It was a dark and stormy
night. Gale force winds howled through the tall pines, oaks and birch
trees. The branches bent with the wind and the leaves shivered and rustled
together, sounding like a swarm of butterflies migrating south. Ian and
Mac huddled together against the trunk of the tree, holding tightly. Ianís
arms were wrapped around Macís leg. "Mac. I donít like this wind," Ian
whined. "If I wasnít holding onto your leg, Iíd be blown across the sea to
It was difficult for Mac to
hear what Ian was saying. "Hold on tight, Ian," he yelled, knowing the
storm wasnít going to pass for quite a while. By morning, the worst had
passed. Finally Mac was able to let go of the trunk. He sat down,
exhausted, rubbing his sore arms. "You can let go of my leg now, Ian. The
wind has died down."
Slowly Ian pried his arms
off Macís leg. He sat down next to him. They looked down. "Wow. Look at
the mess. There are branches everywhere! Oh no! I see a few trees. Theyíve
been completely uprooted."
Mac shook his head back and
forth. "Weíd better get down and see if any of the other animals need some
help. Some of them have lost their homes." They climbed down the tree and
stood on the ground. Small branches and twigs crunched under every step.
"You look over there and Iíll go this way," Mac said, walking towards a
Ian carefully stepped
between the broken branches. He spotted a birdís nest. It was still in the
branch, but now it was lying on the ground instead of being high up in the
tree. "Mac, come and see. Hereís a nest and its got eggs in it. Whereís
the mother?" He looked around. "Oh no! The motherís dead, Mac. A branch
fell on her. What will happen to the eggs?" Ian cried.
Mac came over and stood
next to him. "We will have to take care of the eggs ourselves. Poor wee
things." He carefully lifted the nest from the branch and held it tightly.
"Come on, Ian. Weíll take it up the tree. Weíll have to take turns sitting
on them and keeping them warm."
Ian followed Mac. "Iíll go
first," Ian said. He softly put his furry body on top of the blue speckled
eggs. "Iíll keep them warm." He was feeling very sad about the storm and
all the damage it did.
"You stay here with the
eggs then and Iíll go and see if I can find anything else," Mac said,
climbing back down the tree. He walked around the woods, picking up
snapped branches and tossing them out of the way. He thought he heard
crying. "Whatís that?" he asked, listening carefully. He heard it again.
Carefully, he crept over the branches. "Oh, itís a wee squirrel."
"I canít find my mummy,"
the wee squirrel sobbed.
"First of all, wee fellow,
tell me your name," Mac said, picking him up and cradling him in his arms.
"Allen," he wailed. "I want
"Now, now, donít cry. Iíll
take you back to my place and weíll wait for your mummy there. Sheíll be
out looking for you soon," Mac said, hoping what he just said was true. He
carried Allen back to the tree. "Ian, Iíve brought another friend back.
Weíre coming up now," Mac called.
"What have we got here? A
wee squirrel?" Ian said.
Allen looked at Ian, who
was sitting on the nest. "My name is Allen and why are you sitting on a
bird nest?" he asked, starting to giggle.
Mac put him down on the
branch next to Ian and answered, "The mummy bird was hurt during the
storm. Ianís taking care of the eggs."
"Oh. Thatís nice of you,
Ian. Are you going to take care of me until my mummy comes?" he asked.
Ian looked at Mac and then
down at Allen. "Sure, laddie. Come on; sit with me on the nest." Allen
climbed on Ianís shoulder.
"Iíll be off then. You two
take good care of the eggs and Iíll be back soon," Mac said, climbing down
the tree. While he was walking around the woods, he found a wee chipmunk
named Frederick; a wee frog names James, a wee hedgehog named Moira and a
wee mouse named Sunniva. He carried them back to the tree. "Ian, Iíve
brought us some more friends," Mac called, climbing the tree.
Ian watched as the baby
animals climbed onto the branch and sat next to him. "Youíve certainly
been busy, havenít you, Mac?"
"The storm was bad. Their
mums and dads will be coming soon, I hope. Until then, they stay with us.
You watch them and Iíll go and take one more look," Mac said, climbing
Ian sat on the nest filled
with blue speckled eggs. Allen sat on his shoulder. Frederick decided it
was more fun to play with Ianís long tail. James plopped on top of Ianís
head and made himself comfortable. Moira and Sunniva curled up in his lap.
They were shivering and shaking with the cold. Ian removed Frederickís
grip on his tail and wrapped it on top of the hedgehog and mouse to keep
them warm. Soon all the babies were sleeping, along with Ian.
Mac, who was exploring the
ground, saw a fallen oak tree. Sitting on one of the branches was a large
chipmunk. She was crying. "Iíve lost my wee baby," she cried. "Oh, the
storm. It took my baby!"
Mac climbed through the
leaves and branches and soon approached the sobbing chipmunk. "Is your
baby named Frederick?" he asked.
"Why, yes it is. Do you
know where he is?"
"I found him and heís at
the tree with Ian. Come on, follow me," Mac said. She wiped her tears and
As they walked past a large
stone, they saw a mouse standing on it. He was calling, "Sunniva! Sunniva!"
"Follow me. Iíll take you
to Sunniva," Mac called. The mouse followed Mac and the chipmunk.
Soon they passed by a pond.
Sitting on a lily pad in the center was a large green frog. "Croak! Croak!
Have you seen my laddie, James?" the father frog asked.
"Follow me. Iíll take you
to him," Mac called. The large frog followed the raccoon, the chipmunk and
"Help! Help!" Mac looked
over and saw a squirrel. A large log was lying on top of its tail. "Help
me! Iím stuck!"
Mac lifted the log and the
squirrel pulled her tail out. "Thank you. Have you seen a wee squirrel?
His name is Allen. I canít find him anywhere."
"Follow me," Mac said. The
squirrel got in line behind the frog. Mac turned around. There was the
chipmunk, the mouse, the frog and now the squirrel and all were looking
for their babies. Mac knew they were safe with Ian.
They were nearing the tree
when Mac heard loud sobs. He lifted up a branch and saw a hedgehog. "My
wee, Moira. Sheís gone. I canít find her anywhere."
"Follow me and Iíll show
you where she is," Mac said.
When they got to the tree,
they all climbed or hopped up to where Ian and babies were. "My
Frederick!" the chipmunkís mother cried, hugging him. "Thank you for
taking care of him," she smiled and then remembering the storm, she
frowned. "Oh, but where will we live? Our tree is lying on the ground."
"You can stay in our tree,"
Ian suggested. "There are plenty of good, strong branches."
She took Frederick and
climbed up to the highest branches. "Thank you," she called down.
"James! There you are
laddie. Iím so happy that you are safe. Come with me. Your mum is worried
about you. Weíll go back to the pond. Thanks Ian and Mac for taking care
of my lad," the frog said. He and James hopped down the trunk and headed
for the pond.
"My wee Sunniva," cried the
mouse. "Come on, lassie. Letís get to our own nest and give these nice
raccoons some space. Thank you, Ian and Mac." The two mice scurried down
the tree towards their home.
"Moira, my wee angel. There
you are," the mother hedgehog laughed. She picked up her baby and gave her
a big hug. "Thank you Ian and Mac for taking care of her." She took
Moiraís hand and they ran down the trunk, heading for their burrow.
All that was left was
Allen. His mum stood, looking at him. He was sound asleep on Ianís
shoulder. "Poor wee thing. Must have had a terrible fright with all that
wind and falling branches. Iíll just carry him home. Oh, wait! We have no
home. Can we stay in the tree here with you and Mac? Weíll keep out of
your way," she asked.
"Thereís plenty of room,"
Ian smiled. She picked up her baby and carried him down a few branches and
found a comfortable spot. She put Allen down and began to build them a new
Nobody came to claim the
bird nest. Ian and Mac knew that nobody ever would. The days went by and
much of the time was spent clearing the branches up. Soon the woods looked
much better. One day, after a long day of working, Mac came back to the
tree. "Mac. Mac. The eggs are hatching," Ian called. He moved off the
nest. "All five of them are pecking their way through the shells."
Mac and Ian stared with
amazement. Soon Frederick and his mum and Allen and his mum came over to
watch. Five little baby robins soon were squirming about in the nest. "Oh,
how precious," said the mother squirrel.
"We need to feed them.
There are so many of them. How will we ever take care of them?" Mac
"Frederick and I will take
one to our place," the chipmunk offered.
"Weíll take two of them
with us, wonít we Allen?" the squirrel said.
The next few weeks were
busy ones. The animals were always climbing up and down,
bringing worms and crickets and seeds to the wee robins. Ian and Mac were
happy. Soon it was time for the robins to leave the nest. They flew off,
one at a time, leaving Ian and Mac, the squirrels and the chipmunks at the
tree. They flapped their wings and headed for the sunset. "Goodbye," waved
"Goodbye," waved Mac.
A few days later, the
squirrels found their own tree to live in and left. The chipmunks followed
shortly after that. Finally, Ian and Mac had their lives back to normal.
"I say we sleep for a week," Ian said.
"I say two weeks," Mac
replied. The two raccoons curled up in a ball and slept in peaceful