Much of North America has been struggling to stay warm and safe during this current deep freeze. Our pets don’t want to be outside, even for the most necessary of reasons, and who can blame them. IT IS COLD! Yesterday, a friend told me about a robin who has stayed here in town for the winter, and who is puffed up to about twice his size trying to stay warm. Big mistake. That robin should have left with the rest of his flock. Hearing about him, I decided to share with you a story I wrote and illustrated for my grandchildren a few years ago, when Robby Robin decided to stay for the winter. It was a bad move on Robby’s part.
No More Worms for Robby
“Where is Hubie Hummingbird today?” Robby Robin asked his friends. “He was going to play Hide and Seek with us.”
“He’s gone away with his family and can’t play with us anymore,” said Nellie Nuthatch.
Robby Robin raced home from playing with his friends. “Mama,” he said as he opened his front door, “Hubie Hummingbird has flown away and can’t play with us anymore!”
“Robby, that’s what happens when summer is over. The children go back to school, the leaves turn beautiful colors, and birds like hummingbirds and robins fly away. We’ll be going soon and you’ll see Hubie in our new home.” explained his mother.
“What’s winter?” asked Robby. “Winter is when it gets much colder outside,” answered his mother. “I’ve heard about it from other birds. The flowers stop growing and the hummingbird feeders turn to ice, so hummingbirds can’t find nectar.
The ground becomes hard and covered with cold white rain called snow, so robins can’t find worms.
That’s why we go to Florida, the way Grandma and Grandpa taught us.”
Robby was upset. “No,” he said. “I don’t want to leave my friends. I want to stay here for the winter.”
“But Robby, Daddy and I are getting ready to our family to leave. We need to have worms and warm weather. You can’t stay here without us. You won’t be able to find worms. You’ll need to eat seeds from feeders. It will get very cold, so you’ll have to fluff out your feathers to keep warm.”
But Robby wouldn’t change his mind, so finally Mama and Daddy Robin reluctantly flew away and let him stay with Sarah Chickadee and her family.
At first everything was fine. Robby had fun playing with Sarah Chickadee and his other friends. Robby practiced eating seeds for when the ground got too hard for finding worms.
Then the snow came. It was very white and very beautiful. The children came out and built a snowman.
The children had fun in the snow, but not Robby. He didn’t like to stand on the snow. It was cold and wet.
The feeder was hard to stand on and it only had seeds. Blech! He missed the squishy, wriggly worms.
And then it became very, very cold. Brrrr!! Robby shivered and fluffed out his feathers. This didn’t feel good at all!!
Sarah Chickadee liked winter. Nellie Nuthatch liked winter. Wendy Woodpecker liked winter. They all liked their food. They all had their families. They all knew how to stay warm.
But Robby Robin didn’t like winter. He was cold and hungry, and he missed his family.
Sarah’s father knew that there was only one thing to do. Robby had to fly to Florida to join his family. Mr. Chickadee explained to Robby that his family will bring him back when winter is over and summer returns.
All of Robby’s friends gathered to wave good-bye as he started his flight away from winter, towards Florida and his family.
When Robby arrived in Florida and saw his family waiting for him, he was so excited.
“Mama, I saw winter. Mama, I saw a snowman. Mama, I ate seeds.” exclaimed Robby as he was happily reunited with his mother.
Then he noticed that here in Florida it was summer. The grass was green. There were flowers. And there was Hubie!
Now Robby knew that his mother had been right, just as Grandma and Grandpa had taught her. Robins don’t like winter. They like warm weather and worms, right here in Florida. No more winters for Robby!
Copyright 2009, Jane Fritz