Herald-Journal
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, April 12, 1999

Goodbye snow, welcome spring

By OPAL "GRANDMA" HABISCH

Now the snow is gone and the flowers are coming up. The birds are here and soon school will be out. We can see that it is spring.

One day Mother said, "Did you see that robin? She is building a nest in our big tree in front of our big window."

"We will be able to see her lay her eggs and then, to see the baby birds. Don't scare her away," Mother cautioned.

Two weeks went by and there were no eggs in the nest.

"Why isn't the robin laying any eggs?" I asked my mother.

"Well," Mother said, "The birds want the weather to be warmer. They can tell when the time is right to lay the eggs. The birds don't go by what the television or newspaper says - they just seem to know when it's going to stay warm."

Another week went by and then, it started to get warmer. After school, I liked to play outside with the neighbor kids.

One day when I came home, Mother said, "Come here. The mother bird has not left her nest all day. That means she must have layed her eggs."

We put a small birdfeeder filled with seed and a bird bath near the tree so that the mother bird wouldn't have to fly so far to find food. Every day before school, I would go and see if she needed more water or food put out for her.

Sometimes the mother robin would come down out of the tree and eat as I sat and watched her. She would say, "Chirp, chirp," and I would say, "Chirp, chirp," back to her.

She seemed to study me and wonder what kind of bird I was. After all, I didn't have any feathers or tail, and my face was pretty funny-looking for a bird. When I got up and walked away, the robin flew over to where I was sitting, hopped around, then chirped at me as if to say, "Where are your eggs?"

So one day, I decided to bring two chicken eggs out with me and sit next to them as if they were in my "nest." When the mother robin saw those big eggs, she got very excited. She chirped loudly and then she flew away. I could see that she was very upset and I got worried that she would be afraid to come back, so I took the eggs back in the house.

After that, my mother put the food and water out for the robin. I decided that I had better not upset her anymore. I stayed indoors and watched her from the window.

One morning when I looked out the window, I saw three baby birds in the nest. It was fun watching the mother bird feed her babies and it didn't take long for them to get big enough to fly.

One day the nest was empty and we never saw the mother or the baby birds again.

Dad said that maybe the mother bird thought she had better stay away from this place with the big bird who laid such big eggs. We all laughed about that.

Don't try to fool a bird into thinking you can lay eggs - unless you want to see a bird faint, that is.


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