Edgar was a very refined Snowy White Egret. He lived all his life on the Reedy Creek Swamp with his family and friends. He was a very special bird, who had been rescued as a young baby from the jaws of an encroaching raccoon at the edge of the water.
This brazen predator had wandered where raccoons usually dare not go, due to the presence of alligators in the swamp. When Edgar attempted his first flight, he fell from the nest and was grabbed by the raccoon, who bit hard on Edgar’s wing. His brave mother rescued him by attacking the nasty thing and forcing it to drop Edgar. Unfortunately his wing was injured in the melee, and he had a wing-wobble for the rest of his life which made flight impossible. But still, his life on the swamp was happy and warm.
You see, when Edgar was recovering from his injuries, he met a lovely young alligator named Ali. She had spotted him by the edge of the water and swam over for a closer look. Seeing his despondent face, she asked, “Oh, dear! What ever is the matter? Your face is as long as a meadow horse!”
Edgar had never seen a meadow horse, but she seemed kind, so he took her word for it. “Well, I fell out of the family nest a few weeks ago and a raccoon bit my wing so hard, Doc Heron said I will never fly again. My family is off right now, flying to the other side of swamp, and I am stuck here.”
“Dear, dear,” said Ali. “That is very sad, indeed.” Ali thought for a moment and suddenly her face brightened. “Well, there is only one thing for it. All aboard the Ali-Boat!”
Edgar blinked. “The whaaaat?”
“The Ali-Boat! Just hop on my back and I will take you over!” Edgar hesitated. His mother had warned him that living in the trees above the gators was for their protection, as the possums and raccoons who eat egrets did not live near the gators. But gators were known to eat the discarded egret eggs that fell from the nests, so you never could be too careful…
Edgar looked at Ali with her big toothy grin, and decided to take a leap of faith. Anything was better than sitting under the same tree, day after day.
And so the friendship of Edgar and Ali began with that first ride, and they have been going around the swamp together ever since. They love to talk, and laugh, and observe swamp-life together. Edgar’s sharp eyes help Ali see things far in the distance, and Ali’s smooth swimming helps Edgar get to places where he could never fly.
Ecclesiastes 4 (The Message)
9 It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough!
11 Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone, you shiver all night.
12 By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
I bet you have an Edgar in your life. Or an Ali. God created friendship to be a symbiotic partnership, so that we might not feel lonely, so that we might protect and be protected, and so that when one of us falls, the other is right there to help us get up. With a friend, you can face the worst.
A wise grandmother once told me, “To have a friend, you have to be a friend.”
Go and be a good friend to someone today.