The Tree and the Robin

In the spring winds, the tree had fallen near the edge of the forest. It lay there through the summer, its leaves withered and brown. By autumn they had become litter, gathered against its trunk beneath the bare branches. Then the snow had come.

The morning after the snow a robin hopped onto the white trunk, cocked its head, then dropped beneath the branches. It emerged with something in its bill. There had not been such a vibrant visitor in months, which is why the tree had remained mute throughout the long summer and fall. Also, it could not whisper in the wind, as it might have done in former times.

Returning to its place on the trunk, the robin consumed its morsel. The sun emerged from behind a cloud, the bird’s eyes catching a warming fire. It was as though the tree itself had eyes. That was quite enough.

Copyright 2013 George Lowell Tollefson


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