A bird house hung
from a branch of a sycamore tree. Made from redwood, the tiny house had an
opening cut just big enough for birds to fit in and nothing else. Several
types of birds shared the feeder. Every evening three bluebirds, Azure,
Indigo and Robin; three cardinals, Ruby, Scarlet and Carmine; and three
canaries, Saffron, Topaz and Sunny, slept inside the house.
One morning Azure
was the first bird to wake up. She yawned and stretched her wings. “Hey,
why does it seem more crowded in here? I used to be able to put my wings
behind me and now I’m squished.” After a quick glance around the bird the
bluebird climbed over all the other birds and squeezed through the hole.
“Time to find a worm. Only the early bird finds the worm. Hee hee.” Off
she flew. The other birds woke up one by one and didn’t notice the extra
That day the birds
flew into and out of the bird house. Whenever they needed a nap, they
curled up inside, safe from cats and other predators.
Another red bird,
Rose, had joined the group. She’d been flying by and saw them gathering at
the bird house. Thinking nothing of it, she spent the night with the other
That night after
all the birds had come in for the night, Azure chirped. “All right! One of
you has put on some weight. It used to be roomy in here, but now it’s
crowded. Is it you, Saffron? Have you been nibbling on Mr. Blocton’s
shrugged his shoulders. “Not me. It is crowded though.”
“I think there’s
an extra bird in here,” Carmine said.
“What? An extra
bird?” Topaz looked at the others.
Rose slid down so
nobody would notice her.
“All right. Let’s
count off. We know there are three of each color. Yellow birds, you go
first.” Azure flew to the hole and perched for a better look.
counted off. “One!” Saffron called.
The blue birds
counted and then the red birds did. Rose kept quiet so nobody would notice
“We’re all here.
Still, something’s very fishy here.” Azure joined the others. They curled
together and slept, all but Azure. Once the others dozed off, the bluebird
flew back to the hole. “I see three yellow birds, three blue birds,
counting myself and what’s this? There’s an extra red bird.” Azure chirped
and woke all the other birds up. “There is an extra bird in here and it’s
One by one the
other birds backed up against the wall, leaving Rose standing in the
middle. “I’m sorry. A cat tried to get me. I had to sleep in the grass
and…” The bird cried.
“Let her stay,”
“Yes, let her
stay,” Scarlet added. “She doesn’t take up that much room.”
it until the wee hours of the morning, the cardinals won. Rose was allowed
to stay. Days went by and they adjusted to the extra body.
A week later one
of the red birds woke up with a wing in her face. “I think there’s an
extra bird in here.”