Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The Robin who hedges her choices ...



THE 3RD ANNUAL VALENTINY WRITING CONTEST!!!



Susanna Hill's Valentiny contest is on:
214 words - sweet, funny, surprising and full of hope ... this tale is 213 words long
I'm not meant to be putting in pictures ... but I feel I need to ... little Robins desire to shine their lights out into the world ... be it snow time in the UK, or chestnut orange here heralding Spring on continental America ...




European Robin
My name is Robin and I am a little song bird ... but am I Robin red-breast who lives in the old country of England?


... or am I a chestnut-orange red-breasted Robin, who inhabits that huge land called America?


American Robin

Oh! and I love worms to eat ... I bet many of you go looking for worms ... do you let them wriggle and squiggle a bit ... before you eat them?




Many, many moons ago ... my present garden owner made manure pies (yugh!!) with worms ... which she really really truly wanted her brothers to eat ... but her Mummy and Daddy thought that was not a good idea ... huh?! what do you think? 


Worms for supper?
Those humans laughed and giggled at the thought ... 



... but my red red Robin friends ... be they red, or chestnut-orange ... keep bobbing along snaffling at the ground for a wriggly squiggle or two ...


Chocolate Heart
When I grow up ...I will give my love my throbbing heart, which hides under my chestnut-orange-red breast ... perhaps you will do that ... 


... or will you search for some heart-shaped chocolates for Valentine's Day ... 





Disney's Christopher Robin ...
he looks sad, perhaps he needs to
see his Robin bird ...
Then there's the wonderful stories of Christopher Robin ... now those are stories for another day ... 




Gardener's friend with dinner!


... bye bye from the Robin bird.





Links for the contest can be found here - I came in via Robyn Campbell, http://robyncampbell.com/ebs-valentine-eggcellence/

but Susanna Hill runs the story entries:


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories



76 comments:

Lenny Lee said...

what a fun kids story. kids love wiggly things and worms are just right for a red robin story. this would make a fun picture book. i enjoyed reading it and the pictures are great.

Lenny Lee said...

whoops...forgot to wish you a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! hope you eat lots of chocolate.

bazza said...

The brave little robin is officially Britain's favourite garden bird. They are very fierce and territorial and I admire them a lot!
Your lovely little story made me smile. In a few years the planet's population may be getting much of their protein from worms; that's if we can get them away from the robins.....
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s tenebrific Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

A Heron's View said...

I really enjoy the company of Robins and the manner in which the sing back to me when I speak to them. Years ago I used to have my fuel [turf or peat blocks] outside under a tarp to keep it dry and each time I collected the turf a robin would hop on to the nearest and we would have a conversation.
These days they come on the window cill to peck at the food that is put out for them daily and when finished the sit on a rose bush branch and chirp happily away.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cute! Definitely a European robin since she said mummy.

Kelly Hashway/Ashelyn Drake said...

Very cute!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Liz A. said...

Happy Feb 14th, little robin.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'd pick the chocolate-covered strawberry any day over a worm, but ol' robin feels otherwise, definitely. Good luck!

Rhodesia said...

What a fun post, love it. We never celebrate the 14th but guess we used to :-))) Hope all is well Diane

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lenny - thanks for the Valentine's thought ... I might eat some chocolate - not sure how much is here! So pleased you enjoyed the story line ... and I could visualise the story (adapted a little) into a story book idea.

@ Bazza - yes the famous Robin - he or she is pretty special and they do shine out ... as you say they stand their ground, even when I was outside gardening at home.

Worms may well be eaten happily in few years by us ... I just hope we can keep the robins too ...

@ Mel - they are charmers in the garden aren't they - the thrush-robin here (Canada) is not so loving towards humans - but they're pretty too.

@ Alex - yes I wondered about the 'Mummy and Daddy' bit = but she is an English robin!

@ Kelly - thank you ...

@ Liz - thanks ...

@ Jilanne - I thought some of us would pick the chocolate covered strawberry over the worm ... and yes little Robin definitely prefers his own food ... the worms.

@ Diane - glad you enjoyed it ... and I guess happiness is togetherness all the days of the year ... but I'm sure you used to celebrate the day ...

Cheers to you all - thanks for coming by and commenting - all the best this end of the Valentine's day - Hilary

Jacqui Murray said...

Well this is just a darling story. If you have grandkids, you must share it. I didn't know about the two shades of Red Robin breasts!

Anabel Marsh said...

Manure pies! Surely that wasn’t you …

Chatty Crone said...

I am sure that you are not surprised that I love chocolate covered strawberries! lol

Happy Valentine's Day to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gregory E Bray said...

Fun story. Good luck!

Alayne Kay Christian said...

How fun that Robyn led you to a contest that inspired you to write about robins ;-) The European Robin looks a little bit like the Eastern Bluebird, which I believe is in the Robin family. Anyway, I like the unique voice in this story. And what kid doesn't love birds and worms! And then, you even got another special Robin in there - Christopher. Nice job. Best of luck with the contest.

Deborah Weber said...

Fun tale Hilary. And I'm tempted to count your post as my first spotting of robins of the season. Alas all the worms are currently hiding under mountains of snow. I might have to make due with a chocolate-dipped strawberry :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jacqui - well thanks for the thought, but no kids and thus grandkids - sure I can find some ... sometime. Yes our Robin is now considered to be a chat, while the American one is definitely from the thrush family ...

@ Anabel ... sure = 'twas me!!

@ Sandie ... I suspect many of us will happily eat chocolate coated strawberries ...

@ Gregory - thanks for coming by ...

@ Alayne - yes I know Robyn and robins ... now I know our robin in England is a chat ... while your Eastern bluebird and the chestnut breasted robin here are both from the thrush family ...

Thanks for noting 'my voice' in the story ... and lots of robins - as you say ... as too birds with squiggly worms ...

@ Debbie - are you still under snow ... gosh I'm glad it's not up here!! Our robins here have been around for a while ... they were scrabbling around - now they've all come rushing out.

Those chocolate-dipped strawberries are rather good aren't they ...

Cheers to you all - I must catch up with the contest stories ... and so thanks for your visits ... Hilary

Joanne said...

fun all around. The robins I see are very fat and full breasted. Up in PA they are very red. Hmm.
Love the chocolate strawberry you showed.
All around fun V-day post. Good luck to contestants.

Lynn A. Davidson said...

It's always exciting when the robins who chose to stay the winter come out of the woods, and the others come back from more southern climes. And it's nice to read a winter story about robins. I wish you well with it.

Steph0722 said...

I just saw a robin in my yard today! Enjoyed the story and wish you luck!

McMarshall said...

Fun story, with a beautiful British voice. Must be that time of year - 15 robins swarmed around my yard today. Good luck.

Pamela Wright said...

Lovely story by such an iconic little bird, and I think the strawberries are the best option for a treat.

Have a lovely day.

Deborah Barker said...

"Wriggle and squiggle" delightful description and gorgeous photographs of Robin Redbreast in all his guises.My brother used to eat bugs to my horror. You took me right back to childhood with this delicious post Hilary. Your words provide a sweet love story indeed. Thank you :-)

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

That's love-ly, Hilary. Enjoyed - though not a huge fan of Disney's cartoon Pooh & Co. Like the idea of the chocolate strawberry, but I was even luckier - my love gave me two bottles of London Pride, bless her cotton socks!

Kim Blades said...

Hi Hilary. What a lovely post! The South African robins are also orange breasted like the American. Hope you are happy and well. Kim

RO said...

Such fun, and hope your Valentine's Day was great! Hugs...RO

Anonymous said...

Yum yum, worms for dinner! I'm sure I've eaten worse things on my travels! I hope you had an enjoyable Valentines Day and trust you have now given up something for Lent!

Jo said...

Of course, as I am sure you realise, the North American Robin is a member of the thrush family. Always a welcome sight in the spring though.

Lovely little story, belated Happy Valentine's Day Hilary.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

The European robin looks a lot different from the American one, but they're both very pretty and distinctive. Cute story, Hilary! Maybe you should consider writing childrens' books?

I hope you had a happy day yesterday. I didn't pluck my beating heart out of my chest to give to Smarticus, and I didn't give him a heart-shaped box of chocolates, either. I bought a mess of live blue crabs and steamed them. (Gotta give him what he likes!)

Cheers!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great story, Hilary! I love robins. :) They're such brave birds...not as skittish as so many of the other birds.

Out on the prairie said...

It is so nice to have such a tiny being make such a difference in our lives.

Elsie Amata said...

Aw, this was so adorable, Hilary! I'll bet it was a treat to write too. One of my favorite myths about Robins is that when you see one, they say a loved one who has passed on is thinking about you so I like to think it's either my first hubby, my dad, or my first FIL. :)

Elsie

Jeffrey Scott said...

Cute story. We have tons of robins where I live. They use to be a sure sign spring was right around the corner, but we tend to eee them all year round lately. Those and squirrels.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joanne - the robins are thriving here ... I guess there's more pigment in PA for them?! Isn't that chocolate looking good ...

@ Lynn - I know I've seen them here through thick and thin this winter ... and hooray now other species have appeared ...

@ Steph - oh isn't that lovely ... the heralder of Spring

@ McMarshall ... well it's good to know there's so many robins around. Thanks re the voice ... truly English!

@ Pam - they're the British bird aren't they ... everywhere - I guessed you might like the chocolate strawberry ...

@ Debbie - thanks ... those littlies love wriggly and squiggly things. Your brother ate bugs ... I don't think we did - but this certainly made me remember the garden and all its wonders ... childhood = a delight ...

@ Mike - thanks and as for Disney's (Christopher) Robin - I couldn't quickly find another pic ... so this solved my problem for the prompt ... for the Winnie the Pooh series of tales ...

Oh - that makes me smile ... your wife giving you what you'll truly enjoy for Valentine's Day which makes sense ...

@ Kim - I can't remember the South African robins, so thank you for reminding me ...

@ RO - glad you enjoyed the little redbreasted tale ...

@ Keith - I expect you have eaten worse as you travelled around ... and you've sure been places. I'm trying to give up cheese for lent, and perhaps vino! Dangerous thoughts ...

@ Jo - yes and the English Robin is a chatter from the Chat family ... I should (or could) have woven that in to the tale.

@ Susan - they are different species ... but as you say pretty ... I love the American one - they're so colourful. Not having kids - I'd never thought about writing kids books but guess I could ... the tales keep popping into my head.

Oh poor Smarticus - no beating heart ... but oh boy I bet he enjoyed the mess of blue crabs - sounds positively too good to read about!! Giving him his tummy's desires sounds the sensible way to his heart ...

@ Elizabeth - you're right they're not skittish and so often gather round one when we're out gardening ... not sure about the thrush ones here in Canada - I'll find out I guess ...

@ Elsie - so glad you enjoyed the story and it was fun to remember about the manure pies! I didn't know that folklore about Robins ... but could so easily be - I'll remember this thought ...

@ Jeffrey - thanks so much ... there are certainly lots of robins here and it's good to see them out and scrabbling around heralding Spring. I've seen ours here on Victoria Island over winter - I feel for them ... but I don't feel for the squirrels!

Thanks everyone so much for stopping in - great to see you and I must get round to the other stories ... cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Steve - Out on that Prairie of yours ... thank you ... all the birds and critters are lovely to see out and about ...

Sorry your comment for some extraordinary reason went off to Spam - no idea why ... rescued now!

Cheers Hilary

Debby Gies said...

What a sweet and colorful story Hilary. I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day and maybe some chocolate? :)

Anonymous said...

Hillary, wow. I am so thrilled to read your story. I love it. Such a beautiful tale. I want you to win. :-) I will answer your email asap. Love you, Hil.

M Pax said...

Great story! Last winter, we had such a terrible winter. The robins flocked into huge... well, flocks, I guess. They flock to help each other find food, etc... I thought that interesting.

Sandra Cox said...

What fun and simple joy.

mail4rosey said...

Ah you reminded me of my grandfather with this one. Every Spring a Robin would come to his tulips for some reason. My grandpa swore it was the same bird. His tulips made him happy and so did that bird. :)

Lauri Meyers said...

I saw a Robin outside my window yesterday and squealed with delight. Spring is soon in New Jersey. (Just a little more snow first...)

Pam Jones-Nill said...

A fun story and indeed hopeful with a winter storm warning in the future on Long Island!

Sherry Ellis said...

I didn't realize the robin redbreast on your side of the pond was different from ours in the States.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Debby - many thanks ... sadly no Valentine - but sometimes it's that way ...

@ Robyn - thank you for coming over ... so good you're back. I don't think I'll win as I didn't comply with the guidelines ... but thought I'd like to write a tale up ...

@ Mary - thanks ... it seems the winters have been very varied - and yes there are a few robins together here in Canada ... and if they flock together to find more food to share - it makes sense ...

@ Sandra - it's certainly a simple tale ..

@ Rosey - oh how lovely to hear the post reminded you of your grandfather - and I'm sure the bird was from the same line of family. Tulip and a robin happiness ... delightful thought ...

@ Lauri - I know they do herald Spring don't they ... and the days are getting longer, which makes us happy too ... but more snow - we had cold rain... but fortunately no snow!

@ Pam - oh dear a winter storm on Long Island ... I hope we're over ours out here on Vancouver Island ... but the robins will hide for a short time and then brighten our days again ...

@ Sherry - they're two species too ... the chat in England is a red breasted robin, while the thrush here is the American chestnut breasted one ...

Thanks to you all for taking the time to drop in - looks like another reasonable day here for those robins to be out and about garnering some nourishment in ... cheers Hilary

Pearson Report said...

Little Robin Redbreast sitting in a tree... I enjoy the birds in my neighbourhood. We've taken to feeding hummingbirds - so tiny, so quick.

Love piece - I could go for that chocolate covered berry right about now.

Dropping in to send smiles and happy thoughts your way, Jenny xo

Franziska Macur said...

I love Robins. Don't get to see them as often around here. Thanks for sharing this sweet tale :-)

Vicki Hammond said...

Ewww...manure mud pies...gross, gross, gross but fun, fun, fun!
Love Robins of all sorts. We don't have them where we live now :(
I miss them.

The north wind will blow
then we shall have snow
And what will poor Robin do then?

something about sitting on a branch and tucking her head under her wing.
Always felt bad for Robin Redbreast

Thanks for a lovely Redbreasted Valentine, Hilary! Best of luck in the contest :)

Gabi said...

I loved the pitch-perfect robin's voice in this story -- so sweet and with lots of delightful details.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jenny - so good to see you ... and yes I'm over the water from you now - for a couple of years ... I've seen hummingbirds here ... but lots of blossom will soon be out - but the winter jasmine has been fuelling them recently. Thanks for your happy thoughts ... mine float across to you too ...

@ Franziska - I know in England they're always around ... and now here on Vancouver Island the American ones are in residence ... thanks for coming over ...

@ Vicki - oh you've brought me a tale I knew - but had not realised it's linked to the Robin, or so often called by that name:

"The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
and what will poor robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing."

Lovely poem ... http://www.rhymes.org.uk/the_north_wind_doth_blow.htm

You were almost right ... but thanks for highlighting the poem for us.

Delighted my tale brought memories for you - appreciate your comment.

@ Gabi - so pleased the 'story' rang true - thank you. My tales and stories usually have lots of snippets in them ...

Cheers and thanks for coming over to you all - good to see people I haven't seen for a while (Jenny) and new friends - all the best - Hilary

Christine said...

I miss watching Robins in my English garden. The American ones just aren't the same (sorry US friends!). Lovely story, good luck in the contest.

helen tilston said...

Hello Hilary,
I loved this story and the images of the British robin and the American robin.
Don't you love this time of year. Sending fond wishes for a joyful weekend
Helen xx

Karen Lange said...

I agree with Lenny, this would make a good picture book story. Enjoyed the pics. Suddenly though, I have a craving for chocolate covered strawberries.:) Have a wonderful weekend!

Amanda Sincavage said...

Manure pies with worms!!! Sounds like the perfect Valentine's treat for a bird!

Liza said...

Too fun! Robins (the American version) have a special significance at in our house and we are always happy to see them, with one exception. We had a robin nesting in our front bushes close to the house, and Papa Robin became territorial. He decided to attack that nasty robin that kept appearing in the reflection in the window. It went on for weeks. We did everything we could think of to reduce the reflection but he kept at it, tap, tap, tap, AND making quite a mess of our front covered porch. Thankfully, the next year the robins moved their nest to the backyard!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

So cute! I love English Robins they are so delicate looking.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Christine - welcome to the blog and I agree ... the American robins, which are of the thrush family, aren't as endearing as our little territorial English robin, who is a chat: funny old name as they do chat and chirp away ...

@ Helen - thank you ... and you know both Robins .. and with Spring coming it is a lovely time of year ... except today it is one of those Vancouver Island wet days!

@ Karen - thanks ... yes I agree ... I probably need to change it a bit - but I enjoyed writing about manure pies. Though chocolate strawberries would be more up my street ...

@ Amanda - good to see you ... my parents always reminded me of those manure pies ... but yes what a treat for a bird ...

@ Liza - what a fun remembrance - a bird who hated his own reflection ... and I can believe the mess, as too the noise. Oh good they've gone to the back yard ... makes sense for us at least!

@ Sharon - the little robins in England ... just accompany us wherever we go when we garden back home ... here the thrushes dash off.

Thanks so much for coming by and welcome to all new commenters from the contest ... have happy weekends - cheers Hilary

DMS said...

How fun! I love that you included pictures because I didn't know the two robins looked so different. I rather like the European Robin. It just looks adorable. Thanks for sharing. :)
~Jess

Patsy said...

Lovely _ and I think you were right to put in the pictures.

Candice Conner said...

Pictures were very helpful! And my kids may be the only ones to shoo the robins away from the worms. They love finding earthworms in our garden and get so excited over it!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jess - that's why I felt I needed to show the robins to really show that they are so different. But it was/is against the rules ... still the pics brought the story to life - now if only I could draw ...I'd be happily illustrating my own stories.

@ Patsy - thanks ... yes I couldn't not put the pictures in to show what I was talking about ...

@ Candace - good to see you. Thank you - I thought the photos would bring the tale to mind. Oh what fun .. that your kids shoo the robins away from 'their' worms ... lovely to think about ...

Cheers to you all - thanks so much for coming by - we have a dusting of snow this a.m. - Hilary

jabblog said...

It cheers my heart to see a robin - such confident, companionable little birds. I don't fancy wormy manure pie, though

Fil said...

Oh Hilary, I love seeing the two robins - didn't realise there was so much difference. Great story - manure pies!? Yum!!! lol

Nas said...

Hi Hillary!

Thanks for sharing this fun post!

Sandra Cox said...

Is it still wet there?
Somehow, one of Mr. Robin's earthworms got stuck in my cat's fur. Totally gross.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Janice - they are delightful to have around one in the garden - I always stop and watch them, as they do me ... well used to. Oh wormy manure pie is delish!!

@ Fil - it's interesting to know they are so different, and a different species - I guess the settlers made a mistake with the naming and it stuck ... but fun. Manure pies - they be just the thing for little birds ...

@ Nas - so glad you enjoyed the tale of the two robins ...

@ Sandra - it is now frosty and snowed last night at about 4.30 am I gather! Oh no ... sticky worms are yughy - you're right there = very gross.

Thanks so much for your visits ... here's to manure pies, worms and robins!! Cheers Hilary

Nilanjana Bose said...

Brilliant bird pics! Cute story too, though I think I'll say no thanks to the manure pies :)

Best,
Nila.

Lynn said...

What a lovely post. I feel at one with the robin when reading it. I echo Lenny - a great story for the little ones (as well as we elders.) Hope your V day was good!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nila - thanks ... but those manure pies were specially made for all my readers to enjoy ...?! I do understand however!

@ Lynn - the little robins are a delight ... so colourful. Anything homely helps us all doesn't it ... happy remembrances of youth.

All well here - lovely to see you both .. cheers Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

When our robins arrive, they get drunk on Pyracantha berries and do the craziest aerial stunts. The birdbath goes all orgy, so it's quite a show.

Ann Best said...

LOVE this post. The manure pies with worms story made Jen laugh - she has a great laugh, always has. It's delightful, a classic. And I love robins, always have, and Christopher Robin; would love to see what you might post about Chris.

Jen was excited and pleased with your comment on her poems. She thanks you for stopping by, and so do I :)

Chrys Fey said...

That was cute! And those Robins are sure pretty.

Yolanda Renée said...

One of my favorite birds. Such a great introduction for spring. Lovely and red and beautiful. A herald of love!

Great entry! Off to visit a few more!

Vallypee said...

I'm glad you put the photos in, Hilary! I love robins too. They are such bright eyed birds and so much a feature of England's winters. I'm not sure about the wiggly wobbly worms though...haha!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee - that must be so much fun to watch ... drunken robins with aerial twists and turns ... makes me laugh - but an orgied birdbath now I'm struggling to contain my mirth ...

@ Ann - thanks ... so glad Jen was laughing at my manure pies with worms as extras on the side: it's excellent she can laugh ... good exercise. Robins are endearing little birds - I don't think I'll be doing a post on Christopher Robin ... though he is a delight.

Very pleased Jen was happy to read my comment on her poem - it is very good ...

@ Chrys - thank you ... robins are pretty aren't they.

@ Yolanda - they are delightful ... I see them scampering around here - and yes though they've been around during the winter - it's good to see them out and about. A herald of love ...

There were some very good entries ...

@ Val - yes the photos sort of brought the tale of two birds together - they are so different ... yet give us all so much pleasure. Wibbly (or wiggly!)wobbly worms - they're coming to their fore here ... in the spell of wet we've had recently ... now very cold again!

Cheers to you and thanks for your comments - Hilary

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Cute story, Hilary! Love the wiggly squiggly worms (as I know kids would too!) but I will choose the heart-shaped chocolates, thank you! :) Thanks for joining in the fun with your cheery Robin red-breast!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susanna - thanks for coming over ... and thank you for putting on the contest ... there were lots of interesting entries. Delighted my little Robin red-breast story amused ... and please have a chocolate strawberry! Cheers Hilary