The parson and Patrick, a seventh grader, were driving a stake with a red strip of cloth attached into the yard of the church. Three feet from their position, scratched out into the ground, was an indentation in the yard which hosted the nest of the Killdeer who hung out at the church in the spring of every year. In the nest rested four eggs, resembling pieces of gravel.
To the east of the parson and Patrick the Mommy Killdeer splayed her wings and raised her tail to appear bigger as she fussed and fussed and fussed. To the west the Daddy Killdeer floundered about on the ground one wing extended as he faked being wounded, in a frantic effort to attract these seeming predators away from the eggs.
Having placed the stake in the ground so that when the yard was mowed the next day the lay person on the mower would not harm the nest, the parson and Patrick rose from their knees and walked back toward the church. Reaching the church driveway they turned and watched the two parents hop back toward the nest. Mommy settled herself upon the eggs. Daddy went to search for bugs.
“Thanks for helping, Patrick,” the parson said.
“You’re welcome, Parson,” he responded. “Now the eggs will be safe.”
“That’s right, and maybe in a week we’ll see the babies hopping around the yard.”
“You know what’s funny, Parson?”
“What’s that, Patrick?”
“Well, every year everybody gets all excited about the Killdeer eggs. Everybody in the church wants to make sure they hatch their eggs and the babies are safe.”
“That’s a good thing, Patrick.”
“I know. But every year you have to ask and ask everybody to give money to the Children’s Home.”
The parson paused as he tried to think of a proper response.
“Oh, well, I just think that’s kind of weird,” Patrick said as he turned and walked into the Fellowship Hall.