Walking With a Robin
The other morning, Bella and I saw our first Robin.
Bella is getting on in years and while she used to emulate the oft quoted “Squirrel, squirrel!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=YaAxzIFgNso
she is a more reserved and reticent version of her former self, content to stroll the Mansion walk a couple times a day, sniff and answer her PeeMail and visit with her other canine friends and the human treat repositories that accompany them.
But coming down the lane this day, we had a unique and somehow other-worldly experience with this first Robin of Spring.
He landed on the road about 20 feet in front of us and caught both our attentions. Apparently unconcerned that one of us was a human and the other, a 90lb Rottweiler, he paused, looked us over and let us approach.
As we neared, he fluttered up in the air a half a dozen feet, skittered forward again about 20 feet, and landed once more, continuing to keep us in his avian gaze.
We sauntered onward, not lunging but not retreating or remaining at all frozen or quiet. We even spoke quietly to him, acknowledging the day, the sunshine and his perfectly placed presence.
Again, another 20 feet forward. Again; a landing, a pause, a glance back at us as we meandered forward towards home.
He continued in this exact pattern, around the bend in the lane, along at least another 200 yards of road until, seeming to read our intended path, turned up the hill and continued with us, in sync, un-flustered (or un-fluttered, I suppose…he is a bird).
He “walked” us all the way to our drive where he stopped one final time, tweeted a swift farewell and then disappeared back into the deep woods on his wormy way, leaving us to ponder the nature of nature and the odd communicative power that occasionally presents itself between the species.
Maybe it’s because I’ve had parrots for decades, maybe it’s because I habitually feed the birds outside my office window, maybe it’s just because he was happy, as we all were, that the winter had once again given up its hold and the harbingers of yet another Spring were about to burst forth and the sheer joy of the moment was worth sharing, even with these two, huge, foreign elements in his world.
I’ll never look at the first Robin of Spring again without thinking of this russet-breasted wonder of a bird, mere ounces of flesh and feathers, that absolutely had to be telling us of his joy in our mutually shared moment in time.
And so, without further delay, I leave you with….