I love robins, especially their wonderful songs. They are cheeky little birds, and courageous too. They visit our garden all year's through, not just at Christmas, and in summer, when I have worked in the garden and perhaps disturbed some insects or worms, a robin often visits and waits in the bushes; then he plucks up courage and jumps from branch to branch until he is on the ground literally just three feet away picking up something to eat. He is totally fearless and I stand there still like a statue, not daring to move an inch, so that I don't frighten him away.
Did you know that legend has it that when Jesus was dying on the Cross, a robin, then just brown in colour, flew to His side and sang in His ear. Christ's blood stained the robin's breast and since then they all have the red markings.
I saw a robin in our garden only yesterday. Fearless and cheerful as ever.
This reminded me of a story long time ago when, a few days before Christmas, I visited a factory full of machineries, conveyor belts, and a huge furnace burning so fiercely you could feel the heat a long way off. I was doing an audit of their financial accounts.
As I arrived, someone had found a wounded robin amongst the heavy snow in a hedge somewhere. He picked him up and put him in a small cardboard box, and wrapped him in some pieces of cloth to keep him warm. He had a damaged wing and could not fly, as he was lying there in his box with his eyes half closed.
I was going to my office so I took the box there. I had just visited my favourite burger restaurant, so I put a large chunk of burger and a few French fries in the box for the bird to eat. He did not seem interested. So I covered the box with a pile of papers to make sure he doesn't fly away, not that he could; and also to make sure that the office cat does not help himself to a feathered meal whilst I was out of the office.
An hour or so later I checked the box and to my dismay the piece of burger and fries were still there uneaten. To think that I could have had them instead. There I was generously giving part of my meal to a bird in distress and he couldn't even bother to even taste it. He just stayed there, lying on his side, eyes half closed and breathing ever so lightly.
In total disgust at this bird's ungratefulness at my generosity, I ate the piece of burger and fries and threw the box into the fiery furnace.
It took only seconds for that blazing inferno to turn the box and its contents into ashes.
I stood there and watched with a smirk on my face as the ferocious famished flames devoured hungrily the little morsel they'd just been offered.
I placed him in my empty coffee cup, upside down, so he doesn't fly away. Took off my shoe, the left one it was, as I remember. Took off my sock and put the bird in it to keep him warm.
I then filled the cup with hot coffee to keep me warm too.
After work, I took the sock and its content to the local Bird Rescue Centre where they took care of him. They never returned the sock though.
I had to drive back home sock-less in my left foot; which nearly gave me frostbite by the time I got to my apartment.
A few days after Christmas the Rescue Centre invited me back to see the bird now totally healed. I was there when they released it in the wild once again to fly happily and to sing to its heart's content.
But they never gave me my sock back!!!