“Mr. Squirrel and Mr. Robin,” Friend, July 1987, 28–29
“Mommy, Mommy, guess what! There’s a robin’s nest in the tree! I was looking for Mr. Squirrel, and I saw the nest, and there are blue eggs in it!”
“That’s exciting, Donnie,” Mommy said. “Let’s hope that Mr. Squirrel keeps away until the eggs hatch.”
“Mr. Squirrel wouldn’t hurt the eggs, would he?”
“Indeed he would,” Mommy said. “Squirrels eat birds’ eggs if they get a chance to.”
All morning Donnie sat in an upstairs window and watched the nest. He loved Mr. Squirrel, but he loved Mr. and Mrs. Robin too. He wanted to make sure that no harm came to their eggs.
At noontime Mommy came up and said, “It’s time for lunch.”
“May I eat here, Mommy? I have to watch for Mr. Squirrel so that he won’t eat the eggs. Please?”
“Don’t worry. Mrs. Robin is sitting on the eggs, and Mr. Robin is around somewhere, guarding his family.”
When Daddy came home, Donnie showed him the robins’ nest with the eggs in it. “Mrs. Robin just left to find some dinner,” Donnie explained. Then he shouted, “There’s Mr. Squirrel! I have to chase him away!”
“Wait, Donnie,” Daddy said. “That’s Mr. Robin’s job. He won’t let anything happen to his family if he can help it. Just watch now, and see what Mr. Robin will do.”
As Donnie watched, Mr. Squirrel streaked through the tree branches toward the nest. Suddenly Mr. Robin darted at Mr. Squirrel, pecking at his head. Mr. Robin circled Mr. Squirrel and pecked at him over and over, until Mr. Squirrel ran away.
When Mr. Squirrel finally stopped and sat on a branch of a nearby tree, he turned and chittered angrily at Mr. Robin. Mr. Robin flew to a branch between the nest and Mr. Squirrel and crossly clicked his beak back at Mr. Squirrel.
After a while Mr. Squirrel scurried up his own tree, and Mr. Robin flew away.
“Mr. Robin’s gone!” Donnie cried. “What if Mr. Squirrel comes back?”
“Mr. Robin hasn’t gone far,” Daddy said. “We may not see him, but he’s there somewhere, still watching over his family.”