When they visited Nanda’s tree the fairies all agreed that her leaves were special. Most of them had seen only green leaves before, at least in the spring time when they were young and fresh. Nagida and Narda were especially interested since the leaves looked very similar to those on their Maple trees, just a different color.
“Are there more kinds of Maple trees with still more different colored leaves?” Nagida asked.
“Well,” Merida, responded. “There certainly are more kinds of Maple tree, but I don’t think they have different colors, more like different shapes. You see your leaves all have quite wide lobes? There’s another kind of Maple that has skinny lobes. My friend has one of those trees. It’s called a Japanese Maple and it has reddish colored leaves like yours, Nanda.”
“Ooh, can we visit it sometime?” Nanda asked eagerly. “I’d like to see another tree with these dark leaves.”
“Well, it’s quite far away.” Merida said hesitantly. “I’m not sure if we can go there this year. But maybe next year,” she said quickly, seeing Nanda’s disappointed look. “You all have a lot to do to take care of your trees, so let’s get back to it now.”
The rest of the day passed quickly. Naida’s tree was still the same, and she worked diligently to try to encourage it to awaken soon. She realized that almost all the other trees had already woken up, and she was starting to feel a little uneasy. “What if my tree never wakes up?” she thought anxiously. However, her concern for her tree was soon forgotten when she arrived home. The little trio of Maple tree fairies were all abuzz with excitement.
“There’s a bird in Narda’s tree!”
“Yes, a big bird! I think it’s building a bed.” Narda was excited but slightly worried at the same time.
“Calm down everyone,” Merida’s voice was heard above the hubbub. “Let’s all settle down in our circle and when we’re ready Narda can share her news.”
As soon as they were ready, all eyes turned to Narda. “Can we hear about the bird now?” Narida could hardly contain herself and her eyes were big like saucers. “Is it really big and scary?”
“Alright, Narda,” Merida said. “Tell us about your bird.”
“Well, it’s in my tree.” Narda said. “At least it keeps flying away and coming back carrying things, sticks and leaves and stuff. And it’s building something in a fork in a branch. Actually I think there are two of them. One of them does all the building and the other one flies around a lot.”
“What kind of bird is it Narda?” Nagida asked.
“I don’t know what it’s called,” Narda said shaking her head. “But it has red color on its front, and it’s big, and it sings really loud!”
They all laughed at that. As the laughter died down Merida said “It must be a Robin. They are not very afraid of Big Ones so it could build its nest in one of our trees.”
“It’s making a nest?” Narda asked. “Will it come and live in my tree all the time when it’s ready?”
“No,” Merida replied. “Robins build a nest to put their eggs in. The mother Robin, she’s the one building the nest, she’ll stay with the eggs till they hatch and then both Robins will feed the babies.”
“And baby Robins will come out of the eggs?” Naida had heard the part about putting eggs in the nest. “Goodness, you’ll have a tree full of birds, Narda!”
“Oh dear, I’m a bit scared of that bird.” Narda looked less enthusiastic. “I hope it won’t try and eat me!”
“Oh, no, that’s terrible!” Narida was shaking in horror. “Merida, can we chase the bird away? I don’t want it to eat Narda!”
“We’ll protect you, Narda,” Nagida said bravely. “Right, Nanda?”
“Um, sure. Or maybe Narda can come to my Crimson King Maple tree till the Robins are gone.”
“Now, now,” Merida tried to calm them all down. “Robins are not bad birds. Just don’t get too close and you’ll be fine Narda. The Robin is busy building her nest so she won’t bother you if you just focus on taking care of your tree. But when the eggs come let us know and we’ll all visit together to take a look.”
“Alright, Merida. I’ll be careful. But can you come with me tomorrow to make sure it’s a Robin and not a dangerous bird?”
“Yes, Narda, I can do that. Now everyone, that’s enough excitement for today. Off to bed with you all!”
Copyright © Jennifer P. Tanabe, 2015