Jenny's Easter Egg Buddy

Jenny's Easter Egg Buddy

Six year old Jenny was filled with excitement as she heard the words - ‘‘Ready, set, go!’’ This was the first time she was participating in their San Diego neighbourhood Easter Egg hunt.  ‘‘Don't forget to look in all the garden nooks and crannies’’, mum called out.
An hour later, Jenny grew despondent as the older children were quicker and got to the eggs before her.  She'd arrive to find the carefully placed nests behind bushes or on low branches, devoid of the treasured Easter eggs.  Her kind and friendly teenage neighbour Anne gave her a chocolate egg she'd found but it wasn't the same as finding one herself.
She sat under a shady tree to eat her chocolate egg.  Looking up she spotted a well concealed nest.  With an effort she climbed the tree and to her delight - there was a beautiful pale blue egg in it. Putting it in her basket she headed home, feeling very pleased. 

‘‘Look at the pretty Easter egg I found mama", she cried exultantly as she burst in through the kitchen door.  ‘‘Wow! It's really lovely Jenny", said ma, ‘‘Where did you find it?"  ‘‘In a tree", said Jenny proudly.  They left the basket on the dining table for pa to see when he came home.

At supper time, Jenny began to lay the table.  Her eyes fell on the basket and she burst into tears.  Mum rushed in to see what had happened.  Pointing at the basket Jenny said ‘‘Someone's broken my egg - it's cracked."Mum looked closely and there in the basket beside the broken egg was a tiny little bird with its eyes still closed covered with a few downy tufts.

‘‘Why Jenny, that's not an Easter egg, I think it might be a bluebird's", exclaimed mum.  She took out an old shoe box, lined it with grass and cotton and gently placed the baby bird in it.  They got the big bird book down from its shelf and confirmed that they were dealing with a baby bluebird.  Then they got onto the internet and learnt all about how to care for bluebirds.

The next day, Jenny dug up earthworms and beetles from her garden to feed the chirping little chick.  By day two, it had doubled in size and in about a week's time its eyes opened and feathers began to make an appearance.   Three weeks later, the cute grayish-brown speckled juvenile bird began to stretch its blue tipped wings, attempting to fly short distances.

Jenny called him Buddy.  He was attached to her as if she was his mum and would perch on her shoulder.  By autumn, Buddy's dull brown feathers changed into a beautiful coat of deep ultramarine blue with a burst of Chestnut orange on his breast and flanks.  It was like watching the ugly duckling transform into the swan.

The family decided it was time to give Buddy his wings.  Pa built him a special nest-box of wood.  Jenny lined it with pine needles and cotton.  They hung it on a tree outside Jenny's bedroom window.  Buddy moved into his new abode. 

Every morning he'd fly to Jenny's window and be her alarm clock, waking her by tapping on her window impatiently with his beak and singing ‘‘cheer, cheer-lee, churr",  till she got out of bed and opened the window to let him in.  She no longer needed to feed him as he could fend for himself but liked giving him treats of fruits or berries.
On Annual day, Jenny' was given the lead role of Dorothy in her school musical 'The Wizard of Oz' and brought Buddy along.
When she sang the lines:
‘Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?’

Her friend released Buddy from his cage. He promptly flew across the stage and perched himself on Jenny's shoulder while the audience clapped in delight.

A year later, as Jenny sat by her window observing Buddy singing on the lawn, a female bluebird appeared.  Buddy seemed to like her, which was strange, as he normally chased away any other bluebirds visiting his garden.  He showed her all his favorite spots in the garden including the secret hollow he had found in the old oak tree and his nest-box.  He danced for her and waved his wings.  He even gave her tit-bits to eat.  Naturally, she couldn't resist his charms. Before long, she moved in with him. Soon she laid 6 eggs, which hatched, making Buddy a proud father, with a family of his own.  He still came to wake Jenny religiously every morning.  Sometimes he was accompanied by a chorus of youngsters. 

On Easter day, Jenny laid out a special treat for the bluebird family near the bird bath where the fledglings were frolicking under Buddy's watchful eye.  ‘‘Happy birthday Buddy", she said as he flew down to greet her. Soon their garden became home to several Bluebird families.  Every Easter, Jenny fondly recalled her first Easter egg hunt and Buddy's arrival into their home.  

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