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Story ID:3260
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Local History
Location:Lakewood Ohio USA
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This morning as I came home from liturgy at St. Cyril's, I looked up at
the sky near my house. On three parallel telephone pole lines were 10
or more small shivering sparrows on each line. Yes, they were waiting
for me to pour out my large pitcher of wild bird seed into the feeder. I have
2 garbage containers of seed on my porch --one filled with wild bird seed
and the other with black sunflower seeds for the pigeons. I am an equal
opportunity feeder who does not distinguish between birds. They are all
welcome because they are all made by the same loving hand of God which
made us and everything in the world. (In large cities where pigeons have
become a nuisance, why don't they lace bird seed with contraceptives to
control their numbers? Too difficult you say? Where there is a will -- there
is a way.)

Of course, not everyone believes this part of God's loving creative hand. I
was shocked and disappointed when recently Frontline re-played the
disagreement within the school board in Dover, PA about whether or not
Intelligent Design should be offered as a theory along with Darwinism in
the Science labs.

The school board approved this concept and then one disgruntled parent
objected and brought suit against the school board. Amazing. Why should it
bother this woman since both views would be presented as theories? And her
daughter certainly had the option to believe whatever she wanted. But
what was more amazing to me is that this woman won her suit and the
school board was dismissed and the Intelligent Design removed from the

Sorry about the digression. It seemed relevant here. I hope and believe it
is "safe" to mention St. Francis. Is there anybody who doesn't love him? I'm
afraid there probably is, but I hope they are a tiny minority. He would approve
of my bird feeding. I also buy the relatively cheap white bread at Aldi's and
a large container of peanut butter at Marc's. I cube at least 2/3 of a loaf of
bread and then make a mixture of vegetable oil and peanut butter which I
microwave for a couple of minutes. After mixing it thoroughly, I sprinkle it
over the bread cubes. Sometimes I even augment the cubes with some of
my cat kibble. Today I cubed part of an apple. Will check to see if it went as

So St. Francis who so loved the birds would often be serenaded by them. I know
that he would approve of my "apostolate." I have already bought 200 lbs. of
sunflower seed and probably 100 lbs of wild bird seed. I usually mix some of
the sunflower seed with the wild bird seed too. I hope this will last me during
the winter months, but one never knows. I wish that I could buy even more
for the probably 50 or so birds and pigeons who visit me each morning around 9.

For years I forgot about the birds even though our weatherman reminded us
each winter that they needed to be fed because the seeds and berries of
summer were now gone. He also asked us to take in our dogs on cold blustery
days. Why have a dog if you can't keep him or her warm in winter? No dogs
should be chained outdoors in the throes of winter, or for that matter, under a
hot, blazing sun in summer without shelter or water.

Today I know I have to write a letter to as many animal right organizations
I know re the issue of chained outdoor dogs. Every winter I think of them
as well as any person or animal who is cold and freezing without shelter. I
believe dogs are the most vulnerable though. Cats are more able to find
shelter because they are small. People can ask for shelter or find something
adequate to fend off at least some of the wintry blasts of winter until they do.

I seem to remember years ago hearing a dog crying at night on the street
next to mine during blizzard conditions. Did some cruel owner let him or her
die a cruel freezing death? The possibility is real and one time I recall our
local news mentioning finding 2 frozen dogs in a dog house.

Mr. Negroponte you might have seen on 60 Minutes recently. He was the
man who came up with the revolutionary idea that all the youngsters in the
backward countries should be given a $100 lap top free. The account was
illuminating and it showed children thriving with this new "toy" which
opened up new vistas of knowledge for them. The lab top is really almost
child-proof. Water would not damage it and there even was a way to simply
recharge the battery. Even though actual manufacturing made it more
costly ($188), it still was a wonderful and relatively "cheap" humanitarian

I'm hoping that if this caring individual can come up with an inexpensive
lap top, maybe there is somebody out there who can come up with an
inexpensive and warm dog house so that animal organizations, shelters,
caring people, etc. can provide outdoor dogs with some much needed shelter.
They speak about making a better mouse trap. How about a better cheap,
INSULATED DOG HOUSE? Ideally, no dog or cat for that matter should be
out in the elements without protection. Sadly, there will always be selfish
people who think only of themselves in terms of warmth and comfort.

I hope some of you may be inspired to start feeding the birds if you haven't.
And if anyone knows about making an efficient dog house, I'll be glad to pass
the information along. I know some of you are thinking about poor, indigent
people. They too need our help. I was glad that yesterday Sorin and I attended
the benefit for St. Herman's House of Hospitality. In the poorer west side of
Cleveland Fr. John Henry -- an Orthodox priest along with a couple others
make available temporary housing for the indigent men of the community.
He is known to take in a homeless dog or too. So, I was glad that we attended
the Spaghetti Dinner for their benefit.