ONE YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A VERY UNIQUE LITTLE ROBIN
written by: K. L. Keller
Published by NewBookPublishing.com,
A division of Reliance Media, Inc. at Smashwords
In Loving Memory of Randy my brother, and Don my dad.
Dedicated to Dustin and Holly my children, and all my grandchildren.
To Shianna, Boss, Marcus and Caleb Randy's grandchildren.
To my Grandmother Ruby Linker and my mom Alma who believe in me.
Dedicated to YOU.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE:” BEGINNINGS”
CHAPTER TWO:” LEARNING TO FLY”
CHAPTER THREE:” EXPLORING THE SURROUNDINGS”
CHAPTER FOUR:” GREATEST SUMMER ADVENTURES”
CHAPTER FIVE:” THE TIME OF CHANGE”
CHAPTER SIX:” THE JOURNEY SOUTH”
CHAPTER SEVEN:” THE ARRIVAL”
CHAPTER EIGHT:” THE RETURN - HOME”
Once upon a time in a town not so different then your own, there stands a big beautiful oak tree, reaching high towards the heavens in the middle of the park. The oak tree is so big that its branches stretch out very far and it shades a huge area. That is where the little children, just like you love to play, under the shadow of it.
Now up in the middle of the oak tree, upon one of the very strong branches nestled amongst the leaves rests a nest safe and secure. The leaves of the big oak tree help to protect the nest from the heat of the sun and hide the nest from all sight, even from the little children playing games in the cool of the shade down below.
OH! What is this? Hidden in the center of the nest? Why it's four blue robin eggs! What
a sight to see these four eggs tucked safely in their nest, with Daddy and Mommy Robin keeping a very close watch on them. How safe the babies inside the eggs must feel, with so much love and protection.
Wait! What is happening? Crrrack - Crrrack - crack - crack! Oh my! Three of the eggs are moving around and cracking! Look! Tiny beaks are poking out through the cracks and pieces of the blue egg shells are falling off! Oh my Look! There are three baby robins, their heads are bobbing and their mouths are open wide! Being born is very hard work, and they are really hungry! Daddy Robin is already with their first feeding, while Mommy Robin is busy gathering more food.
But - but what about the forth little robin egg? It still lays quiet and tucked away from the three baby robins just born. This egg is a little different than the other eggs. Why even the neighbors, Squeaker Squirrel and Chirpy Sparrow said, how much brighter in blue this forth egg was, though it's the same in size as all other robin eggs normally are.
THEN -------------- !
Suddenly a move - a noise! Crrrack - Crrack - crack, a tiny beak, a tiny head, bright blue egg shell falling off in all directions, and there in the middle of it all with his tiny head bobbing and mouth open very wide is Randy Robin! He is just as hungry as his brothers and sister are. Hey wait! There is something different upon Randy Robin’s chest, why - he has a tiny orange feather right in the middle of his chest!
In the meantime, neighbors, Squeaker Squirrel and Chirpy Sparrow came rushing over to see what all the excitement is about. They were very happy to see that Randy and his brothers Dusty and Jack, and sister Little Lynn Robin have all been born. Though they were also amazed about the tiny orange feather in the middle of Randy Robin’s chest, they had never seen such a sight, no, not even heard of such a thing before, not on a baby robin.
Mommy and Daddy Robin never made a fuss over this, and hurried themselves taking turns feeding the baby robins, and keeping a protective watch over them.
So Randy Robin, Dusty, Jack and Little Lynn started to grow, and they grew and grew! As they grew Randy Robins tiny orange feather became brighter, he was easy to spot because of this, but Mommy and Daddy Robin never mentioned it, because they knew something about baby robins and orange chest feathers.
“LEARNING TO FLY”
Randy Robin was very easy to spot in the beginning, because of the orange chest feather, but as the way is with all baby robins as they grow, tiny orange feathers appear on all their chests. This is the “something” that Mommy and Daddy Robin knew about!
Now it came to the time of robins to learn how to fly, after all it is something that all robins learn to do.
So Mommy Robin spent many days as the teacher of flight for her little ones, encouraging each one, but Randy Robin paid little attention, his interest settled upon a peculiar acting caterpillar!
Mommy Robin stood upon the edge of the nest, and she would spread out her wings and wave them back and forth then she would take off in flight, over and over she did this. Randy would flap his wings also, but it was his brothers and sister who got very excited with each practice lesson.
“Oh I can't wait to fly!” blurted Dusty.
Jack and Little Lynn were just as excited!
Randy Robin however, wasn't so excited about it; in fact he wasn't paying any attention at all anymore. After all he did like the safety of the nest hidden in the leaves of the big oak tree! No - No - No! Randy didn't want to fly, he wanted to stay in the nest watching the light rays dancing upon the leaves of the tree, and peering over the edge of the nest to watch the little children playing in the shadow down below. Yes! That's what Randy Robin wanted to do!
Finally the day had arrived. The day of flight! Dusty who was the most eager to try went first! He hopped up on the edge of the nest and just stepped off!
Mommy Robin yelled, “Spread out your wings and flap them Dusty!”
In his hurry to fly, he forgot to spread out his wings, but his mom's yell reminded him and soon Dusty was gliding through the sky like a pro, he was just a natural at it.
Little Lynn was next, and she took to flight just like Mommy Robin, Because she had watched Mommy and Daddy Robin take off from the nest so many times before, it was simple for her, after so much studying.
Now it was Jacks turn, and he hopped up onto the edge of the nest also, but he looked down at the ground that was sooooooo far down below him that he got dizzy and fell backwards right into the nest! Well this made Randy even more certain he wasn't leaving the nest at all, he was sure of it now! Jack however was watching Dusty and Little Lynn dipping and diving around in the sky, he could hear them laughing, so he drew in a deep breath, and hopped right back up onto the edge of the nest and didn't look down but straight ahead this time and off he went! In a second or two Randy saw all three gliding and could hear them giggling by! It still wasn't enough to change his mind about leaving the nest!
Then Mommy Robin flew before them and led them to a special strawberry patch near a corner of the park that the little children had planted just for the robins. Oh the strawberries were big, red and very delicious! Little Lynn really enjoyed these special berries; they were the best tasting food she'd ever had! They were a wonderful treat for them all.
Back at the nest, Randy Robin was still tucked inside the safety of the hidden nest, where he'd been watching that peculiar acting caterpillar for many days now. The caterpillar had wrapped himself up in a blanket! Then this wrapped up caterpillar started moving around, swinging from side to side.
Randy wondered out loud, “How can this be? There's no wind blowing, not even a small breeze!”
Well Randy got so curious about this sight that he hopped up onto the edge of the nest - to get a closer look!
When all of the sudden! The blanket started splitting open. This made Randy even more curious, and he stretched up and out as far as he could, so he could see even better. Then suddenly the blanket split right in two and out came a beautiful monarch butterfly, instead of the caterpillar that Randy saw wrap himself up to begin with.
WELL this surprised Randy so much that he forgot he was standing on the edge of the nest, and Yes you guessed it, OFF he went down towards the ground!
Daddy Robin, who'd been watching closely what was going on, came from the branch above and flew right beside Randy and cried out, “Son, spread out your wings and fly!”
Randy did just as his dad said, and Randy Robin was ----------------------------- FLYING!
When Mommy Robin and the others came back to the nest after getting their fill of the wonderful strawberries, what did they find? Randy was gone from the nest and they were all amazed!
Randy and Daddy Robin were down at the strawberry patch eating the delicious strawberries! Then after they had eaten their fill, they flew back up to the nest. Where everyone was asking What had happened, and How Randy left the nest. Randy and Daddy Robin shared the events of “How” Randy left the nest with the robin family, and all were happy that it turned out great.
Mommy and Daddy Robin were very glad, and proud that all four of their young ones had learned to fly. It was truly a time of learning and of not being afraid of trying new things.
That night Randy dreamed of flying, and of what new things he might discover, learn or come across. Randy also found out that learning is fun, and that there is a lot to discover.
“EXPLORING THE SURROUNDINGS”
Now Randy was up and already gone at the first sign that the big light in the sky was rising, (called the sun). He was on the ground under the big oak tree and to his delight, discovered something he had never seen before, just by peering over the edge of the nest up in the middle of the tree.
There were what looked like small sticks lying upon the grass, but these funny looking sticks moved! Well they aren't sticks at all; they are the early morning worms, called earth worms.
Randy tried speaking to the early morning worms but they just vanished into holes in the ground, and wouldn't talk to him.
Then one early morning worm asked, “What do you want with us?”
Randy being excited that one of them talked to him, jumped over to where this worm was at. Well this frightened the worm and he vanished into a nearby hole. The early morning worms had reason to be afraid, since robins normally eat them, and the big early morning worms are a robin’s favorite food, but Randy wasn't interested in eating them, he just wanted to know what they were! Then the worm, who was a wise worm, finally understood that Randy was a young robin, and had not been taught the art of catching an early morning worm, for they move very, very fast. So this wise worm came a little ways out of his hole to speak to this curious robin!
“Hello!” the wise worm said.
“Oh, hello. I'm Randy Robin, What is your name?” asked Randy.
“Jacob, but the little children call me Wiggles the wise worm.” Jacob responded.
“Oh, Wiggles why did all your family hide from me? I really thought you were
sticks.” said Randy.
Wiggles told Randy, “We aren't sticks, we are early morning worms, called earthworms, and we live under the dirt. We make holes that help bring air and water to the deep roots of the big beautiful oak tree. We hide from you and all robins - well - because robins normally eat us!”
“OH!” Randy exclaimed shocked! “I don't want to eat you. I like those big red strawberries over there.”
Wiggles had to admit he also liked the juicy ripe strawberries too.
Now the sun was rising higher in the morning sky, and Wiggles told Randy he would have to talk to him another time.
Randy being interested in learning everything new asked, “Why?”
Wiggles explained to him, that because they are early morning worms, they are made of mostly water and the heat of the sun would harm them by drying them out. He said, “It's one of the reasons we are out only in the cool morning, and we enjoy stretching out upon the cool grass, it gets pretty crowded underground.”
“Thank - you Wiggles for talking with me, and for becoming my friend. Bye for now,” Randy said.
“Bye Randy Robin.” then Wiggles vanished back into his hole in the ground.
Now Daddy Robin who always keeps a close watch over his young robins thought to himself, “My son gives new meaning to the early bird always catching the worm; he makes a friend instead of a meal?” Daddy and Mommy Robin will keep this in their hearts though.
Randy Robin, wide eyed and full of wonder thought, “What next might I find?”
Well before Randy could flap his wings here came his brothers and sister. “What are you up to so early this morning Randy?” they all asked together.
Randy told them, “After yesterday and being afraid of new things and learning I don't have to be afraid. There is so much to explore and learn, I was excited to start early.”
They all agreed with that and flew off to the strawberry patch to eat breakfast with their parents; Randy was feeling hungry after such an exciting morning and meeting a new friend.
While hopping around the strawberry patch, eating the red strawberries quite happily and looking in the bushes for more of the delightful berries, Randy caught a glimpse of what was once a caterpillar. Well Randy with one hop, hopped over to where the turned caterpillar rested upon a white blossom.
“Hello!” Randy excitedly said.
“Hello?” The turned caterpillar said surprised.
“I'm Randy Robin. What's your name?”
“Flutter, Yes - I'm Flutter the monarch butterfly!”
“How did you come by that name?” asked Randy thinking it was an interesting name.
“Well - that's the name I've heard the little children call me!” Flutter said quite proudly.
Now Randy not wanting to be pushy, but because of his curious nature just had to ask Flutter this question, “Flutter - um - whatever happened to that dull looking caterpillar I saw wrap himself up in that blanket?”
Flutter laughing said, “Well Randy, I am that dull looking caterpillar!”
Randy shocked exclaimed, “But - but How? You sure don't look like that caterpillar to me!”
Flutter just laughing said, “I'm not sure HOW it happens, it just does, I the caterpillar find a safe spot and wrap myself up inside a silky covering called a cocoon, and after some days pass by, the then hardened cocoon splits open and I suddenly have wings and a smaller body and can fly after my wings dry, they call it METAMORPHOSIS, which simply means - to change forms -, and that's what we caterpillars do, but not all caterpillars change forms, only certain ones do this, and I'm one that changed into a monarch butterfly. I have orange/red wings with black and am larger than other butterflies. Randy, kind of like this white blossom (flower), it'll change into a nice strawberry in a few days.”
Randy was thinking about all that Flutter told him for that was a lot, when he remembered, “Oh!” said Randy after a few brief moments, “Oh, Flutter, I also wanted to Thank - you, if you hadn't have been so close to my nest and surprised me so much by coming out the way you did, I would not have fallen out of my nest and learned to fly! So I wanted to find you and say Thank - you too!”
Flutter said, “You are most welcome, I'm glad I was able to help you since that's a normal thing for a robin to do, fly, though it's not the way all other robins learn to fly I bet,” and they both just laughed.
Flutter the monarch butterfly and Randy Robin became good friends this day, and would in the days ahead explore more and more of the world around them.
Mommy and Daddy Robin had been watching their young robins very closely, Dusty, Jack and Little Lynn were eating and flying all over the park exploring new things, while Randy stayed mostly on the ground finding new friends, where they lived and how they came about. One thing Mommy and Daddy Robin could agree upon is that Randy is a one of a kind robin, who found friends in what is normally a robins food naturally, meaning worms, caterpillars, butterflies, besides berries and seeds. Yes Randy is one of a kind indeed.
As the night drew near, Flutter went home to rest after the busy day; his home was upon a leaf next to Randy's nest. Flutter also knew something that young Randy Robin was unaware of yet, but that wouldn't take place til near the end of summer!
Dusty, Jack and Little Lynn came back to the nest after their busy day, Randy hadn't shown up yet, he was waiting quietly for Wiggles the wise worm to come up out of his hole in the ground so he could tell him good night, and about Flutter to. Wiggles came out and Randy rattled off the whole day to him, then they said good night to each other. Randy flew up to the nest where his family said good night to each other.
Randy was even more excited than before he'd found two new friends today, Wiggles (Jacob) the wise worm, and Flutter the monarch butterfly!
Randy dreamed of what he might find and do in the days ahead. It's such a big world and much to explore. Best of all new friends to make and learn from!
All slept quietly, they were very tired from so much exploring.
“GREATEST SUMMER ADVENTURES”
As the days past Randy and his brothers and sister explored all that was in the park. They learned new things, and made more friends.
Randy found that one of his greatest challenges was talking to the little children playing in the shadow of the big oak tree. After all he always enjoyed watching them from the nest before he learned to fly.
Now Randy wanted to get closer and talk to the little children.
Though they would walk by and say, “Hi, Mr. Robin.”
Randy would get excited and say, “Hi!” back, they just didn't seem to understand him. There was one little girl though who paid more attention to him and would watch Randy very closely. After some time past she started coming up to him and had in her little hand some seeds for Randy to eat. Oh how he loved the taste of these special seeds!
After awhile Randy finally found out the little girl’s name, it was her second name though, because her big sister and friends called her by two names. It's the second name Randy heard them say the loudest. There was so much laughing and talking from all the little children it was the only one he could hear and that was May.
So Randy waited for May every day, at the time the little children came to the park to play. May would always bring Randy the little seeds he loves to eat and he would eat them right out of her little hand. This always made May giggle for joy!
See Randy believed with all his robin’s heart that May understood him.
Well that very day Randy overheard some of Mays little friends asking her, “May, what is the little robin saying to you?”
May told them, “Oh, he's singing to me the robins song.”
Then little May looked up and winked at Randy.
Well this little act excited Randy so much that he flew straight up over the top of the big oak tree, and that's the highest Randy has ever flown, he just paused for a second and looked around then said aloud, “WOW! I can see everything from up here!” It was a sight to behold, for there were things Randy didn't even know existed until now!
Boy, Randy was even more excited than he had ever been, if that's at all possible! He flew down and saw Dusty and Jack, he told them of the great big world, then Little Lynn who he found playing in the water fountain near the big oak tree, then Mommy and Daddy robin who were resting in the shade of a nearby elm tree. Randy didn't even give them a chance to say anything back before he was off to tell someone else! For Mommy and Daddy robin, and Randy's siblings already knew about what Randy had just discovered.
Randy spotted Flutter who was by a patch of daises. Randy rushed over to greet Flutter and tell him of the great big world he had just discovered!
Now Flutter had been busy himself exploring the nearby neighborhoods, and had much to share with Randy also.
“Flutter!” Randy said gasping from so much excitement, “There's a great big world out there! I saw tall hills, and crooked water flows, a lot of square looking things where the little children live, and some funny looking things with four legs, some bigger and some smaller, they live in the square looking things with the little children! Oh Flutter it is so exciting!”
Flutter who said with as much excitement in his voice, “YES! Randy, I've seen some things also, but at a much closer look. There are these animals, they are really big, and they run around chasing things, like round things, and I saw some even chase their own tails, so I call them ‘Chasers!’ Then I saw these other ones, they look and act different from the chasers, I heard someone calling one a ‘Catty,’ they seem more calm and sit around licking themselves a lot, they must like to be clean! Randy, I also saw one of the chasers running after one of the cattys, and the catty actually climbed up a tree! The chaser was jumping around making all sorts of noises and the catty’s hair stood straight up, then these really long things popped out from the catty’s front feet, and the catty started hitting at the chaser, the catty was making a hissing kind of sound! It was like nothing I've ever seen before. You know Randy, I don't think cattys and chasers like each other very much. I don't get it because they live in the same places the little children who play at the park live.”
Well this got Randy very curious so he wanted to go see all this at a much closer look just like Flutter had, and they started to fly off in the direction where Flutter saw the chaser that had the catty up in the tree.
Daddy Robin however flew ahead of them to stop them! Mommy and Daddy Robin were after all always keeping a close eye on their exploring young robins. They love them very much and know not everything in the world is safe; there are some dangers out there. That those dangers can even enter the park! They knew that chasers run after cattys, but they also knew that cattys become chasers and run after robins too!
So Daddy Robin led them up to the nest, while Mommy Robin gathered up the rest of them for a lesson in dangerous things! Though Dusty, Jack and Little Lynn had heard it before, Randy who was also there for that first lesson was paying more attention to the army of ants down below working hard on collecting food, that Randy missed this Important Lesson! This time Randy listened. He had never seen his dad act like this before, so Randy knew he'd better pay attention, Flutter listened also.
Randy, Flutter and the rest of the robin family learned that cattys (which are called cats), and chasers (which are called dogs), do not always like each other, and that cats and some dogs do not like robins either. That it is natural for most dogs to chase cats around, but cats also like chasing robins too and it is very dangerous for a robin to get caught by a cat! Cats after all can climb trees! Flutter saw that! It's one of the reasons the robins nest is “HIDDEN” up in the middle of the big oak tree.
Now this really got Randy thinking! He had made friends with a little girl, a butterfly, and a worm! Randy thought and thought about this over the next several days. Though he still greeted May each day, and said hi and good night to Wiggles, spent time with Flutter each day. Randy just couldn't get this out of his thoughts, and Flutter who knows Randy well, knew Randy was up to something being he was so preoccupied in thought lately.
Randy thought that if he could make friends with a worm, and a butterfly, when a robin is their natural enemy, and they are normally food for a robin, then why can't a robin make friends with a cat, when a robin is in the cat’s eye food for them?
Well after a few more days passed by, Randy had forgotten all about his heavy thought, and went about his normal day of talking to everyone, spending time with his family and each of his friends.
Until one morning, a very small kitten wandered into the park, she got separated from her family and found herself under the big oak tree. She was afraid and softly crying.
Now Randy who is up before everyone else in the nest, heard the soft whimpers of the kitten, and flew down near to where she was.
Randy being his curious self softly asked the small kitten, “Why are you crying?”
The little kitten answered, “I'm lost and can't find my family!”
This made Randy sad for her. He loves his family too and wouldn't want to be lost, and not able to find them. So Randy said gently, “I'll help you find your family.”
The kitten a little bit comforted said, “Will you?”
“YES.” Randy said tenderly, “Yes I will, see I can fly up and look for them. I can see them easier from the sky, then you can from down on the ground.”
At hearing this, the kitten got up and was suddenly hopeful, so she stopped crying.
Randy flew up and around, when he spotted a larger cat that appeared to be looking for something; Randy was hoping a little kitten. He remembered what his parents had warned him about, so he flew down near the kitten and asked her to please stay where she was at. Then flew up and spotted the larger cat.
Randy flew close but out of reach of the larger cat and asked her, “What are you doing?”
The big cat answered, “I have five kittens and now I only have four, one is lost and I'm searching for her.”
Randy responded, “I'll help you find your lost kitten, see that crab-apple tree over there?”
“YES!” said the mother cat despairingly.
“Meet me at that tree in a few minutes.” Randy told her.
The mother cat who only wanted to find her kitten agreed.
Randy who actually listened to his parents about this kind of danger, remembered about not leading a cat to the nesting tree, but to fly to a different tree away from the nest.
Randy flew over to where the kitten was and had her follow him, he flew as slow as he could, then wait for the kitten to catch up to him. When they neared the crab-apple tree, the mother cat caught sight of her kitten and ran towards her; the kitten saw her mother and ran to her also. Oh how happy they were, kissing and hugging the way cats do.
Then the mother cat looked up and spotted Randy, who was as full of emotion as they were. The mother cat said “This is something I will never forget, I will tell all my family and friends of this, for today something that has never happened in the history of cats and robins has taken place. Where a robin helped a cat find a lost kitten. Where a cat and robin became friends! Thank - you so much!”
All Randy could say for, for once he was speechless was “You are most welcome.”
Now Daddy Robin was nearby and had watched very closely what was happening, just in case! His chest feathers seemed to stand out even more for the pride he felt towards his son, who against all the odds, dared to help one who is normally a robins enemy, and turned that enemy into a friend! A rare event indeed!
This is the greatest adventure a robin could ever have, EVER!
Daddy Robin flew over to the crab-apple tree where Randy was still in a daze at, and landed by Randy's side, giving Randy the proudest look a daddy robin ever could! Then they flew together back to the nest. Where Daddy Robin retold the events of the morning to his family and all he talked to, even Squeaker Squirrel and Chirpy Sparrow sat in awe at the telling of it! Flutter and Wiggles weren't surprised at all by it, and Randy - well it was most natural for him to make friends out of enemies, yet even this kept him in silence, for a short time anyway! Randy in his little robin heartfelt gratitude and thought it was the lesson he learned from Wiggles, who was brave enough to give him a chance also.
Yet there is something else going on inside the heart of Randy, and unknown to him, in the hearts of the others too, including Flutter. The summer days are getting shorter and the end of summer is drawing near.
“THE TIME OF CHANGE”
It took Randy nearly the whole summer to get little May to tell him her first name.
Then one afternoon May came, looked at Randy with her big green eyes and said “Hello handsome robin, my name is Jackie, yep Jackie May, do you have a name?”
Well Randy became overjoyed and piped away telling her “Oh, I've been trying to find out your first name. I'm Randy, Randy Robin. I really like it when you call me handsome robin though.”
Jackie May simply smiled at him and said “Well I think I will still call you handsome robin, my handsome feathered friend.”
Randy was satisfied, though he still believed in his heart that she understands what he is saying. Jackie May gave Randy the wonderful seeds she always brings with her for him; she always enjoys it when he eat them right out of her little hand. Jackie May ran off giggling, to go play with her other friends. Randy watched her for a minute then flew off.
Randy rested quietly upon an elm branch, when he noticed a sight he has never seen before.
Randy blurted out, “The leaves? The leaves look different, and why are some of them lying on the ground, what is happening?”
This is something Randy had to find out about, and he knew just who to ask, His dad. Randy was certain that if anyone knew his dad did! So Randy flew off in search of his dad, who he found by the lilac bushes that lined the south side of the park.
“Papa!” Randy bursted out “Why are the leaves looking so strange? Are they sick? Why are some of them losing their hold upon the branches and falling to the ground? Why are they different colors, did they get changed like Flutter did? Did someone come in the night and paint them? LOOK Papa, they aren't green like before, they're turning yellow, orange, and even red, WHY?”
Daddy Robin took in the sight and breathed in very deeply, then said in explanation “Randy my son, the time of change has come.”
Randy with a questioning face asked “What do you mean the time of change?”
Daddy Robin explained in a robin’s way what he meant, “All these signs of the leaves changing color, falling to the ground, the days getting shorter, the big light in the sky isn't raising as high. Randy soon all the leaves on the trees will fall and the green grass will turn brown. Then one day it will all be covered with a white blanket of sparkling gems. It will get very cold, and no robin will be around then.”
Well hearing this made the already curious wide eye Randy even more interested, but it made him a little afraid also, so for the moment Randy didn't ask any more questions. He sat and thought about all his dad had said though.
Then Randy spotted Flutter by a tall patch of orange and yellow mums, Flutter really likes being in flower patches. “Flutter!” Randy yelled out.
“Hello Randy!” Flutter called back
Randy flew down into the midst of the flowers, and asked, “Flutter, have you noticed anything different lately?”
“Why yes.” Flutter answered, “there are a lot of things changing Randy, why soon I, along with all the monarchs will be leaving and heading south for the cold winter months!”
“WINTER?” questioned Randy.
“Yes, you know when all the leaves are gone from the trees and all that's green turns brown, the flowers go to sleep. Then it turns cold and the rain changes into these white sparkling flakes, like flat rain drops, and the ground gets covered with them. Kind of like caterpillars changing into butterflies, like me!”
“OH!” Randy overwhelmed said, “But - but what about robins?”
Flutter laughing said, “Well you fly south my friend, robins go where the strawberries grow, and they don't grow in the cold flat rain drops!”
Now Randy thought to himself, “Well, where do the strawberries grow, how do I know where I'm suppose to go? I know I've had this feeling deep within my heart, a desire to go and with each passing day this feeling seems to just grow and grow. Yet I look upon the big beautiful oak tree and that is home to me. This change is happening and the cold I've recently heard of. Well it isn't a place for a little robin like me.”
Flutter as though he heard Randy's thoughts said, “Randy Robin, you and your family will fly south. I'll go with you too, for where you go is where I want to be! Oh there will be plenty to eat and new things to explore and see. Randy within each of us who head south for the winter. There is a knowing we all have, we are born into it, it's just there, and everything changes in the time of change. Even Jackie May, why she’s already taller than before. It's hard to leave our beautiful home here in the park but there's the knowing we must go!”
Randy knew this to be true, but there remained in him a question. He was just too afraid to ask!
About that time little Jackie May appeared. “There you are handsome robin. I start school in a couple of days, it's my first year. Mommy said you would be leaving soon, so I wanted to come back to the park and tell you good-bye. Oh my little feathered friend, I was sad when mommy told me that, but she made me feel better when she sang me this song, Don't be sad, because the children of the north always know when spring is here, for that's the time the robins appear, and the children of the south know that fall is near, for that's the time the robins show up there. So I'll see you again next spring!”
Well that did it. Randy got so excited that for a moment he and Flutter both thought Randy's feathers were going to fly off of him in every direction! “That's it!” shouted Randy. “That's what I really wanted to know but was too afraid to ask, we will be returning back here, back home! Yes - yes - yes – yeees!”
Before Flutter could speak, Randy was up in the air flying loops! When he remembered leaving Flutter and Jackie May just standing there.
“Oh, I'm so sorry for taking off like that and leaving you so rudely Flutter and Jackie May!” An out of breath Randy apologized.
Jackie just smiled at him, and Flutter, well he knows Randy very well.
“Jackie May,” said Randy. “Good-bye to you also, and Thank-you for being my friend and for the wonderful seeds.”
Then Randy stopped talking, and he just looked at Jackie May in her eyes, when she said, “Oh, handsome robin, I'll be waiting and watching for your return next spring!”
Well Randy was beside himself now – yelling “I knew it, I just knew it. She does understand me!” And off he went flipping joyfully in the air! Flutter and Jackie just looked at Randy, then at each other and laughed.
Mommy and Daddy Robin saw Randy flipping and looping about in the air, knowing when Randy got excited, he held nothing back.
Dusty was getting ready to leave, so was Jack. Little Lynn was in the strawberry patch enjoying the last of the delicious berries, and Randy was back at the nest now. Completely exhausted after so much excitement!
They would be leaving in the morning, Flutter rested on the nest that night also, since his leaf had fallen to the ground. Sometime after the sun rise they would be leaving on their journey south.
“THE JOURNEY SOUTH”
The big light in the sky started waking up scattering its beams of light.
Randy being his normal self was the first one up, and flew down to say so long to his friend Wiggles the wise worm. “Wiggles I'm so glad I met you, I just wanted to tell you bye and I'll see you again.”
Wiggles told Randy, “It's a strange thing for a worm and a robin to become friends, but I'm glad we did. I'm looking forward to your return. I'll see you then, fly high and be careful my friend. Bye for now.”
Back at the nest, Squeaker Squirrel and Chirpy Sparrow were there, everyone was saying their good-byes. Now Squeaker and Chirpy don't head south for the winter, but live year round in the big oak tree. Squirrels and sparrows don't “MIGRATE,” (move to another home when the time of change comes.) as robins do. Squeaker says there are times of change every year. There's spring time, summer time, fall time and winter time, which he calls seasons. That there are times for all things under heaven.
Dusty went down to the skate park to tell Peter bye. Oh how Dusty loves Peter, who rode upon a shiny thing that has two wheels and a flat board with four wheels. Dusty always sat on top of the cap Peter always wears and would ride right along with Peter; they would just laugh and laugh.
Little Lynn was at the fountain that is close to the big oak tree, to say bye to her little friend Chlorissa, who enjoyed the water of the fountain running over her as much as Little Lynn did, and they both loved strawberries, the best of all foods.
Jack flew over to the far end of the park, where there were tables and benches. Jack always met little Paul there, who shared his sack lunch with him every day.
Oh how we're all going to miss each other. All Randy's family had made friends amongst the little children who came to play in the park.
Then the time had arrived - it was time to leave.
Flutter hopped onto Randy's back, since butterflies can't fly as fast as a robin can; which is a rare adventure in itself for a butterfly to ride on the back of a robin.
Randy told Flutter “Hold on tight my friend!” Then off they all went.
You can hear Flutter yelling “Oh-Whoooa.” He had never moved so fast before and boy was he ever holding on tight!
Randy had forgotten the view from up in the sky and he was in awe of it all again, but this time Randy and his family and Flutter were flying towards the tall hills. Over the crooked water flows, over the tall and small square things where the little children live.
Daddy Robin warned them of the lines of string that run from one branchless and leafless tree to another, to be very careful not to fly into them!
They flew for a very long time. The big light in the sky was moving downward, heading to bed as Randy always said. They were still in the midst of the very tall hills. Actually that's all any of them could see. Was one very tall hill after another, like a group holding hands and drawing closer together!
Then finally they came to a certain spot. It was time to eat and rest for the night. Well Randy, Dusty, Jack and Little Lynn were amazed. There are trees, funny looking trees that have rolled up leaves that end in points and they are still green!
Daddy and Mommy Robin were enjoying their amazement at this sight. When Daddy
Robin finally said, “These are called ever-greens, they are always green and don't lose their leaves, the leaves are whined up so tight, they are called needles instead, which provides a safe resting place for us and a special treat for us to eat!”
Randy and Flutter started laughing, saying “Why - that is the funniest looking cocoon we've ever seen!” All the others were just staring at this strange sight!
Daddy and Mommy Robin had to laugh also.
Then Mommy Robin told them, “These aren't cocoons, they're cones, pine cones. They have the special treat in them.”
Daddy Robin bumped one and out fell some brown colored seeds, “Pine nuts, they are rich and very tasty!” Daddy Robin said.
They all enjoyed these tasty pine nuts and got their little robin stomachs full. That night they rested in the protection of the ever-green tree.
In the middle of the night something started happening. Sparkling flat rain drops started falling from the sky! They covered the ground below; they covered everything like a white glimmering blanket!
Now something different happened when the big light in the sky woke up and started to rise! It wasn't Randy who was up first; he was more tired than normal from carrying Flutter, who isn't as light as he looks. Dusty was up first on this particular morning.
Dusty was about a stone’s throw away from the ever-green where his family still slept. He found a flat stick and he was thinking about Peter and his flat board with four wheels, oh how Dusty missed Peter and riding on his cap! This flat stick reminded Dusty of all the fun he and Peter had, then Dusty just hopped up on the flat stick that laid on the top side of a little hill, and something happened, with no wheels at all! The stick slid down the hill! Well this caused great excitement for Dusty, and help him too, for he believed Peter would be doing the same thing, and over and over Dusty did this, sliding down the little hill and flying the stick back up to the top of the hill and sliding down again!
While Dusty was fully enjoying his new found discovery. Back at the ever-green something else was happening. The tree started shaking as if the cold flat rain drops reached the trees very roots! This sudden shaking woke the rest of the family out of their peaceful sleep.
Randy, Jack, Little Lynn and Flutter who had tucked himself under one of Randy's wings for warmth, gasped at the sight below them! They've never in all their exploring seen a sight such as this before and it frightened them! There was a very, very large looking thing, an animal looking thing. That has four legs and two branches with smaller sticks attached to them coming out of its head. This thing was scratching them against the trunk of the ever-green tree! Oh what a frightful sight to them! (Mommy and Daddy Robin had seen these before, and decided to watch this new lesson for their young ones and Flutter.)
Randy with a quick thought suddenly asked this strange looking creature, “Are you trying to get those branches off your head? They must be bothersome they're so large and awkward looking.”
The creature stopped and looked up to where they were at and said, “Branches?” Then started laughing when he realized what Randy meant, “Oh, these aren't branches little robin, they are called antlers. I'm an elk and my kind has these large antlers. I was just scratching them as we elk like to do. This is my home here in the forest, full of trees, streams and mountains. There are all kinds of different animals that live here in the forest.”
“Mountains?” questioned the young robins and Flutter.
“Yes, these very tall hills are called mountains.” answered the elk.
At that time another forest animal appeared. “Hi, I'm Quicker, Quicker the chipmunk!”
Randy being his usual self said, “Hello, it's so nice to meet you, both of you. There sure is a lot to learn. Thank - you Mr. Elk for explaining all this to us.”
“You are welcome” said the elk, whose name is Bucky. They learned when they all exchanged names, and then it came time to say good-bye.
Daddy Robin said, “It is time to continue our journey, we still have a distance to go!”
“Wait! Where's Dusty? DUSTY!” they all yelled together.
When they heard a familiar laughter. They flew in the direction of the laugh, and for the first time noticed the white glimmering of the cold flat rain drops, they were completely amazed at how beautiful and how cold these flat rain drops that blanketed everything were! Then they saw Dusty. They were very surprised by what he'd been up to. For there was Dusty still sliding down the little hill!
Now over the spring and summer months Mommy and Daddy Robin had seen their little robins explore, learn, and discover many new things, but NEVER had they seen a robin who enjoyed the snow, and do what they saw Dusty doing! Snow that is the short word for what the robins and Flutter call the cold flat rain drops.
At that time the snowflakes started falling from the sky again. Little Lynn was beyond excited at this sight, her thoughts wandered back to Chlorissa and her playing in the water fountain at the park together. That memory sent warmth all over her. Yet these snowflakes are light and fluffy, not at all like rain drops, but Little Lynn danced and flapped her wings around in them anyway.
Daddy and Mommy Robin encouraging them to go said, “It's time to go now!” Dusty was determined to take his stick with him, but it made to difficult for him to fly. So he had to leave it behind. Flutter, who doesn't have feathers to keep him warm, was getting cold and laid low upon Randy's back, so Randy's feathers could protect him and keep him warm. Then off they flew.
They flew over many more mountains and streams, little gatherings of small squares, called buildings, and over buildings as tall as some mountains are. Randy started laughing when they flew over the very tall buildings, “Look Flutter, from up here everything down below us looks just like the ants under the big oak tree, busy running here and there!”
It was an interesting sight to Randy and Flutter, they both wondered if they were busy gathering food like the ants, and if not what were they in such a big hurry about! Time on their journey wouldn't let them explore these thoughts though, for even the robins have a time limit to get to where they are headed.
After many days on their journey, the ground below them started changing. It was getting greener and greener again.
Then it seemed sudden, Daddy Robin announced, “Just over the next hill and we will be there!”
Excitement swelled up in each of them and anticipation also. “What will this place be like? Is it as wonderful as our home in the big beautiful oak tree? Are there little children, flowers and strawberries?” They all asked!
Then they arrived. It was a park too, that was spread out along a hill side. On the top of the hill were several ash trees grouped together. The one in the front center is the tree where Randy and his family will be living. There are clusters of aspen trees and more ash trees, a little water fountain. Oh there are some strawberries and some bushes that are loaded with smaller red berries, raspberries these are called. There are tables and benches, even a small skate park and finally that which makes a park - a park in the first place. Little children laughing and playing games.
Daddy Robin exclaimed, “This is where we come at the time of change, and when the time of change comes here, we head north. The time of change comes to all places at different seasons in time, though it will not be the same, it will be more within our hearts, then our surroundings.”
Randy was wide eyed with wonder, excited about new friends he hopes to meet. While Flutter was just thankful the trip was over. He can rest upon a flower and feel the warmth of the sun on his wings again. He was very happy to be closer to the ground, since that's where butterflies like to be. Flutter and Randy will explore this new place, they'll come across an experience neither one of them expect also.
Little Lynn went straight to the water fountain, and let the water run gently over her wings. Oh what a great feeling! She missed the water fountain back home and she really missed Chlorissa. Then she heard the laughter of a little girl, Shianna. It only took a few minutes for them to become friends. Though no one could ever take the place of Chlorissa in Little Lynn's heart. Yet she was happy to meet a new friend who liked the water as much as she does.
Jack saw a little boy eating lunch at one of the tables, so he flew over there to greet him.
“Hi little robin, I'm John.” John shared his lunch with Jack. John always carries bird seed with him when he eats at the park; he really enjoys feeding the birds. John and Jack liked each other right away.
Dusty went straight to the skate park and just landed on top of a boy’s cap that looked a little like Peters cap! The boy, James didn't mind Dusty riding along with him at all; in fact he thought it was pretty cool. After all not just anyone has a robin riding around on the top of their base ball cap!
Flutter and Randy made new friends also with the little children, even with the parks local cats. The cats had heard of Randy's kindness in helping the mother cat find her lost kitten, and his fame had spread, even to the south!
Flutter met another monarch, but he was a she monarch and they liked each other right of the bat!
Randy unexpectedly met another robin, a girl robin, who is just as curious about everything as Randy is. They spent a lot of time together exploring and having fun. Her name is Rachael Robin.
Daddy and Mommy Robin enjoyed watching their young robins mature, and they are more able to care for themselves now.
The time in the little park seemed to go by very fast. Everyone was busy every day, exploring, eating the wonderful berries and seeds, learning and meeting new friends, it all went by so fast.
The time of change seemed to come over night. Randy looked around and said, “Well everything still looks the same, no change in the color of the leaves, the grass is still green, just the big light in the sky is rising higher.” Yet Randy still felt the pangs for the big beautiful oak tree, he wanted to return home. The change came within his heart and the others hearts as well.
Randy found Flutter by a patch of tulips, “Flutter!” Randy called, “I'm home sick, even though it's beautiful here, I feel a very strong need to go home back to the big oak tree.”
Flutter replied, “You know by nature we monarchs don't return to where we came from, yet I want to go back with you too. Randy, I need to ask you, is there anyway Mary Monarch can come with us?”
Randy laughing said, “Flutter I don't see why not, I'll even ask Rachael if Mary can ride on her back.”
Flutter was very Thankful, and was hit with this sudden reality, “Do you know what Randy, I just realized I will see the next generation of monarchs, a rare thing, I'll see what you saw!”
The day to return home has come.
“THE RETURN - HOME”
All were getting ready for the flight back to the big beautiful oak tree, but this time more are going back then when they came south to begin with. Dusty, Jack and Little Lynn met other robins too, they will be returning with them also.
Flutter rested upon Randy's back, Mary though nervous rested upon Rachael's back.
Then OFF they flew north, heading home.
You could hear Mary let out a yell, “WOW --Eee!”It's always a shock for a butterfly to suddenly be flying so fast and high.
The flight home seemed quicker, some things even looked different, though they followed the same flight path coming back as they did going south. There just wasn't as much snow as before. They also stopped at the evergreen tree again, and met up with Bucky the elk; even he looked a little different. Bucky's antlers were a little bigger and had fuzzy stuff on them!
Randy had to ask “What happened to your antlers?”
Bucky answered “We elk go through a time of change when we lose our antlers. Then in the spring they start growing back but they grow bigger, and they have what is called velvet that covers them. It comes off though after awhile!”
Randy thought out loud “Boy there is always something new to learn!”
All had to agree with that remark.
After they rested and ate, they were off again towards home.
Then suddenly a familiar sight! The hills, the crooked water streams, the buildings where the little children live.
The big beautiful oak tree standing in the middle of the park! Oh what a welcoming sight!
Randy, Flutter and Dusty flew ahead of the rest. They were so very excited and happy to be home. They landed upon the branches of the oak tree.
Before long everyone else arrived just in time to hear a shocked Randy say, “What is wrong with our home? Where are all the leaves? There are only these funny looking lumps on the branches!”
See Randy, nor any of them had ever seen the beginning of spring time before, so it was all very new to them.
Daddy Robin delighted at their wonder even still and explained,” It is the time of new birth, these funny looking lumps will unfold and be the beautiful green leaves that fill up our home and shade us from the heat of the sun, and hide us and our nests from everything.”
Mommy Robin added, “It is called spring time. When all that was old becomes new. Where everything wakes up after the long cold winter season and comes to life and starts growing fresh and renewed!”
Well this was exciting to all of them.
Yet there are still patches of snow on the ground, and Dusty wouldn't you know it, found himself another flat stick. He was trying to slide down a mound of snow patch! It's truly a fun sight to watch.
Mommy and Daddy Robin started repairing their nest, as the winter winds had blown pieces of the nest away. Now Randy and his siblings knew within themselves that they each needed to build their own nests and got busy doing just that.
Randy after his nest was finished, was remembering all his adventures as a little robin here. All the wonderful and very different friends he made. When he heard in the distance a little girl singing.
“Oh us children of the north always know when spring is here for that's the time the robins appear - la - la - la!”
Yes, yes it is little Jackie May who'd been watching for the robins return! Randy full of joy flew down to greet her. Though he noticed she wasn't so little anymore, she had grown a few inches!
“Hello, handsome robin, I've been waiting for your return!” Jackie shouted with glee.
“Hello Jackie May, my you've grown taller!” said Randy.
Jackie just smiled her sweet smile at him and held out her hand with the wonderful seeds Randy loved so much and had missed. Oh how great it was to be home.
Chlorissa, Paul and Peter had all grown also; Peter still wore his same old cap though. All enjoyed the reunion with each other, and meeting the new robins also. They pretty much took up where they left off.
Little Lynn was more preoccupied now though then before. Spending a lot of time sitting in her nest.
Rachael also spent almost all her time sitting in her and Randy's nest. While Randy was out and about greeting friends and waiting for Wiggles the wise worm to come up out of his home, which he did after several days had past.
“Hello Wiggles!” said Randy excited to see him.
“Hello Randy, Welcome home!” Wiggles said.
“It is so good to see you again Wiggles, I really missed you!” said Randy, though he noticed even Wiggles looked a little different also, he was more gray in color then brown.
“It is good to see you also Randy, my robin friend!” said Wiggles.
About that time there was some activity up in the nests and a lot of excited talking!
“What?” they both questioned.
Randy excused himself quickly and flew up into the branches to see what was going on!
Well Chirpy Sparrows eggs just hatched and he had two new members of his family.
Squeaker Squirrel was there also with a little baby squirrel, who Squeaker named Randi, his little one is a girl, but Squeaker was so fond of Randy that he insisted on naming her after him no matter what.
Randy was very happy to have her named after him.
Chirpy was suddenly very busy feeding his two babies who are very hungry.
There are eggs in all the robin families’ nests. Each has three eggs in their nests, except for Daddy and Mommy Robin; they have two eggs in their nest.
Randy was standing proudly over his and Rachael's nest, when he noticed a peculiar acting caterpillar, wrapping himself up in a cocoon, and Flutter was there sitting in awe of this rare and wonderful sight. Seeing how he once looked. Oh excitement filled his little butterfly heart; he's going to meet the next generation of monarch!
Randy's eggs started moving and a noise came forth - oh my! Why the eggs in all the nests were doing this! It sounded like music!
Crrrack - crack - crack - Crrack - crack - crack - Crrack - crack - crack!
Tiny beaks were poking through the cracks, blue egg shell was falling off in all directions and there in the midst of it all, baby robins with their tiny heads bobbing and their mouths opened wide!
Excitement was everywhere in the big beautiful oak tree standing even taller in the middle of the park!
Randy Robin a proud daddy himself now, and yes his three little ones all had that curious orange feather right in the middle of their chests too, but do you know what? So did all the baby robins. Now that is a sight to behold!
Then after a couple of very busy days, even more excitement started happening!
The cocoon started swinging back and forth. It split right in half and out flopped a beautiful monarch butterfly! How joyful Flutter and Mary got to witness this! Flutter and Randy named this new monarch “Floppy.” Yes Floppy since he just flopped out of the cocoon it seemed a fitting name! Floppy the monarch butterfly soon to be friend of little Chris Robin, Randy's son.
All the robins and Flutter and Mary stood happy and proud!
Randy stood, remembering everything, and how important everyone is. Though not everyone is the same, it wouldn't be very interesting if everyone was the same in looks, behavior, and personality. He remembered that everyone is different and unique, that all life is important! That we all help each other grow and that we need each other, for what one might be able to do, another may not. This is the lesson Randy learned and will teach his little ones.
That above all else. To love one another not just with words, but with action also.