The feathers of a Magnificent Frigatebird are not waterproof even though the bird rarely touches ground. Because it cannot catch its own food by diving like the Northern Gannet, it has learned to pirate for its food. Like a pirate, he will bully other birds until they feel threatened enough to drop what they have hunted and caught. And when it’s feeling very bold, it literally grabs food from the mouths of other birds who have worked hard their meal. They earn their nickname of Man of War birds.
I have watched as one repeatedly swooped and gnashed at a Northern Gannet holding a fish. Tired or frightened or both, the full released its prey. The Magnificent Frigatebird immediately swooped and scooped up the released fish.
I recall a time in my childhood where I was the victim of a frigatebird. Well-known as a bully in the school, I became his target for several weeks. He was relentless. It seemed no matter what school hall I chose, he was there, zeroing in on me. He squawked names at me. He tormented me physically. I avoided the playground for fear he would destroy the play of recess and peace of lunchtime. I avoided talking to adults for fear of reprisal from the very person making things tough.
You would think that having been the victim, I would never have been the bully. Unfortunately, that is not the truth.
During junior high a ran with what I considered an “in” crowd. One of the girls rallied our group around a mission to laugh at one particular girl who wore eye shadow in red, white and blue every day. Because I didn’t speak against the plan, I passively participated in the hazing. It’s one of those periods in my life I wish I could go back and change. The thought of the poor girl being brought to tears after several days of torment still makes me cringe. It was enough that I alienated myself from the group.
“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
Do you have Magnificent Frigatebird memory that is hard to let go? Is there a bully that haunts you?