Friday, July 27, 2012

The Grateful Robin

Following is another fable by our talented storyteller Allison Brehmer whose “day job” is the supervising the day-to-day operation of the World Bird Sanctuary’s Educational Training Center (ETC).


Once upon a time, as most stories begin, there was a Mother Robin with her nest of three eggs.  She had tended to them and diligently sat on them waiting for the day that they would poke their precious little heads out into the world.

One day while she was sitting on her eggs, a group of three young lads passed by under her nest.  Two of them happened to look up and notice the Mother Robin’s nest.  “Let us take that Robin’s eggs and make a meal of them,” one of them remarked.  The one agreed, but the youngest shook his head.  “Leave the poor thing alone.  Those eggs would barely be a mouthful.” The other two grumbled and continued on their way.

With a sigh of relief, Mother Robin flew down to the young man’s shoulder,  “Thank you kind Sir,” she bowed to him, “I have been sitting and caring for my eggs for such a long time and they are nearly ready to hatch.  You have saved my children and for that, we will help you.  Whenever you are in trouble, merely think of me, and my children will appear.”  The young man said that wasn’t necessary, but the Mother Robin insisted.  He thanked her and continued on his way.

A few days later, all of Mother Robin’s hard work was rewarded when two lovely daughters and a handsome son were born to her.  Time passed and they soon grew up into some of most beautiful Robins to have ever been seen. A few days before her brood was ready to set out on their own Mother Robin suddenly thought of the young man. She looked to her first daughter and said, “The young man that spared your lives before you hatched must be in some trouble. Go to him and see if you can help.”  “Of course Mother,” said the eldest, and flew off. 

She soon found the young man sitting amongst several piles of twigs.  “It is I, one of Mother Robin’s children that you saved.  I have come to help you,” she announced herself.  “Loveliest of Robins,” he greeted her, “I seek the hand of the Princess, but she wants me to make a hundred baskets by the end of the day; but I don’t know how to weave.”  The Robin laughed and said, “That is no problem.  Rest your head and leave it to me.”

She bounced and twirled and soon all the baskets were made.  The young man thanked her and she flew back to her Mother.  The next day, Mother Robin thought of the young man again and sent her other daughter to him.  She found him sitting amongst a field of berry bushes.  “It is I, one of Mother Robin’s children that you saved.  I have come to help you,” she bowed to him.  “Fairest of Robins,” he greeted her, “The Princess has commanded me to pick all these berries and place them in the baskets that your sister made by the end of the day.”  “Rest easy,” the Robin laughed, “This will all be done before the sun sets.”  In no time, the Robin had picked all the berries and separated them into the appropriate baskets. 

The young man thanked her, and she flew back to her Mother’s nest.  The next day, Mother Robin thought of the young man again and sent her son to the young man.  He soon found him and said, “It is I, one of Mother Robin’s children that you saved.  I have come to help you.”  The young man greeted him, “Most handsome of Robins, the Princess has commanded me to assemble a chorus that will make her cry with sadness and joy.  I can play the lute, but I don’t think that even I can do that.”  “Have no fear,” the Robin laughed, “Tell the Princess that you will play for her tonight.  Merely begin to play upon your lute and I will take care of the rest.” 

That very night, before the Princess and her court, the young man began to play.  It was a soft song that grew louder with each note.  The court was impressed, but the Princess was not.  The young man could see that he was failing.  Just as he was about to give up, the Robin appeared and joined in the song.  Their song rose into the air and filled the place with such sweet music that the whole court burst into tears, but the Princess wouldn’t show any emotion.  Seeing this, the Robin called out and all the birds of the world poured into the court.  They sang, each in their own unique voice and song.  The song ended with the Robin’s voice.  The Princess cried with both tears of joy and sadness at the song. The young man had won her hand and they were married.

As for the Mother Robin and her children, they went their merry way and raised chicks of their own and everyone lived happily ever after.

Submitted by Allison Brehmer, World Bird Sanctuary ETC Supervisor

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