The greedy will be overtaken by their greed.
A falcon circled the cloudless sky. Far below a mouse sat in a meadow, nibbling on seeds. The falcon circled lower. The mouse nibbled. The falcon hovered. And in a blur of feathers, the falcon streaked to the earth. He spread his wings and thrust his feet to pierce sharp talons into the unsuspecting mouse.
The mouse gaped at the belly and great flapping wings of its captor. “P-P-Please, falcon,” the mouse squeaked. “L-L-Let me go and I will find you all the seeds you’ll ever need.”
“I don’t eat seeds,” the falcon sneered. “I eat mice.” And he squeezed his grip around the mouse until the mouse could neither speak nor breathe. And when the falcon landed in his nest, the mouse lay limp and lifeless.
The next day the falcon soared upon the wind and thought, That mouse was an easy catch. I can snare more than that! As he circled the sky, he looked for more than a mouse. Upon a rock beside a hill sat a rat, gnawing a bone left over from someone else’s meal. The falcon circled lower, hovered, and plummeted. The sharp talons hit their mark.
The rat dangled, stunned and motionless. Finally it gasped, “Falcon, please let me go. If you let me go, I will tell you where all the best meals in the mountain meadows are eaten.”
“I don’t eat other animals’ meals. I eat rats,” the falcon snapped, as he tightened his squeeze around the helpless rat.
The next day as the falcon soared, he thought to himself, That rat was an easy catch. I can snare more than that! He circled the sky and thrust out his chest with pride as he sailed on the wind. He spied the ground for something greater than a rat. Several mice scampered along a trail, but he would no longer dive for something so small. Then out of a hole popped a gopher. The falcon circled. The gopher looked this way and that, sniffed the air, and found no trace of predators. The falcon hovered. The gopher climbed out of its hole and sat down to bask in the warm sun, when the falcon flashed down. He clamped his claws onto the gopher, who struggled and wriggled with its eyes nearly popping out from fright.
“Pleeeease, falcon. Let me go!” it whined. “I can tell you all about the animals you should avoid.”
“I don’t need to avoid animals.” The falcon laughed. And he carried the writhing gopher to his nest.
The next day as the falcon soared upon the wind, he thought to himself, That gopher was an easy catch. I can snare more than that! He circled the sky and wondered why the gopher would try such a foolish bargain as to tell him of animals he should avoid. He was Falcon.
Far below a rabbit hopped out from a thicket. It paused and sniffed. The falcon circled. The rabbit hopped a few paces and snacked on a leaf. The falcon hovered, then dove in its feathery flash. His sharp talons locked onto the terrified rabbit.
“No!” yelped the rabbit. “I want to live!”
“You will die!” And he heaved his wings to climb into the air. But he could do no more than bounce the rabbit up and down.
“I’m too big for you.”
“No one’s too big for me!” snapped the falcon. He thrust his wings with all his strength, but the rabbit’s weight held him down.
“Let me go!” pleaded the rabbit. “Let me go!”
“You’re not getting away from me!” The falcon huffed.
The falcon heaved his wings and lifted the rabbit, but the rabbit’s weight pulled him down again.
The bushes rustled. Falcon ignored it. Another rustle, and a streak of red, as a fox leaped out of the thicket and pounced on the falcon.
The falcon did not realize what was happening until he lay on his back, looking up at the fox. He still clung to the rabbit.
“I know about foxes,” the rabbit gasped. “Let me go and you might escape it.”
“I’m not letting you go.” The falcon seethed and wiggled to free himself.
The fox pawed and wrestled with the jumble of fur and feathers, then sank its teeth into the falcon’s neck. The falcon dropped the rabbit, who scampered free and disappeared into the thicket.
“Please, fox, let me go,” the falcon wheezed.
But the fox would not answer. It was not worth letting go of a delicious and unusual meal. The falcon’s feathers finally stopped flapping when the fox slipped into the cool darkness of his lair.
For Thought and Discussion
- Read the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16–21. How is the rich fool like the falcon? Retell how these two parables are actually lived out in real life.
- 1 Timothy 6:6–10 warns us of greed. Have you ever allowed greed to take over your thoughts or your actions? What are the results? How does following verse 11 help us change?
- In Philippians 3:7–11 how does Paul describe the value of knowing Christ? To what degree is it true in your life?