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The Little Bird

 

The morning we brought Ellie home, I was out with Cricket in the morning and we came across a little robin, sort of hopping on the walkway in stutter steps, and then belly flopping onto the grass. Cricket had had a moment of uneasiness with her legs a few minutes earlier, possibly as a result of the ACE she takes to tolerate grooming, so I was extra sensitive to motor problems in animals at that particular moment. When I tried to get closer to the robin to see what was wrong, though, she hopped behind a line of bushes and disappeared.

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Not the exact bird, but a relative.

We saw the robin again in the afternoon, when she was bravely crossing the lawn to the tree-side, in her faltering little hops. The bird was able to sort of hop/fly up onto the first step of the retaining wall, where she could sit and rest for a bit. I worried that there was something wrong with her wings and she needed help, but each time I got close to her the robin freaked out and hopped away.

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Another relative, giving me the eye.

When we took Cricket and Ellie out for their first official walk that evening, the robin was sitting on the lawn a few feet in front of our door. Mom said that her speckled breast meant that she was young, less than a year old, and maybe just learning to fly for the first time, rather than experiencing a serious injury.

And by our next walk, the robin was gone. If she was able to fly, even a short distance away, then maybe her motor issues were temporary, just like Cricket’s. I’d like to think that she was testing her wings, and making new friends, and starting the next phase of her life. Just like me. I’ve been taking these stutter steps towards my future for a long time now, unsure if I can do it, unsure if my difficulties are just growing pains or permanent disability. I need to take a lot of breaks to rest and re-group, but even if I have to hop instead of fly most of the time, I keep going. Just like the little bird.

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Mama robin watching over everything.

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p.s. Ellie is fitting right in.

 

About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

78 responses »

  1. Lovely reflection. Hard to tell sometimes if the wobbles are a sign of growth or a permanent problem. I’m glad Ellie is fitting in.

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  2. So cute those little birds. I had an American Robin , just a fledgling nest in my porch eaves over the winter months. I watch her grow bigger and bigger then one day she never came back. That’s the second bird in three years to nest there. Ellie is adorable , Tide sleeps the same way in his bed, head resting in the edges, legs hanging over. 😊🤗

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  3. Thank you for sharing this story – I love birds so much! I hope everything is ok with baby Robin. Ellie looks so happy in the picture you shared! I’m so happy for you all about that working out.

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  4. It’s hard to see birds that may or may not be struggling! I’m also hopeful this young one was just learning and is now soaring the skies.

    Good for you for hopping along, making your own way in the world.

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  5. This is a very young Robin and probably just left the nest that morning. Mom & Dad will always be nearby watching though – so he’ll be fine. Glad to hear that Ellie has settled into your home nicely. 🙂

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  6. Ellie looks like: “Ah, I am home.” So sweet.

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  7. We used to tell my neighbor, who was in her late 80’s, that she was like a weeble – she wobbled but she didn’t fall down. (It was said with love, made her laugh.) Think of yourself as a weeble, you might wobble a little, but you keep on going. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, and I’m so proud of you, how far you’ve come, how amazing you are.

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  8. That final pic of Ellie is a perfect example of “home.”

    I hope the robin was able to find a spot fine enough for it.

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  9. I think your mother is right. Years ago, a fledgling fell from the nest outside our second story window. I rescued the bird and got a tall ladder to put it back in the nest. All the while the mother robin was fussing at me. I felt so proud of myself, but the next morning the fledgling was gone. There is a time for everything in life, and often outsiders only see the difficulties of growing, but the individual makes it and is better for it. Keep smiling and succeeding.

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  10. I’m glad you got to see that the bird moved on. No doubt you witnessed the start of flying. How lovely that Ellie has settled so well. Smart girl. She recognises a good thing.

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  11. It’s nice to think that the little Robin was exercising its wings and managed to get back to where she started from. Judging by your photograph, I would say that Ellie has settled in. You have done well.

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  12. Ellie looks perfectly contented, now. That’s wonderful!

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  13. Ellie looks right at home!

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  14. Your Mom is right. You made a nice analogy of it

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  15. Glad that Ellie is fitting in!

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  16. The comparison with the faltering steps of the young bird, and our own often faltering lives, is relevant indeed.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  17. Sounds like the robin was a fledgling Rachel. We had a similar instance with a blue tit chick that took to flight but didn’t get very far and was so tired, it couldn’t get back to the nest, up on the fence or anywhere safe. Barney came to fetch us, and without crowding the little chap (not much bigger than his nose!) showed us where he was. Hubby picked him up in a tee towel and put him back in the nest. Mum and Dad were soon in attendance giving him either encouragement to try again, or a telling off! We called him Kamakazee Pete, and he was one of 15 that fledged from our tit box that year.
    Ellie seems to have settled right in doesn’t she.

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  18. Love birds. Best of luck in your ventures!

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  19. Lovely! Good luck with Ellie
    Michael

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  20. I still hop fly.. even at my older age..lol! I would have been concerned as well, especially if there are any cats in the neighborhood. Hopefully the Robin was just trying to get it’s bearings..

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  21. Beautiful thoughts today! ❤ And Ellie looks quite contented, clearly she's becoming secure and knows she's 'home'. What a wonderful thing! Thanks for sharing today, I love your blog, but today was especially nice.

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  22. That is a fledgling robin. Good thing you didn’t catch it. They are most vulnerable when they leave the best and have to be fed on the ground or in bushes. That is when felines kill them.

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  23. We had some tense moments here with fledglings who were a bit weaker than their siblings. Eventually, the parents really get annoyed with them, demanding they try to feed themselves because they simply have to learn independence in order for them all to survive. It’s heartbreaking to watch! Pip and the boys

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  24. What is ACE? Is that an anxiety med? I was just wondering about what might be available the other day, with a friend. Now I can’t even remember what his dog has anxiety about. But mine is a rescue and is just anxious in general.

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  25. “I’ve been taking these stutter steps towards my future for a long time now, unsure if I can do it, unsure if my difficulties are just growing pains or permanent disability. I need to take a lot of breaks to rest and re-group, but even if I have to hop instead of fly most of the time, I keep going. Just like the little bird.”

    This really resonates with me this week. I”m so glad you voiced it. “Rest, Regroup, and Keep Hopping!” I will remember this!

    Thank you for the lovely story and encouragement within it!

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  26. Cricket must have cat in her lol – pretending the wobblies never happened.

    Ellie looks like she owns her life again!

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  27. Reblogged this on Kaleidoscope of Faces and commented:
    A nice addition to the Strength Reversed theme here:

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  28. Pingback: Biddy Card of the Week, Strength Reversed – Kaleidoscope of Faces

  29. Pingback: Biddy Card of the Week, Strength Reversed – The Spinsta Life

  30. The context is wonderful. I have several big nesting trees around me and I watch out in fledging season for the little ones who might over reach, only because around here they haven’t been cured of indoor/outdoor cats. I have never actually seen a cat get a bird and sadly several of the cats have been victims themselves, but I have learned the awkward stages birds go though until their muscles are strong enough. it does seem most common with robins for some reason. Someday you will soar beautifully on thermals of inspiration and happiness, just like the birds, Rachel.

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  31. I love your blog and thank you so much for following my “What The Fork” blog. I will be back to read some more 🙂

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  32. Oh, such things have happened since I checked in on you last! As usual, your observations are honest & helpful & lovely. Thank you so much!

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  33. So pleased Ellie is fitting in 😊 lovely little birds, Robins. We’ve been lucky enough to have TWO broods in our nest box this year. Bertie and Croc have been very excited about it!

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  34. What a sweet blog. Thank you!

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  35. Thanks for reading my post. I liked your post, every day all above birds are coming on my roof but i didn’t have time to see them & you have written a post on them. See the best surprise of life.

    Reply
  36. Pingback: The Little Bird — rachelmankowitz – SEO

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