The day after I took this shot, I made my usual morning chick check and was dismayed to find the nest empty. I began to cry, thinking that some predator had snatched them in the night. They surely weren’t strong or big enough to leave the nest! But, to our surprise, we found out that baby robins leave the nest two weeks after hatching! And it had been almost exactly two weeks. It was hard to believe that those wobbly-headed, pink-skinned little ones could survive out of the sanctuary of the nest, but later we were delighted to see what appeared to be the robin family in the pasture, high in the oak tree.
I miss seeing our robin neighbors every day. It was a joyful thing to watch them grow. In one of my favorite Andy Griffith episodes, Opie accidentally kills a Mama Robin with his new slingshot. He is filled with remorse and assumes the role of the avian mama, keeping her babies in a cage and feeding them until they are ready to fly. Then, Andy tells him that it is time to release them. Opie is sad, having grown attached to the little birds. But he knows what he must do and he sets them free, watching them fly away.
He looks at the cage wistfully and says to his daddy, “That cage sure looks empty, don’t it, Paw?”
Andy smiles and says, “Yes, son, it sure does.” Then he looks up into the trees where the little birds have flown and says, “But don’t the trees look nice and full?” I’ve seen that episode at least a dozen times, but that line makes me cry every time.
Our grape arbor sure looks empty. But our trees…
Don’t the trees look nice and full?