DILIGENT PARENTS PREVAIL
I looked out my kitchen window one morning and a baby mockingbird was in my driveway. My next-door neighbor’s cat roamed freely, and I thought, “If their cat sees that bird, the bird is a goner.” So I got a birdcage from my closet and I dashed outside to the bird. I put it in the cage and took it to a veterinarian, for I thought the vet would give the bird to an animal rehabilitator. Unfortunately, the vet did not know one, so I brought the bird home and called an animal rehabilitator. She told me to put the bird in a basket and hang the basket from a tree limb. The baby bird’s parents would come to it. I did as instructed and soon the baby bird was on the ground. I watched it from my kitchen window. Soon the baby’s parents flew to it and began caring for the youngster.
I spent most of the next eight days watching that little bird as its parents raised it. From dawn to dusk each day, the parents brought food to the little bird and deposited it in the baby’s wide-open mouth. I made sure the bird stayed on the far east side of my backyard and the cat stayed on the far west side. As you can imagine, I got very little work of my own done those eight days. As I watched those birds, I thought, “If all humans cared for their young as diligently as those birds care for theirs, no children would be mistreated or neglected.” After eight days, the baby could fly and it left my property. Now, whenever I see or hear a mockingbird, I wonder, “Are you my little mockingbird?”
Summer 2018 has arrived! Our kids are out of school and the fun times of summer are here again as in years past. We at Precinct 4 would like to ensure that all our kids have a safe summer around swimming pools and other waterways this year. Tragically, over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year. The constable’s office and the American Red Cross suggests owners make pool safety their priority by following these guidelines: (1) Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet-high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool. (2) Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool – never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. (3) Ensure everyone in the home knows how to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses from the Red Cross. (4) Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases. (5) Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as no diving, staying away from drain covers, swim with a buddy, and walk, please. (6) Please ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by having appropriate safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses from the Red Cross.
Mark Herman, Constable - Harris County Precinct 4