3 Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation. Joel 1:3 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
All the recent news stories about birds falling out of the sky have reminded me of something that happened during my childhood. In 1973, when I was 12 years old, it rained ducks on my hometown. I was out of school for Thanksgiving break and was watching “Dialing for Dollars” (with Tom Bonner and Dave Woodman) on KARK. The hosts made an announcement that hundreds of ducks had fallen on the town of Stuttgart, Arkansas. About that time, my father came home from work to each lunch. He was carrying a dead duck in each hand. He handed the fowls to my grandmother, who was delighted. She said, “We’ll have duck and dressing for supper!”
(A sidenote: My grandmother made the best dressing in the universe. She made it with onions, and I don’t think she put sage in it.She made dressing with turkey, chicken or duck. When she took it to fellowship dinners at our church, all the people looked behind them to see how many folks were still in line to make sure that everybody got some of her dressing. Jesus said that you will know that they are Christians by their love.)
Now back to the falling duck story. After my dad handed Mammaw the ducks, an expert came on the news program I was watching and said that the birds were a federally protected species. He said that if anyone picked up any ducks it was essential that they first purchase a federal duck stamp—a type of hunting license. I passed on this piece of information to my father (who was eating a sandwich) and he seemed unimpressed. He said, “I don’t have a duck license, and I’m not going to get one. And I’m not going to let these two ducks rot in my yard and go to waste, either.”
(My dad was never arrested and spent no time in the federal pen for picking up the two ducks. Having become an accessory to the crime by helping to eat the ducks, I hope I’m not putting myself in danger by publishing this story. Hopefully, the statute of limitations has passed after nearly 40 years.)
Again, back to the falling duck story. That night, as we were enjoying our nice meal of duck and dressing, we speculated about what caused the ducks to fall out of the sky. Daddy said the scientists thought the ducks first flew through a rain cloud, which caused their breast-feathers to get filled with water. Then they flew through an ice cloud and their breast-feathers “flash froze”. The extra weight messed up their aerodynamics, and suddenly they were unable to fly. Hence, their demise, and our dinner.
That’s a story I love to tell. And chances are, if you’ve known me very long, you’ve heard me tell this story. People find it hard to believe, but it’s the truth. And you can believe that ducks fell from the sky—because I was there when it happened, and it happened to me.
Have you ever stopped to think just how much God loves a good story? He gave us His stories in the Holy Scriptures—a book that is absolutely true. He sent us the Lord Jesus to teach us through the stories and parables He told. And He wants us to tell His stories to others—especially the little ones. In today’s Scripture text (at the top) the Lord reveals his plan for passing on the remembrance of His mighty deeds in the world. He instructs us to tell His stories to our children—that they may pass them on to the succeeding generations.
So, mamas, take time to tell your little ones a story this week—as you go about your daily routine and whenever you get a chance. Be sure start with the one about Jesus and His love. They’ll believe it—because it happened to you.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 25 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 19) and Seth (age 16) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the people rarely ever eat a duck, but quite often eat a deer steak.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.