Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)
TITLE: Mama Robin
By Noreen Ophoff
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Mama Robin gathered soft grasses from the meadow and wisps of black dog hair from the yard. Soon her cup-shaped nest was fastened to a tree limb, hidden away in the thick leaves.
One day, the lady who lives in the house nearby, came to peek into the nest. She held a mirror up to it so she could see down inside because the nest was up in the tree above her head. There were four blue eggs in the nest. From the pine tree nearby, Mama Robin scolded the lady saying, "Kee, eee-ah, t-t-t." Quickly Mama Bird swooped back down onto her nest, settling over the eggs to keep them warm.
When Mama Robin was thirsty, she flew over to the birdbath, just ten feet away. She sat on the branches of a twisted willow tree resting against the bird pool. She whistled, "S-s-s, t-t-t, eeee. S-s-s, t-t-t, eeee," which means, 'always on the lookout, always on the lookout.' She kept a watchful eye on her nest all the time.
A short flight took her to the flower garden for a snack. She used her feet to jump in the leaves, moving them aside, to find tasty bugs underneath. Zoom, she was back up to the nest, to keep her eggs safe.
Mama Robin kept up this schedule every day for two whole weeks, never leaving the nest for more than a few minutes. Whenever the man or lady walked nearby, Mama Robin scolded with loud shrieks, "Kee-kee-kee.", and darted up to the high branches of the oak tree.
One day the lady looked up to the nest and saw four little heads poking upward. The babies' heads were gray and orange, their bodies were yellow, because they didn't have any feathers yet. The little birds weren't peeping or chirping, they were perfectly quiet.
A camera came close to the babies to take their picture, the mouths of the baby robins opened because they were hungry, but it wasn't their mama coming close. Mama called a warning from the near pine tree, "Tee-weedle, too-weedle." The baby birds heard their mama, and four little heads tucked down into the deep part of the nest.
As the lady walked away, Mama Robin came back to her family. She fed one birdie a big juicy worm, then away she went. Mama Robin came back with another tidbit for the second little birdie, this one ate a fat june bug. Away flew Mama. Again she came back with two caterpillars, one for each of her other two babies.
The baby birds gobbled up their food, then opened their mouths again, wanting more. Mama Robin hopped down on the ground, moved some more of the leaves, and found a colony of ants. She filled her beak, then popped up to the tree to give a few to each of her four babes.
Every day Mama Robin fed her babies, and brought them fresh water from the nearby birdbath. Soon, the babies were chirping, "Too-weet, ch-ch-ch." They seemed to be hungry all the time. Mama Robin was flying back and forth with worms and bugs, she hardly had a chance to eat for herself, or rest.
Finally, as the sun set each day, Mama settled down with her darlings, spreading her slate gray wings over them like an umbrella. The four tiny babies snuggled against their mama and slept. Mama Robin could just be heard cooing to them, "Tooo-eeeee, tooo-eeee, ch-ch-ch."
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