Baby Robin Eric and I
by James G. Smart
On the morning of July 1, this year (2021), I walked out between our screened-in porch and a row of arbor vitae trees. I saw a cute little toad. Ah, how nice I thought. Not far from the toad was a bigger surprise—a baby robin, looking cold and afraid. We had had a strong wind storm the night before and I saw where the robin’s nest was overturned. I ran to my wife, Eleanore, and asked “Should we let nature take its course”? Or should we rescue the baby robin, knowing full well, we would rescue the baby robin.
Thus began the story of Eric. I decided to name him after Leif Erickson, the ancient traveler and wanderer. Eleanore thought I should be sole parent realizing his diet had to be consistent and that live worms would soon be his main diet.
Eleanore fixed up a nice cardboard box for him padded with paper towels. I returned outside and picked him up. He had no feathers on his rump. It was just red skin with hair on it. His little feet felt uncomfortable on my hand, a sensation I had never had before. Of course he has scratchy feet I said to myself—he’s a bird! I placed him in the box, went to the kitchen in search of food, found some blue berries and some leftover cooked farina. That was his first diet in his new home. He was so anxious to eat, it was hard to feed him. He yakked so much his bill often knocked the food out of my fingers. But he got enough.