Christmas Classics: The Man And The Birds By Paul Harvey

In the book of Job, we are told we can learn from the most unlikely of sources–the animals of earth. Paul Harvey's heartwarming message “The Man and the Birds” certainly does that. It is a rich story with eternal implications. 

Listen and learn about how the birds of the sky teach us, in this Christmas classic video below of “The Man and the Birds” by Paul Harvey.

“…. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.” Job 12:7b 


The Man and the Birds
by Paul Harvey

The man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.

“I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound…Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud…At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it.

Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them…He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms…Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.

And then, he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me…That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.

If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm…to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.”

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells – Adeste Fidelis – listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.

And he sank to his knees in the snow.


  1. Dominic DiBello said:

    I heard your Dad,s story through Micheal Yourseff,s sunday sermon this past sunday on TV I think it is one of the best to reach searching and repentant souls for JESUS CHRIST,

    December 22, 2014
  2. R. Morris said:

    I first heard this only a few years before Paul Harvey passed away. I was so struck by the profound, yet simple explanation of God’s love and precious present to all of humanity, that even today when I remember the poem I am moved to tears.

    Merry Christmas

    December 25, 2014
  3. Cathey Carlisle said:

    I heard Mr. Harvey read this story many years ago, and it literally moved me to tears.I remembered it, and even found a copy of it; and every Christmas, I’ve tried to read it to those I hoped would like and appreciate it, and every time, it was recieved with genuine appreciation, and I was often asked for a copy of it for them to share it with their friends and loved ones. I think it’s a wonderful story, and I just wish it could be heard again by Mr.Harvey, or at least someone who would do it justice…

    January 1, 2015
  4. Carolyn said:

    I am 65 years old and used to hear this since my youth. It always touched my heart and I was so excited to hear it tonight on the radio.i had to go online and search so u can get a copy of it. Thanks for posting it.i have do many family members who need to hear it and drink ti their knees before Jesus! God bless you!!!

    December 22, 2016
  5. George Schumacher said:

    I was touched, as I always seem to be br any of Paul Harvey’s stories. This one is special for this time of year. Enjoy God’ s Love now and forever.

    December 24, 2016
  6. Donald Vice said:

    Hi, yes an oldie but still a great message. God presents truth to us and we only need to see that spark of love to understand and then accept Jesus, the Fathers son to attain the great prize of eternal life with great love in the family of God.

    December 25, 2016
    • Silver said:

      What is the attraction of eternal life if it means eternal suffering, if to live is to suffer, what will God mean to you?

      March 23, 2017
  7. Silver said:

    I have came across this story with bitterness in my heart. Flipping the story around, God is the boy owning all the birds, and he told the birds, “I loved you dearly so I built this beautiful cage without doors for you, so that if you stay in it, you will be protected by me and be with me forever and see how you may be spared from the dangers outsde this cage the whole time. But you can choose to fly out if you want to – there is no gate to stop you. I will accept you back in if you want, unless you got killed outside.” I am sure the birds will fly out of the cage every single time, even though they may know that their master will feed them if they stick around the cage. Is that what God is like?

    March 23, 2017
  8. Maryellen Cleaver said:


    March 31, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *