Last week my husband and I were in Blackwell, OK, just about an hour south (via the turnpike) of Wichita. He was getting gas at the Conoco station because it was 20 cents a gallon cheaper than gas back home. We don’t typically drive an hour to save money on gas, but it was a nice perk since we were going that way anyhow.
I had nothing in particular running through my mind – (for all of you who know me in real life, this comes as no surprise) – then I saw a robin holding a very long blade of grass, hopping between two cars. It struck me as funny – there were vehicles everywhere and there’s a bird – a very busy bird – making a nest in the eave of the building! I felt privileged to be given the opportunity to witness it and thanked God. I love spring, don’t you?
The sight took me back in time and made me think of something I have not thought about for a long time. Tears began to stream, as they are as I write this now – but it’s okay because they are happy tears, the kind that come when a sweet memory is revisited.
When I was about 7 years old, I spotted a bird’s nest on a low branch of the pine tree in our front yard. I excitedly ran into the house to let mom and dad know about my discovery. Daddy sat me down to explain some ground rules. I listened intently.
- You can’t go too close to the nest
- You can’t touch the nest (I remember thinking, “If I can’t go close to it, how can I possibly touch it?”)
- You can borrow my binoculars to stand on the porch and look into the nest. I felt so grown up. Daddy didn’t let just anybody borrow his binoculars.
- You can’t tell the neighbor kids about your discovery. (Did he KNOW those kids, or what?)
- If you see something that doesn’t look right, don’t try to do anything yourself. Find me or mom to help you.
Okey doke – I got that! I used my daddy’s binoculars to check on the little nest every day. The pretty blue robin eggs just stayed in one spot for what seemed like forever. Then one day I checked on them – and the eggs had hatched – and there were 3 of the cutest baby birds!
Daddy wanted to name them Larry, Moe and Curly – but I wouldn’t hear of it. They were Dexter, Samuel and Robbie. No, I don’t know why – don’t ask me!
It was such fun to watch mama robin come back to the nest and feed them. I’ve always been so impressed with the instincts and intelligence God endowed birds with – I mean, to me they are very smart! I don’t understand people who use the phrase “BIRD BRAIN” – I take it as a compliment – LOL.
One day I peeked in on them – there were two baby birds. I knew it wasn’t time for them to leave the nest yet – so I rushed in the house and screamed bloody murder to get someone’s attention. Daddy was having his morning coffee but came running anyway. I reported my findings to him with panic in my voice. If that baby was not in the nest, it meant it had fallen out – and who knows if it was still among the living!
Daddy told me to stay in the house and he would go check things out. He came in with the baby bird, miraculously breathing, in a small container. He said, “Robbie fell out of the nest. I think we need to help him, don’t you?” I nodded my head in fervent agreement. The task was at hand, and we were up for the challenge. We prayed for our feathered friend and got to work.
We used a dropper to feed Robbie. He did okay and I was tickled. He grew and thrived! I knew I could not keep him, but the day we had to set that bird free was the most difficult day. Robbie knew he could not stay with us. It could be my imagination, but I think he gave us a nod as if to say “Thank you for helping me” before flying away. God answered our prayer. Our baby was gonna be okay.
Once in a while, especially in the evening after working on the lawn, as we sat together as a family at the picnic table out in the back yard, my dad would see a robin and say, “Hey Linda, I think that’s Robbie!”
Well, only God knows if our little Robbie ever really came back to see us, but I’d like to think he did visit us on occasion. Wink! 😉