The chipmunk looked dazed and didn't know which direction to run. The mother fluttered over and pinned it down with one foot while her babies scrambled back onto the downed tree. When they were settled back into their spots, Mom let go of the chipmunk. It ran for it's life, and Mom gave it about 30' of a head start before swooping down on the unfortunate animal. She picked it up in her beak and showed her babies her prize before letting it go again, catching it again, release, capture, release, capture...
One of the babies eventually hopped off the tree and smelled the chipmunk in its mother's grasp. When the chipmunk was released again, the owlet hopped after it for a few feet. The other owlet hopped down to get a closer look too. Mom continued to catch and release the miserable varmint until one of the babies actually got a foot on it. Imagine the roar of the Coliseum going up at the victory.
After a while, both of the owlets could manage to pounce on the chipmunk, and the mama seemed proud enough to burst. Bro and I were awed by being privileged enough to witness to the teaching moment.
The other night I watched a nature program that showed a mother dolphin teaching her baby how to be a dolphin. Animals aren't "dumb" other than they don't speak our language, and people forget we're animals too. I'm convinced the damned groundhog in my yard is smarter than I am, and the robin thinks I'm working for her when I shovel up worms in the yard. She hops around at my side instead of bothering to poke around in the ground herself. She's got babies to feed.
There are mothers all around us, and in both the animal and human world, sometimes the "mothers" aren't the ones who gave birth. There are people in our lives who nurture and teach us throughout our lives. So for all of the people who are mothers or who have mothered us, Happy Mother's Day!