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Hermit crabs are remarkable creatures.
Unlike true crabs, which have their own exoskeleton to protect them, they have taken to inhabiting empty shells.
When they get too big for the shell that they are living in, they find a new one and move right in.
Over the years, I’ve met too many people who were afraid to learn the lesson of the hermit crab.
They find themselves stuck in a job that doesn’t suit them anymore.
I’m constantly amazed by the engineering skills of birds.
They build these extraordinary nests out of twigs, using only their beaks, while I struggle to assemble a kit from Ikea.
One question that I’ve always had regarding nests, is where does the first twig go?
I know that the final outcome is intertwined and able to withstand the wind and rain, but that first twig could just blow away before the rest could be attached and weaved together. After all it’s just sitting in the fork of a tree with nothing else to keep it in place.
And if that first twig is dislodged, I guess the bird just methodically retrieves it from the ground and places it again.
There’s a Korean proverb that says, “A turtle only travels when it sticks its neck out.”
I love this concept.
A turtle, scared and startled is sitting there with her head inside her shell.
She’s hungry and she knows that food is just a few metres away, but she’s hesitant to move.
It’s potentially dangerous.
(Feel free to read this using your best Sir David Attenborough impersonation)
The African savanna is dotted with thorny acacia trees.
It’s a source of food for many species of herbivore and is crucial to their survival.
At the bottom of the tree, the tiny dik-dik antelope nibbles at the small leaves, nimbly avoiding the sharp thorns that protect the tree from such raiders.
Spiders are truly amazing creatures.
They labour for days to create a wonderful web that they use to catch their food, only for someone to walk through it, destroying all of their good work.
What they do next is remarkable.
They don’t sulk.
They don’t give up and stop spinning webs.
They don’t bemoan their bad luck.
The bird in the cage doesn’t sing because its situation is perfect.
It doesn’t sing because it’s necessarily happy.
It doesn’t sing to entertain others.
It doesn’t sing in memory of happier times flying free.
It sings because that’s what it was born to do.
Tom went to visit his mentor Dwyer for his weekly catch up.
It was obvious that the younger man was troubled by something, so Dwyer asked him what was wrong.
Tom explained that he had experienced a tough week. He’d had an argument with his dad, he felt hurt by something one of his friends had said and he had missed out on a promotion at work.
“So what should I do now?” he asked.
Dwyer looked at Tom and said, “Did you know that meerkats eat scorpions?”
Once upon a time, there was a shepherd who had 10 sheep.
Every night, they would happily sleep in a field together, until one night something went wrong.
When the shepherd came to gather the sheep in the morning, there was one missing.
The next night the nine remaining sheep went to sleep, but once again, when the shepherd returned in the morning one was missing.
The sheep were getting worried, so the next night, Seamus the sheep kept one eye open to see what was happening.
What Seamus saw was astonishing!
Tom was visiting Dwyer for his regular catch up.
He was unsure about the future and wanted greater certainty about the next step.
“I know that it’s what I need to do, but what if it doesn’t work? What if I fail? What if it’s an unnecessary risk? What if I’m better off staying where I am?”
Dwyer looked at his protegé with a smile and asked Tom, “Have you ever seen the wildebeest migration?”
“The what?” Tom responded. He was used to Dwyer’s strange questions, but this one took him by surprise. Read the rest of this entry »
Oxpeckers are amazing birds.
They are a small bird, only about 20 cm long, who get all of their food from landing on large mammals and consuming ticks and other small parasites.
Birds are normally flighty and timid, but these guys are incredibly brave, landing on antelopes, wildebeest, cattle and even elephants to gather their food.
But how did it start?
Who was the first oxpecker?