April/May 2023

The Swan and the Dove

By Reagan Cherrick

 In a far away land, where animals and people lived as friends, there lived a dove named Dovy.  She looked just like all the other mourning doves in her village, except her feathers were white as snow, and she was graceful, while the other mourning dove’s feathers were gray and sad (and a little on the clumsy side).  

  In fact, there were no other white doves she knew, and she had come to believe that she was just like the other birds around her.  She had even asked the other gray mourning doves to call her ‘the white mourning dove’, for she did not want to be different.  

  One day, as she was flapping about, she spied something white on the river.   On a closer look, she saw that it was a huge, white bird, with a long, graceful neck.  Dovy flew over to see this beautiful bird.

  “My dear,”  said the swan, “why are you blundering about like a blind owl at noon?”  

  “I-I thought this was how all birds flew,”  Dovy stuttered, looking forlornly at her dirty reflection in the water.  

  “No, you are different from other birds, just as other birds are different from you.  You don’t have to act like the other birds do.  Act like you do.  Be yourself, who God the only Creator made you to be.  I assure you, He made no mistake when He made you in the egg.”  

  As the swan talked, a flock of Canadian geese flew overhead.  They were all moving in sync, as if there was no other possible way to fly in a group.  As the Canadian geese flew overhead, they all honked at the same time.  Dovy thought that she had to be like those geese, always doing the exact same thing as everyone else.

  Then a flock of starlings flew overhead, each bird flying differently than the rest.  They didn’t look like the geese at all, moving in sync and calling at the same time; they looked happy and graceful, even as they flew in a constantly-moving cloud, chirping and calling like a singing storm of sound.

 The swan leaned in close and whispered, “Be like those starlings, who are themselves what they naturally are.  God loves you no matter how clumsy or graceful you are.  Be what He made you to be.  Don’t you know what God says in His Holy Word?”  

  Suddenly, Dovy realized that she didn’t have to copy the other birds.  God had made her just who she was—a dove— not like the other birds in quite the same way.  She would still have two wings, a beak, and two claws, but He would always love her.  She let out a gentle coo and danced up into the clouds, calling to the starlings to wait for her.  Together they flew skywards, chirping and calling in their own special way.  

About the Author

Reagan was born in Arizona, but now lives in Tennessee.  She loves fantasy books and old fairy tales. She is the oldest of seven children, and loves writing.  She loves nature such as deer, rabbits, dogs, evergreen trees and ferns. She also loves antiques.