By Janet Chalker, Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa
“Chook” is Australian slang for “chicken.”
When the black kite is high in the air he calls loudly, but once he spots his prey he goes silent and starts to circle, lower and lower, each circle tighter than the one before, until he is at about the height of my rooftop, eying Tilly and her eight little chicks, just a few days old, as they scratch around the yard looking for whatever chooks look for in the dirt.
Tilly notices the kite’s shadow and at once gives her special red-alert cluck. The chicks respond immediately, unquestioningly, and all scurry under her wings. For added security she shuffles under a bush, still sheltering the chicks under her wings until the kite gives in and flies away.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord , “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!…”
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge…