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The Story of a Robin   By:

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T. Nelson and Sons London, Edinburgh, and New York





T. Nelson and Sons London, Edinburgh, and New York 1898





One fine summer morning two old robins were consulting about breaking up their household. In other words, they thought the time had come when their young ones should turn out of the nest and find food for themselves. There were five little birds in that nice, warm nest, but it was much too small for them now that they were so well feathered; and as they quarrelled terribly about getting the best place, the weakest one was in danger of being tumbled over the side with the pushing and struggling that went on. Then they were such hungry birds that their parents could not find enough of food to satisfy them, and the poor old birds were getting quite thin, and were tired flying from their nest to the plot where the gardener was raising some early potatoes, which was the best place to find food, and back with their mouths full.

Cock Robin said to his wife,—

"This is going to be a very warm day, and I am not going to work all through the sunshiny hours feeding birds old enough to look after themselves. We shall say we are going away for a holiday, as we require change of air, and they must go and find their own food. Don't look so sad, my dear; it is the way of the world. The same thing happened to us. I wonder what my father would have said had I screamed to him for food when I was the age my sons are?"

Mrs. Robin listened dutifully to this long speech, and, like a good wife, acquiesced in what her husband said. But as she flew with him to tell the youngsters of the change awaiting them, her heart was a little sore on account of her latest hatched birdie. He was not so big or so strong as the others, and she feared he might be caught by a cat or die of cold. However, it was no use dwelling on these dismal ideas; he must just take his chance, as all birds before him had done. She would give him some good advice as to avoiding cats, and the proper drying of his feathers when they got wet, so that he should not get rheumatism in his bones.

On reaching the nest, they found there had been a fierce fight among their children. All the five were out of the nest, and four of them were on the ground fluttering and screaming, each trying to tell its own story and throw the blame on its neighbour.

"What is the meaning of this noise?" said Cock Robin.

"Where is Robinette?" cried Mrs. Robin. "Has a cat or a weasel been here?"

Chip, chip, chip was heard among the leaves close to the deserted home, and the mother flew up to see if her darling was all right, leaving the father of the family to settle matters with the others. Robinette was safe, and as he took the breakfast his mother had brought him, he told her what a fight there had been, and how he in the struggle had been pushed over the side. He also told her he could use his wings so well that he had been able to steady himself and keep from falling, until he found a branch that he could rest on comfortably. And there he had waited for his mother's return, knowing that she would bring him something good to eat.

The poor mother was wondering how she was to tell her wee birdie that this was the last breakfast she would bring him, when he introduced the subject himself by saying he wished he had not to get back into that nest. Indeed he did not think he could do it, for his wings were so stretched with using them that he was sure they would never crumple up into so small a space as they used to occupy.

"Seeing that your wings are grown, my son, your father has decided we must all fly away. Let us join him now, and hear what he is saying to your brothers and sisters. He is very angry about this quarrelling, which is out of all order, and quite contrary to the doctrine taught by Dr... Continue reading book >>

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