Excitement in the
normally peaceful yard caught Jennifer's attention. Birds were noisily
chirping and zooming low to the ground. Dogs were barking at something. As
if to answer her questions one of the children came running in the house.
“Mama! Mama! A baby
Robin fell out of its nest! The dogs and cats are going to get it.”
Jennifer dried her
hands on the towel she always kept handy. She was trying to think what to
Looking out into the
large yard which covered two lots the mother now knew she would have to go
out to where the helpless little bird was in trouble. What she would do
when she got there was any one's guess.
It was a sad sight
as the mother bird and other birds were trying their best to defend the
little creature while zooming back and forth over it.
As Jennifer walked
out into the yard peace seemed to return. The cats took off in short
order. Instead of the dogs running at the bird they were now coming up to
her as if they were looking for someone to take control. The children's
mother stood looking at the puffy little ball of feathers resting on the
ground. It had all the detachment and trust a human baby would have had.
she reached down and gently cuddled the little bird in the palms of her
hands. The decision was made and she couldn't go back on it.
A small box lined
with newspaper made a proper nest for the bird even though it wasn't as
snug up around it. The next problem she had was what to feed it. There was
always a jar of wheat germ on the counter where it could be sprinkled on
the children's food. Mixing it with a bit of water into a thick gruel so
that it would stick to a toothpick made it possible to get it into the
birds mouth. The thought worried her that maybe it would not eat in
captivity but she needed have worried about that. The minute the bird was
approached its little mouth flew open in readiness for food. It didn't
matter that the baby Robin had to be fed so often. She was usually always
around the kitchen anyway. Cooking was something she was always doing.
Even when she had her students come in for art lessons this was where she
put them. The bird was just one more small chore to be done.
Each day the small
thing seemed to increase in size. Of course, the children were enthralled
with the tiny living bit of a bird.
Please let me feed it. One or the other of the children would beg.”
There was another
strange thing to happen. A grown Robin spent most of its time on a branch
outside the window where the little bird was. It was constantly watching
and looking through the window into the room.
“Do you suppose
that is the little bird's mother?” Jennifer called her husband's
attention to the vigilant bird outside the window right over the box with
the baby Robin in it.
“I think it is
possible. Why else would any bird be interested in a small bird.”
Jennifer's husband agreed with her.
Days went by
rapidly and soon the Robin was hopping up on the edge of the box. The
children were so thrilled to see it making progress.
“When will it fly,
Mama!” They wanted to know.
“I should think it
will be soon. We will have to watch it when it does.” Jennifer instructed
the children. “It will want to return to the wild as birds normally do.”
Sure enough, one day
the bird zoomed across the room to land at the top of the curtain on the
window. Jennifer stepped to the door and opened it all the way. When the
baby Robin came back across the room it sped through the open door and off
into the wide spaces outside the house.
The oddest thing
about the whole incident was that for years, every year, a Robin would
come to the same branch where the Mother bird had first watched her baby
being fed. Of course, it couldn't have been the same bird. It had to be
generations of descendants. How strange this was to Jennifer. Later when
she and her family moved out of the house her parents moved into the
smaller space which was all they now needed.
“Did you know a
Robin comes to the window and looks in here?” Jennifer's Dad asked
“Yes, I know. They
did that when we lived here too. I've always wondered if it had something
to do with that baby bird we raised.”
“Nature is a
strange and wonderful thing.” Jennifer's Dad was in reality so pleased to
have saved one small thing and then to be rewarded every year by the
Robins who made their appearance outside the same window.