Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Ken Kapp

Nibor always got things wrong, which at times embarrassed the other robins no end. He was always late and never stopped complaining that the other birds should have waited for him. “Give me a break. It’s not like I’m wearing a wrist watch or there’s a smartphone hidden in this red breast. And it certainly doesn’t help to tell me I should look at my leg. That’s a tag that some dumb graduate student put there last year. They must have drugged the seed they put in that feeder.”

            A couple of the robins snickered, which came out as a pleasant chorus of twitters. They all knew that it didn’t end well for the grad student. Nibor had a mean streak. He followed the student around for days, and then went it appeared that he was seriously chatting up a girl, flew over, and let drop a big wallop of white stuff. And for good measure, he spent the rest of the week bombing the college science building.

            But that was then and here a year later he was still lagging behind the others, missing many rounds (since a group of robins is called a round – and you’re welcome to use that in your own story). Only his mother believed him when he said that the tag was chaffing his leg and causing him to fly lopsided. And she consoled him when he complained of always being chilled.

            Spring came late and few worms were to be found no matter how early they were out. But one morning the round of robins found a good spot and were concentrating so diligently they failed to see two cats creeping up from opposite directions. But Nibor, arriving late, saw them, gave the alarm, then flew in low and divebombed them. Marked by their white crowns, they were easy to follow home. Bowls of cat food, high in protein were there on a porch. He organized raids, taking the lead, and let the cats chase after him, while the other birds ate freely from the bowls.

            Nibor became a hero. All the birds gathered on the high school roof. He modestly explained, “I didn’t do much. They were rich cats and had all the food they needed. There was no reason to pick on us poor birds. And it’s only right that we take from the rich to feed the poor.”

            A committee of birds had talked to his mother and presented him with a hooded sweatshirt since he was always chilled. A photographer from the local paper took pictures and in the Sunday Supplement was a picture of Nibor in his hooded sweatshirt surrounded by the other birds. The caption under the photo read: “Robin in his hood saves the day.” The picture found its way online and had millions of hits worldwide. He quickly became known as Robin Hood and was often quoted saying, “It’s only right we take from the rich to feed the poor,” though he had detractors who said this was socialism.

Proving that while it may be the early bird that gets the worm it’s the late robin who gets the hood!

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