Children’s Stories

THE CORNER NEST

Bobby Robin opened one shiny eye and then the other. He let out a
little chirpy yawn. There was no noise yet, but he knew the morning
news birds would be passing their messages along the branches very
soon. Poor Bobby was so tired from delivering worms and leaves to all
the other nests in the neighbourhood all week long.

Bobby’s Mum and Dad had a shop on the corner branch of the mighty oak
tree called Fred. Bobby liked the tree for his strong, safe branches,
but every creature in the forest knew that he was a very grumpy tree,
especially in the morning.

Bobby slipped out of his feathery bed very slowly. He felt the ground
shudder a little and he knew that Fred was waking up.

“Oh dear,” Bobby thought, “If Fred is awake, he is going to blame me
for waking him again.”

And sure enough, that is what happened.

“BOBBY ROBIN!” The mighty tree barked. “You have woken me up again
with your twittering and chirping and jumping on my sleeping
branches!”

Bobby peeked his beak out from behind the green leaf where he was
hiding. He tried so very hard to get to work without bothering Fred
this time.

“I am s s s sorry Mister Fred,” Bobby cried, “But I have to go and
deliver all the worms and twigs before the sun comes up. If I am late
my mother won’t leave me in charge of the shop today, and I am so
excited!”

Fred stretched his mighty branches up to the sky and growled at the
little quivering robin.

“I am tired and cranky because of you birds keeping me awake all the
time. That shop is always busy and I never get a moment’s peace. My
arms are always covered in birds and I am left to carry the lot of
you. None of you ever even say Thank You”

Bobby looked up at Fred and saw how tired the poor old tree really was.

“Gosh Mr Fred, I never realised how tired you trees must be having to
carry us and our homes every single day. Especially our shop! That
must be very heavy indeed.”

Fred looked a little happier and told Bobby to be on his way but not
to make so much noise from now on. They said goodbye and Bobby sprung
off Fred’s strongest branch to make his deliveries to all the other
nests in the forest. As he flew, Bobby enjoyed the feeling of the wind
under his wings. He greeted the other birds as he glided by chirping
his favourite song to himself. He saw a family of yellow finches doing
a spring clean on their nest, and giggled at the baby finch who
slurped up a juicy worm when his parents were too busy to notice.

Bobby slowed down and landed on the second tallest branch of the
chestnut tree to make his first delivery of the day. Bobby pecked
gently on the branch outside the nest and waited.

“Good morning Bobby,” Mrs Waggy the wagtail chirped as she pushed back
the leaves. “I believe you are a little earlier than usual!”

“Yes I am Mrs Waggy, Fred was not as cranky today. You know how he
gets upset in the mornings.”

“Well he is a very old tree, Bobby and he needs his rest. Now, do you
have my dozen worms?” Mrs Waggy held out her delicate black and white
feathers and took the parcel from the little robin.

“Thank you Bobby. You are a very helpful little bird.”

Bobby rubbed his brown little feathers together feeling very happy with himself.

“Actually Mrs Waggy, my mother says I am very helpful too, and she
promised that I can look after the shop this afternoon all by myself.
I have never been allowed to do that before.”

“That is wonderful Bobby!” Mrs Wagtail chirped loudly. “That is a very
big job. You must be most excited!”

“Oh yes. It will be lots of fun. Do you think Puffy could come over
and help me?”

“Oh CAN I? PLEASE MOTHER?” Puffy hopped excitedly onto the branch. He
had heard his best friend’s news and wasted no time in getting
permission. He had always wanted to help out in the shop with Bobby.

Mrs Waggy smiled as she looked down at Puffy’s white feathery little face.

“Well, alright, boys but Puffy you have to promise to eat up all your
lunch and let me clean you before you go.”

“Promise!” Puffy and Bobby hopped around and flapped their tiny wings
in happiness.

Bobby said Goodbye to Puffy and his mother and flew off to finish his
deliveries as fast as he could. He couldn’t wait to mind the shop with
Puffy this afternoon. However, somebody else on that chestnut tree
also heard the little robin’s news. It was Tatty, the nasty black
crow. As he watched Bobby fly away he hatched a cunning plan to pay a
little visit to the shop that afternoon.

“I will take anything I want and there is nothing those silly little
birds can do to stop me.” Tatty snarled as he spread his long black
wings and sped off dangerously through the forest.

It was shortly before noon when Bobby finally finished all his
deliveries. His parents were getting ready to go and gather shop
supplies. Before they left, Bobby’s father led the little robin around
by the wing and showed him all the chores he wanted done.

“You and Puffy are not here to play. You must clean the shop and put
away all the new bags of worms. And you know the rules, you must pay
for anything you take!”

“Yes Daddy.” Bobby chirped with glee. He had been dreaming of working
in the shop like a real grown up robin for the longest time. He was
determined to do his very best and make his parents proud.

Puffy and Bobby were cleaning the worm jars and giggling happily
together when a they heard a little rustle of leaves close by.

“What was that noise?” Puffy asked.

“I don’t know. I didn’t hear the door open and I don’t see anybody.”
Bobby paused for a second and sure enough the rustling started again
but this time there was a strange squeaking sound too.

“Hellooo”, a tiny voice said “Down here please! Hellooo!”

Puffy and Bobby looked down at their feet where a little ladybird
stood waving. She looked very annoyed indeed.

“Goodness, we are so sorry Madam Ladybird, we didn’t see you down
there!” cried Bobby.

“Well of course you didn’t see me! You were making so much noise
giggling and chirping together. I have been standing here for ages!”
The Ladybird was very cross indeed. Puffy giggled behind his wing
which didn’t help things.

“Excuse me you cheeky little finch! I am a customer and YOU kept me
waiting. What have you got to say for yourself?”

Bobby came to Puffy’s rescue. He knew Madam Ladybird was always cross
because people took a long time to notice her. She was so very tiny.

“What would you like to buy today Madam Ladybird?” Bobby asked as he
gently picked her up and put her on the shop counter. It was much
easier to hear her there.

“I want a good strong leaf to keep the ants out of my house. They are
always barging in uninvited and I have had enough. There are hundreds
of them on my branch!”

Bobby flew up to the very top shelf of the shop and brought back a big
bag of leaves. He took each one out in his beak and placed them in
front of Madam Ladybird.

“Those leaves are no good for keeping out the army of ants!” She scoffed.

Bobby and Puffy looked at each other. They were the only leaves they
had and Bobby was afraid Madam Ladybird would complain about Bobby to
his parents. Then he would never get to run the shop again!

“Well, Madam Ladybird, may I suggest you use some strong twigs with
the leaves. Ants will never break through that. We have twigs for sale
too!”

Madam Ladybird thought for a second and agreed to have a look at the twigs.

“Hmmmm… Maybe that would work. Twigs and leaves will keep my little
house warmer AND keep those pesky ants out! Sold!” She thanked the
little robin and left scurried away with twigs and leaves on her back.

Bobby was very happy with himself! He had made a sale and Madam
Ladybird seemed to be in a much better mood!

The shop became very quiet. There was no jobs to be done so Bobby and
Puffy decided to play a little game of Hide and Seek. Bobby decided
that his friend would never find him if he hid on the big branch above
the shop. Off he hopped as Puffy counted to ten.

Bobby accidentally bumped into Fred’s wrinkly ear and woke him up again.

“BOBBY WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?” Roared the cranky old tree. “I
was enjoying my afternoon nap and yet again YOU wake me up!”

“It was just an accident Mr Fred. I am so so sorry! Honest!” Bobby
began to panic. He never meant to wake him.

Fred began to rant and rave at the terrified little robin and because
of the noise he made, Puffy knew where to find his friend.

Fred was so very angry with the little birds that he told them to go
away and leave him to rest or he would make sure Bobby never got to
mind the shop ever again!

The two little birds were very upset about waking Fred as they hopped
slowly back to the shop. However, they didn’t realise they were in for
an even bigger shock.

When Bobby opened the shop door he saw that the shop was a complete
mess. All the newly displayed worm jars were knocked over and some
even smashed! The bag of twigs was gone and there was a very loud
guffaw-ing noise coming from under the counter!

“Who is there?” Bobby called out feeling very frightened. Puffy
clapped his little yellow wings over his eyes.

“GUFFAW! GUFFAW! You can’t stop me you silly little birds!” Tatty flew
towards them suddenly.

“Tatty! You horrible crow! You can’t steal from us! You’ll be sorry!”
Bobby was very scared of the huge black bird in front of him and he
had no idea how to stop him.

“Oh you ridiculous robin!” Tatty squawked. “You are no match for a big
strong crow like me. I am hungry and I will have my fill and there is
nothing you can do to stop me!” Tatty opened his huge yellow beak and
chuckled as the poor little birds quivered below him.

Just then the whole nest shuddered and knocked the twigs and worms
from the nasty crow’s grasp. All of a sudden Tatty was picked up by
his pointy claws and swung upside down.

Bobby and Puffy looked out from under a bunch of leaves in confusion.

“What happened? Where did he go?” they wondered together.

As they slowly poked their little beaks out of the shop they found
Tatty hanging upside down getting a very loud warning from Fred! Of
all creatures!

“Now you listen here you horrible pesky bird. You had no right to
barge into that shop and make such a mess. You will clean up that mess
and return everything you broke. Is that clear?” Fred looked right
into the frightened bird’s upside down eyes.

“Yes Sir Mr Fred. I didn’t mean it!” Tatty was very afraid of the
cranky old tree. “I will clean it all up straight away. I promise.
Please let me down now! I have learned my lesson!”

Fred held onto the bird for a moment and then plopped him back into the shop.

“Get that place cleaned up NOW!” He roared. “And when you’re finished
you will apologise to those two little birds.”

Bobby and Puffy couldn’t quite believe what they saw. They were sure
that Fred didn’t like them, yet he came to the rescue!

Bobby hopped up to the branch that held Fred’s wrinkly, tired eyes.

“Mister Fred. Thank you so very much for saving us from that horrible crow!”

Fred looked Bobby and his old brown eyes smiled.

“Well Bobby, you might be a very noisy little bird but I know you
don’t wake me on purpose. I don’t want to see you in danger.”

Bobby held out his shiny brown wings and offered Fred a bunch of
leaves to thank him.

“What are they for?” asked Fred?

“I thought maybe you could put them in your ears when you sleep so you
won’t get woken up all the time” chirped Bobby.

The old tree laughed and thanked the little robin for his clever idea.
From that day on Fred got plenty of sleep, and whenever Bobby worked
in the shop, Fred always kept him safe from nasty greedy crows.

The END