Tag Archives: Universal Studios

The Bearded Barbet

23 Jun


 Judy Wills


 We have lived in Central Florida since 1995 – our retirement dream.  We had originally thought we would retire here and “work” at Disney, doing something mundane, so we could see the theme parks to our heart’s content.Well, it didn’t work out quite like that.  Within four months we had found the church where we felt God wanted us to be members, and so we joined it.

 1Within another six months – much to my surprise! – I became the Church Secretary.  Fred wasn’t too sure about turning in my application for the vacant position, but it just “felt right” to me, so I did.  And was hired (I was Church Secretary for nearly nine years).  I think it helped that I was an older woman, and my last position had been a Financial Secretary, and had learned to keep my mouth shut.  Financial and pastoral stuff is just something one doesn’t blab about.Within another nine months, Fred was the Church Administrator.  It was nice working together, and we made the distinction of working WITH each other – neither of us working FOR the other!  Even with our desks in the same room, we just worked together, as it should be.

In spite of all that “work” stuff, we found time to go to Disney, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios.  We especially enjoyed going to SeaWorld after a stressful day 3at work.  It just seemed like it was more restful there – not as frantic a pace as at Disney or Universal.  Perhaps it was the animals…I don’t know.  I just know that we enjoyed it and felt refreshed after spending a few hours at that theme park.

After we had been going to SeaWorld for a few years, we happened to go around a corner that we didn’t usually go around – and saw a bird “cage” along side one of the buildings.  We heard a strange sound coming from there, and stopped to see.  Inside the large cage were two of the most unusual birds we had ever seen!  And the sound was a raspy croak – called a “growling scrawk”! 4 WOW!  What were these birds??!!  The sign said “Bearded Barbet” – have you ever heard of that?  They, along with Toucans are mainly from tropical West Africa.

I rubbed my finger along the wire mesh, and one of them hopped right over to the metal frame, and took a good look at my finger.  The mesh was tight enough that I couldn’t be bitten – and it’s a good thing!  Look at that beak!!  But it did try to “peck” at my finger.  And it scrawked at me a few times, before it flew back to it’s perch.

Every time we went to SeaWorld after that, we would make sure we stopped to see 5the Bearded Barbet, and were thrilled each time.

Imagine our disappointment when we discovered that they weren’t there any more – and had been replaced by Australian Kookaburras.  Nothing wrong with Kookaburras, but they just weren’t the Bearded Barbet!

Ah – the wonders of God’s world.  They never cease to amaze me!

Psalm 8:1, 3, 8-9

Oh Lord, our Lord, how Majestic is Your Name in all the earth…

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