By Anita Mondragon

As many of you know, my dad was a Baptist Preacher for over 40 years.  He used many illustrations in his sermons to get his point across.  He likened them to parables that Jesus used in the Bible so that folks could understand more easily.

The following, is based on one of the illustrations he used.  I heard it many times during my growing up years, and turned it into a poem for my grandchildren. -anita

“Gotcha!” screamed the boy,

With excitement and delight;

As the cage door slammed shut…

Ever so tight.

“That’s 25 I have now…

Not bad for a few weeks work!”

Said the boy with the mean heart,

Where darkness seemed to lurk.

Like an unattended garden,

Murderous thoughts grew like weeds;

No remorse…no regrets,

For his awful monstrous deeds!

Pride welled up inside him,

As he peered into the cages.

So many different shapes and sizes…

Different colors…different ages!

He’d come to those woods,

With ONE purpose in mind…

And, that, was to kill,

ANY bird he could find!

As he lay in bed that night,

Making plans for those jailed birds,

He sneered within himself…

As he listened to his words.

“HA! …I stole the very song

From their hearts! ….

But, OH…tomorrow…

Now THAT will be the fun part!”

And, with this,

He went to sleep;

As the desperate birds huddled together

…But never made a peep.

Early the next morning,

He loaded the big cage…

And grabbed his pellet gun,

To quench his ever-rising rage.

A kind stranger on the street,

Saw the gun, and said,

“Whatcha doin’ with those birds?”

The boy replied, “I’m gonna shoot ‘em dead!”

The strangers’ face began to sadden,

As he took some money from his pocket.

“Well…I’ll give ya $200.00 dollars for those birds,

If you’ll just keep on walkin’…”

“Are you crazy mister? …

They don’t even sing no more!”

But, the kind stranger kept persisting…

-“I said, $200.00 dollars son…aren’t you listening?”

Now, he had it in his heart,

To torment those poor birds…

But greed…well, it got the best of him,

And then the stranger heard,

“OK mister…as soon as I feel that money

In the palm of my hand…they’re yours…”

So, the price was paid; the stranger,

Took the birds, and opened the cage doors.

One, by one…with gentle hands,

He reached into the cage,

And speaking quietly…

He’d release it, into the suns morning rays.

The boy watched in disbelief…

Then yelled, “Mister! …What are you doing?”

But that kind stranger, he just smiled,

As he heard those birds now cooing.

While the boy stood by and watched,

To his heart and ears, it seemed…

The song those birds were singing now,


Now that I think about it…

That’s how it was with me!

The devil had me caged and bound,

‘Till Jesus set me free!

He paid the price,

And bought my soul,

And now I plainly see…

I once was lost, but now, I’m found…

Was bound…but NOW…I’m free!

  Anita Mondragon 

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