Birds of a Feather
A farmer loaded up his shotgun and slipped out along the fence to make it warm for the crows that were pulling up his young corn. The farmer had a very sociable parrot who, discovering the crows pulling up the corn, flew over and joined them. The farmer saw the crows, but did not see the parrot. He fired among them, and then climbed over the fence to see the execution done. There lay three dead crows, and his pet parrot with ruffled feathers and a broken leg. When the bird was taken home, the children asked:
“What happened, Daddy? Who hurt our pretty Polly?”
“Bad company! Bad company!” answered the parrot, in solemn voice.
“Yes, it was,” said the father. “Polly was with those crows when I fired, and received a shot intended for them. Remember the parrot’s fate, children. Beware of bad company.”
Many a young person has gotten into trouble, not through any evil which they did themselves, but because of the company in which they were found. People will judge us by the company we keep, for in the long run the old proverb is true, that “birds of a feather flock together.”
It is never safe for us to do anything just because many are doing the same thing. God makes a clear statement on this point: “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.” Exodus 23:2. We must be careful to know that the thing we want to do is right, and a good thing to do, rather than that there are many or few people doing it. Young people of a sociable temperament often feel very hard toward their parents who are careful of the company they keep, and think the older generation are too particular about it. The boy who is always running with the crowd, and with no better reason than because “the other guys” do it, will be sure to come to grief. “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” Proverbs 1:10.
A writer in The Scientific American tells an interesting story about how an alligator sometimes gets his food. He says he is a lazy beast and instead of hunting for something to eat he lets his victuals hunt him, that is, he lies with his great mouth open, apparently dead, like the possum. Soon a bug crawls into it, then a fly, then several gnats, and a colony of mosquitoes. The alligator does not shut his mouth yet. He is waiting for a whole bunch of things. A little later a lizard will cool himself under the shade of the upper jaw. Then a few frogs will hop up to catch the mosquitoes. Then more mosquitoes and gnats will light on the frogs. Finally the whole village of insects and reptiles settle down for an afternoon picnic. Then all at once there’s an earthquake. The big jaw falls, the alligator blinks one eye, gulps down the entire group, and opens his great front door again for more visitors. That is like the trap that so unexpectedly closes upon innocent pleasure seekers who choose the wrong company. Sooner or later, “evil communications corrupt good manners.”
Don’t go with the crowd, for the Saviour says: “Broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” Matthew 7:13.
Adapted from Free Will Baptist