1. Hoopoe

From the recording Sparrow

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hoo'poe /hoo pō/ a salmon pink Eurasian bird with a long down-curved bill, a large crest, and black and white wings and tail

True stories: I did see a hoopoe, pecking in the grasses by the stream that runs past our Central Asia house in the summertime. And I did visit a hovel, in a desert town several hundred miles to the east, where I saw a bird in a cage who started, unexpectedly, to sing. This song is my heart-cry for the millions of people who are encaged, whom I ache for God to enable to sing.


I saw a bird this morning
flashing zebra wings
crested head, cinnamon breast
a fragile, wild thing
He was pecking for his breakfast
in the grasses by the stream
and his darting plumage made my heart sing

I once was in a hovel
a ragged, dirty place
visiting a humble soul
with poverty in her face
And there I saw in a corner
a bird in a battered cage
suddenly, he began to sing
a song of amazing grace

The bird could sing in his cage
because you made him to sing
and the hoopoe cannot be otherwise
than his flashing zebra wings
so I will sing for gladness
because you made me to sing
and revel in the hoopoe's dance
for it glorifies my King