Our House

It’s not just the wrens.

This is Shorty.


Photo by Jenny

Shorty is a year-old robin, one of the expanding family that lives in the shaggy old laurel tree out the front, and together with his (or her—difficult to tell with robins) parents/sibs, hops around hoping for us to dig up some tasty worms or bugs, or failing that, accidentally on-purpose spill some chicken feed as I bring it out in the morning.

Shorty appears to be missing what I thought was an essential part of being a bird, viz. a tail. Actually there’s no ‘appears’ about it. We’ve no idea if this was through some accident, or a close encounter with a crow or cat or other embodiment of evil, but Shorty doesn’t have one.

This absence doesn’t appear to bother him, although he does wobble a bit when alighting on a handy plant pot or other perch (canonically it should be a spade handle of course, but I’m very good about putting them away after use. He seems to prefer the woodshed by the kitchen door).

And like the rest of the family, Shorty is quite bold. Perhaps the boldest of them all. He’ll sit atop the woodshed as I do chicken business in the morning, quite content to wait until I’ve finished (and dropped the usual accidentally on-purpose pellets, naturally). On occasion, apparently wiser of his kin have sat up in the buddleia, tic-tic-ticking at him to come away, be more careful, while he and I have a little chat down by the hen house.

Yesterday, Shorty flew into the conservatory. We had both doors open, and all the greenery must have looked quite inviting. I grabbed a handful of chicken feed and gently walked around behind him until he got the hint and flew out the door. I distributed the feed around his usual perches, and he seemed to accept the apology.

In other news, I started a new job a dozen days ago. So that’s nice, too.

About rpg

Scientist, poet, gadfly
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