A House for Robins
Each day, a man walked up a very steep hill as rapidly as his legs would carry him. It seemed odd that he would do so, for, from all appearances, there was nothing at the top of the hill. No one lived there. The road stopped just beyond the base of the hill. Why would the man be in such a rush to walk to the top of the hill?
One day, a boy decided to follow, to see where the man went and why the man always seemed to be in a rush to reach the top of the hill. Not wishing the man to know he was following, the boy kept to the trees and the brush. Soon, he was waist deep in briers and brambles. Still, he pushed on, determined not to let the man out of his sight.
Finally, the boy reached the top of the hill. As he stood behind the dead stump of an old oak tree, he saw the man sitting on a bench. The man's head was bowed, and he appeared to be lost in prayer. The boy remained silent, determined not to disturb the man.
As he watched and waited, he began to hear the man speak. Yes, it was a prayer; he was praying. The petitions of the prayer startled the little boy, for they were all being made for him.
"God bless the little boy who lives in the green house. He is a good lad, just curious about the world. He doesn't realize he is intruding when he comes over the fence to inspect my bird houses or when he climbs the hill after me to see why I come here."
The little boy was startled when he heard a reply coming down from the heavens.
"Because he is a good lad, who is only curious, you owe it to him to teach him how to be a good man. Teach him about your bird houses and why you climb this hill."
"But I am an old man. What interest could he have in me?"
"But he is a young lad. What interest do you have in him?"
"He reminds me of myself when I was his age. My father had died. I had no one to introduce me to life."
"As his father has passed on. He has no one to introduce him to the world, either. It is your job to prepare him for life."
And, so, the man opened his eyes and looked around at the boy and, extended his arm toward him, invited him to join him on the bench at the top of the hill.
He said, "This is where I came when I did not understand what was going on in my life. This is where I still come when I do not understand what is going on in my life."
"Was that God talking to you?"
"That was God. He always gives good advice, advice that does not let me get myself into trouble. We must listen carefully when He speaks and do as He says. If we do, we will know we are on the right path."
To which the little boy replied by singing a children's hymn in a soft, clear voice.
The man studied the boy as he sang. When he finished, the man asked, "Do you know God?"
The boy nodded. "He comes to me when I am swinging on my rope swing. He told me to come up this hill and find out why you come."
"Well, then," the man said. "That makes it official. We are friends."
The boy grinned and said, "Yes. We're friends.”
The man asked, “Do you want to come and see my bird houses?"
"Sure! That'd be neat!" the boy exclaimed. His eyes lit up brightly with excitement.
"I'll show you how I make them,” the man said. “It is done differently for different kinds of birds."
"Okay!" the boy exclaimed happily. "We have robins at our house. Can we make a house for robins?"
"One house for robins coming up," the man agreed.
Rising, the man and the boy began making their way slowly back down the hill. Soon, a house for robins hung on the tree in the boy's back yard.
Copyright (c) 2010, Virginia Tolles. All rights reserved.