A robin sang

A robin sang to me this morning. I had just finished sweeping the leaves, when I noticed something rustling in one of my patio pots. I crept closer, and there was a robin. Startled, he flitted away into the lower branch of a nearby sumac tree, whereupon he turned, and regarded me with a dark beady eye. I stood motionless. He was a smallish robin, probably one of this years brood, with a soft orange chest and sleek brown, neatly groomed feathers. He eyed me up and down, and after a moment darted back to the pot and scooped up a pale curly centipede that had evidently just been unearthed. With the centipede wriggling in his beak the robin darted back to his perch in the sumac tree, and swallowed his lunch. Then his sharp little beak opened and the feathers round his neck quivered, his throat swelled and he began to sing. It was a cheerful little song, lifting and falling in chirps and whistles, and it seemed as though he was singing directly to me. For a good five minutes he sat and sang, and every now and then I gave a little whistle back. I don’t know how long the robin would have continued his rich melodic song, but when my dog decided to amble around the garden, he flew off through the wire fence into the laurel bushes beyond. Such a simple experience, but it left me feeling uplifted, peaceful and somehow cleansed from the frenetic hurly-burly of life.

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