Here’s a frog sharing his umbrella with a female quail.
I know, the frog’s green, but he doesn’t apologize for the color of his skin, nor is he ashamed of his size and portly belly.
The quails’ markings are mixed—brown, black, white, and brown. And they wear funny hats. They’re different, and quirky. No apologies there either.
The umbrella is purple and turquoise. A bit silly? Perhaps. But the frog doesn’t care. Neither does the quail. Not one bit.
Mulch is brown and gravel is beige. It’s simply how they are.
And rocks are gray. Their colorings were not a choice.
Grass is green, like the frog, and the shrubs have delicate blue flowers and gangly limbs. Again, not a choice.
The male quail runs toward a meal of assorted birdseeds.
He and the female will share their dinner with several other birds—doves, bluejays, crows, finches, sparrows, mockingbirds, and even an occasional turkey and a phoebe or two or three. They’ll eat side-by-side and beak-to-beak until the food is gone.
Then they’ll wander or fly off to wherever it is they go for the night. There, they’ll sing and chirp and coo and share their trees and bushes and hidey-holes with other birds that don’t look like them.
No arguing. No fighting. No killing.
Why is it that our backyard friends so readily and happily share their world, their food, and their water?
Because no one told them as chicks that they should do anything else or act any other way.
No, jays are not phoebes and finches are not quail.
Neither are doves like crows.
Well, they all have wings and feet and feathers.
Like people have arms and feet and hair.
But that’s where our similarities stop.
Because someone told us as kids that we shouldn’t get along.
Yes, we’re different, like the birds.
They each have their own cultures and mannerisms, and lifestyles, as do we.
But they don’t try to force the others to be like them.
Because not one of their family and friends told them they should.
Yes, we should all learn from birds …
And a wise and portly green frog holding a purple and turquoise umbrella.