On consideration, it is not surprising that Darwin's finches should recognize their own kind primarily by beak characters. The beak is the only prominent specific distinction, and it features conspicuously both in attacking behaviour, when the birds face each other and grip beaks, and also in courtship, when food is passed from the beak of the male to the beak of the female. Hence though the beak differences are primarily correlated with differences in food, secondarily they serve as specific recognition marks, and the birds have evolved behaviour patterns to this end.
He waited a moment, as they walked side by side through the camp, and then asked, 'Sir, if there's something we can't handle how do we handle it anyway?' She either grunted or laughed from the same place that grunts came from. 'Sawtooth wedges and keep going, Beak. Throw back whatever is thrown at us. Keep going, until... ' 'Until what?' 'It's all right, Beak, to die alongside your comrades. It's all right. Do you understand me?' 'Yes sir, I do. It is all right, because they're my friends.' 'That's right, Beak.
A water snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting its periscope head from side to side; and it swam the length of the pool and came to the legs of a motionless heron that stood in the shadows. A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically.
Night was falling. Birds were singing. Birds were, it occurred to me to say, enacting a frantic celebration of day's end. They were manifesting as the earth's bright-colored nerve endings, the sun's descent urging them into activity, filling them individually with life nectar, the life nectar then being passed into the world, out of each beak, in the form of that bird's distinctive song, which was, in turn, an accident of beak shape, throat shape, breast configuration, brain chemistry: some birds blessed in voice, others cursed; some squeaking, others rapturous.
He had his eyes closed and rocked himself so much that everyone thought he would soon crash to the ground. And then it happened. He crashed to the ground. Surprised, he lay on the ground on his side, not sure what had happened, looking around. Next he jumped up and listened to Matica's singing again, starting to rock himself once more. His eyes closed slowly, his beak opened. And then he crashed to the ground a second time. This time he kept lying down, spreading his free wing up into the air and waving it to the tune of the melody. Strange sounds came out of his beak. It was a grunt but more than a grunt, as if he was really enjoying himself, as if he would follow Matica's words and would sing or hum as well.
I turned back to the shrike, but the beak of his mask grazed up my neck and warm lips brushed my ear. Thrills coursed through me, but I didn't move until he started away. I caught his hand. "Wait." He'd felt right. I knew who I needed him to be, even if the way we'd danced was not how- That kind of passion he reserved for music. Not me. A cold breeze made me shiver as I tightened my grip on his. Stepped closer. Searched his eyes. His lips tilted up at one corner, like amusement. I'd known, but still, the familiar expression stunned me so much I almost didn't act. I kissed him. Rather, I pressed my mouth against his and hoped he wouldn't run. It would probably kill me. Three long seconds and he only gasped and tightened his hands on my back. Then, with a soft moan, he opened his mouth and kissed me. It wasn't an easy, sweet kiss like I'd imagined my first would be, but frustraeted and hungry. That was good, better than easy and sweet, because after everything, I was frustrated and hungry for him, too. His beak scraped my cheek, but I ignored it while the tip of his tongue danced over my lips.
The conditions of a solitary bird are five: The first, that it flies to the highest point; The Second, that it does not suffer for company, not even of its own kind; The Third, that it aims its beak to the skies; The Fourth, that it does not have a definite color; The Fifth, that it sings very softly.
John of the Cross
I mean, d'you know what eternity is? There's this big mountain, see, a mile high, at the end of the universe, and once every thousand years there's this little bird-" "What little bird?" said Aziraphale suspiciously. "This little bird I'm talking about. And every thousand years-" "The same bird every thousand years?" Crowley hesitated. "Yeah, " he said. "Bloody ancient bird, then." "Okay. And every thousand years this bird flies-" "-limps-" "-flies all the way to this mountain and sharpens its beak-" "Hold on. You can't do that. Between here and the end of the universe there's loads of-" The angel waved a hand expansively, if a little unsteadily. "Loads of buggerall, dear boy." "But it gets there anyway, " Crowley persevered. "How?" "It doesn't matter!" "It could use a space ship, " said the angel. Crowley subsided a bit. "Yeah, " he said. "If you like. Anyway, this bird-" "Only it is the end of the universe we're talking about, " said Aziraphale. "So it'd have to be one of those space ships where your descendants are the ones who get out at the other end. You have to tell your descendants, you say, When you get to the Mountain, you've got to-" He hesitated. "What have they got to do?" "Sharpen its beak on the mountain, " said Crowley. "And then it flies back-" "-in the space ship-" "And after a thousand years it goes and does it all again, " said Crowley quickly. There was a moment of drunken silence. "Seems a lot of effort just to sharpen a beak, " mused Aziraphale. "Listen, " said Crowley urgently, "the point is that when the bird has worn the mountain down to nothing, right, then-" Aziraphale opened his mouth. Crowley just knew he was going to make some point about the relative hardness of birds' beaks and granite mountains, and plunged on quickly. "-then you still won't have finished watching The Sound of Music." Aziraphale froze. "And you'll enjoy it, " Crowley said relentlessly. "You really will." "My dear boy-" "You won't have a choice." "Listen-" "Heaven has no taste." "Now-" "And not one single sushi restaurant." A look of pain crossed the angel's suddenly very serious face.
Oscar is the exact opposite of how I think you should behave. I just think of it as a negative view of the positive mind I have. Big Bird is sweet and nice and also sympathetic, as kids can identify with him even though he looks like such a bizarre character - great 8 feet 2 inches, a beak 18 inches long.
I was always either so unreasonably and pointlessly happy that no one place could seem to contain me, or so melancholy, so sick and silly with sadness that there was no place I could stomach the thought of entering. I hated it here. And I have never been as happy as when I was here. And these two things together confront me with the beak and claws of the True.
David Foster Wallace
Once there was a boy,' said Jace. Clary interrupted immediately. 'A Shadowhunter boy?' 'Of course.' For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. 'When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors - killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. 'The falcon didn't like the boy, and the boy didn't like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn't know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. 'He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn't bring himself to do it - instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen. 'He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. 'Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. 'I told you to make it obedient,' his father said, and dropped the falcon's lifeless body to the ground. 'Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.' 'Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he'd learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
One of the truly bizarre things about our current cultural situation is that the leading figures of the scientific establishment seem genuinely amazed that the citizens do not accept finch-beak variation as proof of the claim that humans, like all animals and plants, are accidental products of a purposeless universe in which only material processes have operated from the beginning.
Phillip E. Johnson
No one can liberate you, for no one has bound you; you hold on to the nettle of worldly pleasures and you weep for pain. The kite is pursued by the crows so long as it carries the fish in its beak, it twists and turns in the sky trying to last and it drops the fish. That moment it is free. So give up the attachment to the senses; then grief and worry can harass you no more.
Sathya Sai Baba
I must confess that I and a few others are burdened with heavy responsibilities regarding the future of criticism. I am certainly, if not the inventor, then at least one of the first systematizers of an absurd critical practice that, as soon as it had peeked its beak out of the nest, flapping its new wet wings, took flight in the minds of the young, becoming a wild ox and sowing avant-garde literature with the mighty tomes of what might as well be called the abstract bear.
SUMMER DEEP" "Summer deep is in the hills again His lady is a lioness Winds of birds blow through the fields again Invaders from the true worlds A coat of grapes is on my back again I ride upon my zebra Pterodactyl beak hat on my brow The truth is like a stranger Be like you could All my friends say.
What dinosaur traits are missing from an ostrich? The ostrich has a toothless beak, but there are mutations that cause teeth and claws to come back to their mouth and limbs. You need to replace the feathers with scales, but there are no feathers on their legs and feet, so you just need to make its whole body like its legs are.
George M. Church
As for your doctrines I am prepared to go to the Stake if requisite ... I trust you will not allow yourself to be in any way disgusted or annoyed by the considerable abuse & misrepresentation which unless I greatly mistake is in store for you... And as to the curs which will bark and yelp - you must recollect that some of your friends at any rate are endowed with an amount of combativeness which (though you have often & justly rebuked it) may stand you in good stead - I am sharpening up my claws and beak in readiness.
Many people are seeking, at this very moment, to shelter themselves under the wing of the federal eagle; imagining, I presume, that her bosom has all the softness and snugness of an eider-down pillow. But she has no great tenderness, even in her best of moods, and, sooner or later, -oftener sooner than late, - is apt to fling off her nestlings with a scratch of her claw, a dab of her beak, or a rankling wound from her barbed arrows.
So boasting of her capacity to surround and protect, there was scarcely a shell of herself left for her to know herself by; all was so lavished and spent; and James, as he stood stiff between her knees, felt her rise in a rosy-flowered fruit tree laid with leaves and dancing boughs into which the beak of brass, the arid scimitar of his father, the egotistical man, plunged and smote, demanding sympathy.
Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, books had no real existence in our world. Like seeds in the beak of a bird waiting to fall to earth, or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. they lie dormant hoping for the chance to emerge.They want us to give them life.
High in the North in a land called Svithjod there is a mountain. It is a hundred miles long and a hundred miles high and once every thousand years a little bird comes to this mountain to sharpen its beak. When the mountain has thus been worn away a single day of eternity will have passed
Hendrik Willem van Loon
A friend asked, "If increased awareness means less happiness, why bother?" No answer. Three or four nights later I had a dream. I was driving. To my right I saw baby cranes - blue-green, all legs, beak, and wings - standing in a field. They took off and crashed, took off and crashed. I stopped the car and got out. "That looks like it hurts. Why do you do it?" One of the cranes looked me square in the eye. "We may not fly very well yet, but at least we aren't walking." I awoke, happy. From that moment, there has been no turning back.
Across from me at the next row of supports Jim raised his hand and touched his fingers to his thumb a few times, imitating an opening and closing beak. Negotiate. He wanted me to engage a lunatic who had already turned four people into smoking meat. Okay. I could do that. "Alright, Jeremy!" I yelled into the night. "Give me the salamander and I won't cut your head off!" Jim put his hand over his face and did some shaking. I thought he was laughing, but I couldn't be sure.
315Beauty is, in some way, boring. Even if its concept changes through the ages... a beautiful object must always follow certain rules. A beautiful nose shouldn't be longer than that or shorter than that, on the contrary, an ugly nose can be as long as the one of Pinocchio, or as big as the trunk of an elephant, or like the beak of an eagle, and so ugliness is unpredictable, and offers an infinite range of possibility. Beauty is finite, ugliness is infinite like God.
Beauty is, in some way, boring. Even if its concept changes through the ages... a beautiful object must always follow certain rules. A beautiful nose shouldn't be longer than that or shorter than that, on the contrary, an ugly nose can be as long as the one of Pinocchio, or as big as the trunk of an elephant, or like the beak of an eagle, and so ugliness is unpredictable, and offers an infinite range of possibility. Beauty is finite, ugliness is infinite like God.
Give me a hot coal glowing bright red, Give me an ember sizzling with heat, These are the jewels made from my beak. We fly between the flames and never get singed We plunge through the smoke and never cringe. The secrets of fire, its strange winds, its rages, We know it all as it rampages Through forests, through canyons, Up hillsides and down. We track it. We'll find it. Take coals by the pound. We'll yarp in the heart of the hottest flame Then bring back its coals an make them tame. For we are the colliers brave and beyond all We are the owls of the colliering chaw!
You have perhaps heard some false reports On the subject of God. He is not dead; and he is not a fable. He is not mocked nor forgotten- Successfully. God is a lion that comes in the night. God is a hawk gliding among the stars- If all the stars and the earth, and the living flesh of the night that flows in between them, and whatever is beyond them Were that one bird. He has a bloody beak and harsh talons, he pounces and tears- And where is the German Reich? There also Will be prodigious America and world-owning China. I say that all hopes and empires will die like yours; Mankind will die, there will be no more fools; wisdom will die; the very stars will die; One fierce life lasts.
Stories come alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth. Or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.
If God is the Creator, if God englobes every single thing in the universe, then God is everything, and everything is God. God is the earth and the sky, and the tree planted in the earth under the sky, and the bird in the tree, and the worm in the beak of the bird, and the dirt in the stomach of the worm. God is He and She, straight and gay, black and white and red - yes even that... and green and blue and all the rest. And so, to despise me for loving women or you for being a Red who made love with a woman, would be to despise not only His own creations but also to hate Himself. My God is not so stupid as that.
Love at first sight is a hypnosis: I am fascinated by an image: at first shaken, electrified, stunned, "paralysed" as Menon was by Socrates, the model of loved objects, of captivating images, or again converted by an apparition, nothing distinguishing the path of enamoration from the Road to Damascus; subsequently ensnared, held fast, immobilised, nose stuck to the image (the mirror). In that moment when the other's image comes to ravish me for the first time, I am nothing more than the Jesuit Athanasius Kirchner's wonderful Hen: feet tied, the hen went to sleep with her eyes fixed on the chalk line, which was traced not far from her beak; when she was untied, she remained motionless, fascinated, "submitting to her vanquisher, " as the Jesuit says (1646); yet, to waken her from her enchantment, to break off the violence of her Image-repertoire (vehemens animalis imaginatio), it was enough to tap her on the wing; she shook herself and began pecking in the dust again.
Once upon a time an Athenian princesss named Prokne was wed to Tereus, king of the barbarous Thracians of the north. When Prokne's unfortunate sister, Philomela, came for a visit, Tereus fell madly in love with the girl locked her away and raped her, then cut out her tongue to prevent her from telling anyone of the crime. Philomela, however, wove into a cloth the story of her misfortune. When Prokne, receiving the cloth, understood what had befallen, she freed her sister, killed her own son, Itys, whom she had borne to Tereus, and served the child up to his father at a feast-the vilest revenge she could think of. When Tereus discovered the truth, in wrath he pursued the two sisters, thinking to kill them, but the gods transformed all three into birds: Tereus into the hoopoe (a large, crested bird with a daggerlike beak), Philomela into the swallow, which can only twitter unintelligibly, and Prokne into the nightingale, which spends the night singing 'Itys Itys!' in mourning for her dead son. All these birds have reddish spots, it is said, from getting spattered with the blood of the child... It is interesting in our purposes because it shows in yet another way the great importance that clothmaking had in women's lives, becoming central to their mythology as well.
Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Some scientists were conducting an experiment, he said, trying to gauge the impact of abuse on children. Ducks, like people, develop bonds between mother and young. They call it imprinting. So the scientists set out to test how that imprint bond would be affected by abuse. The control group was a real mother duck and her ducklings. For the experimental group, the scientist used a mechanical duck they had created - feathers, sound, and all - which would, at timed intervals, peck the ducklings with its mechanical beak. A painful peck, one a real duck would not give. They varied these groups. Each group was pecked with a different level of frequency. And then they watched the ducklings grow and imprint bond with their mother. Over time, he went on, the ducklings in the control group would waddle along behind their mother. But as they grew, there would be more distance between them. They'd wander and explore. The ducklings with the pecking mechanical mother, though, followed much more closely. Even the scientists were stunned to discover that the group that bonded and followed most closely was the one that had been pecked repeatedly with the greatest frequency. The more the ducklings were pecked and abused, the more closely they followed. The scientist repeated the experiment and got the same results.
Aisling tumbled out, his gold eyes going wild about the room to take in all of them. His beak clicked as he worked it in silence. Then, as the breaking of ice may bring a cascade of water from winter's falls, the griffin's voice-no longer that small shrill copy of Taryn's, but his own true voice-poured plaintively from him. 'Mom!' Taryn jerked around, her mouth dropping open. Aisling bounded toward her and she swept him up into a tight embrace. He clutched at her shoulders with his talons, burying his head under her chin, and cried, 'Mom! Yoo... rrrrr... oh... kay!' 'Great gods, ' Antilles heard himself say and he shot Tonka a startled glance. 'He cannot be speaking?!' The horseman merely smiled. 'And why not?' he murmured, resettling himself on his padded bolster. 'For has he not been a miracle from the very first?' 'You're talking, ' Taryn cried, true delight painting itself over the grief that had seemed to mask her since the dawning of this terrible day. She was radiant once more, burning with a joy and a healing light all its own as she hugged her griffin close. 'Oh, my fierce prince! My big boy!' 'Yoo... rrrr... Ai-sing, ' whispered the griffin. His raptor's eyes flicked to Antilles and his naked wings fluttered. 'Tilly. Yoo... rrrr... sun-shy?' Taryn giggled, her face pressed to fur. 'Aye, lad, ' Antilles said, tossing his broken horn. 'My sun and my moon and all my starry skies.
R. Lee Smith
In a cage of wire-ribs The size of a man's head, the macaw bristles in a staring Combustion, suffers the stoking devils of his eyes. In the old lady's parlour, where an aspidistra succumbs To the musk of faded velvet, he hangs in clear flames, Like a torturer's iron instrument preparing With dense slow shudderings of greens, yellows, blues, Crimsoning into the barbs: Or like the smouldering head that hung In Killdevil's brass kitchen, in irons, who had been Volcano swearing to vomit the world away in black ash, And would, one day; or a fugitive aristocrat From some thunderous mythological hierarchy, caught By a little boy with a crust and a bent pin, Or snare of horsehair set for a song-thrush, And put in a cage to sing. The old lady who feeds him seeds Has a grand-daughter. The girl calls him 'Poor Polly', pokes fun. 'Jolly Mop.' But lies under every full moon, The spun glass of her body bared and so gleam-still Her brimming eyes do not tremble or spill The dream where the warrior comes, lightning and iron, Smashing and burning and rending towards her loin: Deep into her pillow her silence pleads. All day he stares at his furnace With eyes red-raw, but when she comes they close. 'Polly. Pretty Poll', she cajoles, and rocks him gently. She caresses, whispers kisses. The blue lids stay shut. She strikes the cage in a tantrum and swirls out: Instantly beak, wings, talons crash The bars in conflagration and frenzy, And his shriek shakes the house.
Like the most of you, I was raised among people who knew - who were certain. They did not reason or investigate. They had no doubts. They knew that they had the truth. In their creed there was no guess - no perhaps. They had a revelation from God. They knew the beginning of things. They knew that God commenced to create one Monday morning, four thousand and four years before Christ. They knew that in the eternity - back of that morning, he had done nothing. They knew that it took him six days to make the earth - all plants, all animals, all life, and all the globes that wheel in space. They knew exactly what he did each day and when he rested. They knew the origin, the cause of evil, of all crime, of all disease and death. At the same time they knew that God created man in his own image and was perfectly satisfied with his work... They knew all about the Flood - knew that God, with the exception of eight, drowned all his children - the old and young - the bowed patriarch and the dimpled babe - the young man and the merry maiden - the loving mother and the laughing child - because his mercy endureth forever. They knew too, that he drowned the beasts and birds - everything that walked or crawled or flew - because his loving kindness is over all his works. They knew that God, for the purpose of civilizing his children, had devoured some with earthquakes, destroyed some with storms of fire, killed some with his lightnings, millions with famine, with pestilence, and sacrificed countless thousands upon the fields of war. They knew that it was necessary to believe these things and to love God. They knew that there could be no salvation except by faith, and through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Then I asked myself the question: Is there a supernatural power - an arbitrary mind - an enthroned God - a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world - to which all causes bow? I do not deny. I do not know - but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme - that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken - that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer - no power that worship can persuade or change - no power that cares for man. Is there a God? I do not know. Is man immortal? I do not know. One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be. We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with beak and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with loving words, with art and song, and all the ecstasies of love. We can flood our years with sunshine - with the divine climate of kindness, and we can drain to the last drop the golden cup of joy.
Robert G. Ingersoll
My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands. Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother's arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap. I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death. But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled. Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own. My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever. But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path? No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day. So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship. Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer-you never know if it will be your last. Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character. Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing. My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits. But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know. So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have. But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents-not until that time arrives when a little hand-resembling our own-gently clutches our finger from its crib. My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.