“…a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).
There was a logger in Oregon who was out of work because of the controversy surrounding an endangered species—the white spotted owl. The woods where the loggers had been working was now declared a natural reserve for this one bird. You can imagine the stir that was created when this logger, Billy, was arrested for shooting one of the owls.
The Press, ever ready to make a national story out of anything, demanded swift justice for this murderous brute of a man. The Judge, a childhood friend of Billy, was in a real bind. When Billy was brought before him he said, “Billy, I can’t believe you would be so stupid as to go and shoot one of them blasted birds. You know I’m gonna have to throw the book at you!”
“Yes, your Honor,” Billy respectfully replied, “But, first could I tell you why I shot it?”
The Judge agreed, and Billy told his tale. “Your Honor, I’ve been out of work for a few months now, and the only way I can feed my family is by hunting. I was in the woods looking for game – and the only thing I could find was that owl. I didn’t shoot it to break the Law; I just needed to feed my kids.”
With that the Judge shifted in his chair and said, “This may change things for you. I’m sure once the Press hears the rest of the story they will understand if we let you off with just a fine or something. But, before I call them in here,” the Judge continued, “I’m curious to know—just what does a white spotted owl taste like?”
“Oh,” Billy answered, sealing his fate, “it tastes like a blend between a California Condor and an American Bald Eagle.”
It’s better to keep you mouth shut and have everybody think you’re a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt. Solomon wrote, “Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.” (Proverbs 17:28).
In a day when opinions are buzzing about like a swarm of flies, sometimes saying nothing is the best thing to do!