July 24, 2022 Genesis 18:20-32 Luke 11:1-13 The young noio was hungry pretty much all the time. That’s not all that uncommon for a young noio, of course. He was growing very fast, going from just a little thing at hatching to about the size and weight of an adult in three weeks. At three weeks’ end he weighed six and a half times what he’d weighed when he broke the shell of his egg. So he ate. A lot. You and I wouldn’t find his diet very appetizing, but he certainly thrived on it. His parents would fish in the ocean, slurping down the fish and squid into their bellies. Then they’d go back to the nest, where they’d open their beaks and he’d poke his beak into their mouths. And then, well, the food would return. Yeah, I know. Yuck. I’m glad we don’t do it that way, either. To the young noio, however, this was how it was done. This was the way to eat. This was tasty (I know, yuck) and nutritious and, more than anything else, it was really successful. I mean. Imagine eating enough in three weeks to grow six times your size. That’s impressive. It still took some time for the feathers to grow out and for his wing muscles to develop, so he took his first flight when he was six weeks old. The first flight was a little ragged, but he soon got better. He loved being out in the air, and zooming low over the sea, and coming back to the nest. For some weeks, though, his parents continued to feed him. I know. Yuck. But he had to develop his flying skills before he could develop his food-finding skills. Noio don’t dive into the water to catch food. They fly low over the surface and pluck it from the water. It turns out that for this young noio, that was a problem. He had no problems with the flying skills. But his first reaction to seeing a school of fish in the water below was… Yuck. “That’s what we eat,” said mother. “You have got to be kidding,” said her son. “That’s disgusting. Is there anything else?” “Well,” she said, “there’s muhe’e (that’s squid). Shall we try those?” I know. Squid. Yuck. As it happens, the young noio agreed with us. “That’s even worse!” he said. “I can’t believe I have to spend the rest of my life eating these disgusting things!” He wouldn’t even try to catch one in his beak. Mother and father both tried to persuade him that he should at least try these things, that they really were tasty, and that he’d been eating them without knowing it since he hatched (I know, yuck), but he was not persuaded. He kept feeding the way he’d always known (yuck) and wouldn’t even consider catching a fish. While his parents were out fishing for themselves (and for him) and trying to think of something they could do, tutu came by. His grandmother had been very pleased and proud of him, and her daughter had asked her advice. She came right to the point. “So you think your parents are lying to you?” she asked. “Lying?” he said. “So you think they’d offer you bad food when you’re hungry?” she asked. “Bad food?” he said. “So you think they don’t know how to show you what is good?” she asked. He was silent. “Have they done this before?” she asked. “No,” he said. “Of course not.” “Then why would they do it now?” He said nothing. “Fly with me,” said tutu noio. When his parents got back to the nest, they found grandmother and grandson returned from his first successful fishing trip. “I should have realized you wouldn’t lie to me,” he told them. “Now I know that you didn’t.” by Eric Anderson Watch the Recorded Story
When recorded, I was delivering the story from a memory of this text – which means they’re not the same. It is distinctive, however, for including the coining of the word, “tentacally,” which sadly, isn’t in the prepared text.
Photo of a noio (black noddy) by Eric Anderson.