaper. - Z. Z. Gabor

Source: Sermon Fodder, Sermon_Fodder-subscribe@onelist.com via http://www.witandwisdom.org


by John William Smith (c) 1997,
Excerpted from "Hugs to Encourage and Inspire,"
Howard Publishing Company www.howardpublishing.com
Used by permission - Richard Wimer witandwisdom.org

My son Lincoln and I had been to the town of Frankemuth, Michigan, to fish. He was about eleven at the time. The town is only about fifty miles from Flint, where we lived. The Clinton River is dammed there, and the Lake Huron salmon collect below the dam.

We drove over right after school, hoping to fish a couple of hours before dark. It was late fall. When we headed home, after a very successful trip, it was cold and dark. We were speeding along a narrow, twisting country road, when suddenly, my headlights revealed a white Muscovy duck in the middle of the road. I can't imagine what it was doing in the road at that time of night. I thought ducks were like chickens and went to sleep as soon as it got dark - and this one should have. I was going much too fast to swerve, and there was no time to stop. I heard the sickening whack and crunch of the duck hitting the underside of the car repeatedly.

It isn't easy to explain my next action - in fact it's a little embarrassing - but I have to try, or I can't tell the rest of the story. You need to know me personally, and you need to understand the way I was brought up. In my family - Nothing was ever wasted - it was a sin to waste.

I turned around and went back to pick up the duck so we could take it home and eat it. It was lying in a heap, sprawled out in obvious death in the middle of ten thousand feathers. I pulled up alongside, reached out my door, picked up the duck, laid it on the floor behind my seat, and headed home once again. I was driving a compact car. It was an Opel with bucket seats.

Lincoln was very quiet as we drove, but completely alert. Normally, he would have been sound asleep after such a day, but the incident with the duck had totally captured his imagination. I noticed that he kept looking behind my seat. A few minutes later, he said,
"Dad, do ducks have souls?"

"No, Son, ducks don't have souls."

"What happens to a duck when it dies?"

"We eat it."

"I mean, where does it go? What happens to a duck when it dies?"

"We eat it. It doesn't go anywhere. It just isn't anymore."

"Oh." He thought for a few minutes and then he said, "Dad, is it okay to pray for a duck?"

"I guess so, but why would you want to?"

"I feel sorry for it."

He lapsed into a thoughtful silence, and I assumed that he was praying. He kept his eyes on the duck, and a few minutes later he spoke again.


"What, Son?"

"God just answered my prayer; that duck's alive."

"God doesn't do things like that anymore. The duck is dead."

A few minutes passed.

"Dad? Why doesn't God do things like that anymore?"

"Because the age of miracles ceased when the apostle John died."

"Dad, are you sure of that? The duck is alive. I just saw it move."

"No, Son, the duck may have moved from the motion of the car, but that duck is not alive. I know you feel sorry for the duck, and I do, too, and I know you prayed for the duck; but we have to learn to accept bad things in life. The duck is dead. You heard it hit the car, didn't you?"

"Yes, but, Dad, the duck just moved again, and it's not the motion of the car. It's looking right at me."

"Son, this has gone far enough. You mustn't allow your imagination to run away with you. I've told you that the duck is dead. It is dead! No amount of wishful thinking can bring it back. Trust me. I'm your father, and when I tell you that the duck is dead, you can believe me. The--duck--is--dead! Now, I don't want to hear any more about that duck; do you understand?"

"Yes, Sir."


"What was that noise?"

"I think it was the dead duck, Dad."

I turned around, and sure enough, there was the duck, standing up and looking rather puzzled by its new surroundings.

"Son," I said, "the age of miracles just started again, because that duck was dead!"

We took it home, fed it, found a marvelous place for it to stay--in our swimming pool, which was closed for winter anyway--and we named her (I guess it was a her) Gertrude. About a month later we went back to Frankenmuth. We took Gertrude and released her as near to the spot where we had found her as possible and went on our way.

I learned a lesson from Gertrude the duck that day. I learned that I'm not always right. I learned that older isn't always wiser; I learned that sometimes we allow our presuppositions to override obvious facts; and I learned that if I insist on being right and won't even listen to another point of view, I might be forced to acknowledge my fallibility by a loud "Quack" of reality.

The next time you feel compelled to stand your ground, no matter the facts, just remember Gertrude the duck, and relax a little. Learn the grace of laughing at yourself. It really isn't so bad to admit that you're wrong--once in a while.

Shared by: Heather Eick

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

The Washington Post's Style Invitational asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are some recent winners:

Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Terminal coolness.

It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

All talk and no action.

Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

Source: Kitty's Daily Mews, copyright (c) 1997-2000 All rights reserved worldwide, kittysdailymews-subscribe@topica.com via http://www.witandwisdom.org


A pastor was preaching an impassioned sermon on the evils of television. "It steals away precious time that could be better spent on other things," he said, advising the congregation to do what he and his family had done. "We put out TV away in the closet."

"That's right," his wife mumbled, "and it gets awfully crowded in there."

Source: America's Joke, subscribe-aj@listserve.onlineventures.net via http://www.witandwisdom.org

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

Did anybody ask for a refund for the cracked Liberty Bell?

In 1970 the Procrastinators Club of America demanded a refund from England's White Chapel Foundry due to its cracking in 1835. The British Bell makers offered a full refund, but only if the defective product was returned in its original packaging. The bell, presumably, still resides in its home in Philadelphia.

Source: ArcaMax Trivia, www.arcamax.com via http://www.witandwisdom.org

WITandWISDOM™ Copyright © 1998-2000 by Richard G. Wimer - All Rights Reserved
Any questions, comments or suggestions may be sent to Richard G. Wimer.