When I was a small child, I loved to watch birds. I spent a lot of time bird watching, listening to their calls and trying to find them high in the trees.
My grandmother lived with us, and she had a beautiful ceramic robin figurine that I loved. After a day of bird watching, I would spend a lot of time looking at the ceramic robin. Occasionally, my grandmother would let me hold the robin. I loved this experience and secretly hoped one day the bird would be mine.
One day I was out spying on the birds when I noticed a bluebird had built a nest in a nearby small tree. As I watched the bird nest, I heard peeping sounds and knew that the baby bluebirds had hatched.
Slowly, I eased up to the tree. With my tiny hand, I reached out and grabbed a baby. I carried it into the house to show my family, and everyone gasped. My mother scolded me for taking it out of the tree, and then made me put it back. When I returned the baby bird, I heard some harsh words from the mother bird as well.
After dinner that night, my grandmother handed me the ceramic robin and said, “It’s yours because I know how much you love birds. But you have to promise me you’ll never take a baby bird from its mother again, and that you won’t break this one!”
I never took another baby bird from its mother, and the ceramic robin sits in my study today. When I look at it, it reminds me of my grandmother and her willingness to give me such a priceless gesture of her love.
Asheville, North Carolina
Read more heirloom stories in Keepsakes Passed Down Through Generations.