Jo Ann J. Lovelace

It was the first day of spring and there was at least three foot of snow on the ground. I saw a Robin hop across the yard and my spirits soared. After all a Robin was the first sign of spring. Right? Wrong! We got another foot of snow the next day.

I shivered at the thought of having to go to the barn, but it was time to feed the horses. I had already put the winter blankets on the horses, and had drained the waterers so the pipes wouldn't freeze. Then cleaned up the water buckets and filled them with fresh water so the horses would have plenty of water to drink.

I found my heavy parka then put on two pairs of socks. That made my feet hurt, the boots were too tight because of wearing two pairs of socks. I found my heaviest gloves, then found they were of no use to me at all, because I couldn't turn the doorknob while wearing those heavy gloves. I discarded those and found a lighter pair of gloves to wear. I pulled my toboggan down over my ears as I went out the door to brave the cold winter chill and trudged on to the barn.

The oats were cold and stuck together. I couldn't break them apart with the feed scoop. I used an old horseshoe to break up the oats so I could feed the horses. I used an ax to break the ice out of the water buckets, cleaned them up, and refilled them with water. Then climbed the stairs to the hayloft to put down the hay.

Oh well I thought, spring is bound to be just around the corner, as I struggled through the deep snow going back to the house. Then I saw the Robin again shivering, perched in a tree next to the house. Wrong again about spring just being right around the corner, I thought. It had started to snow again and we got an additional five inches of snow and the temperatures dropped to twenty below zero that night.

The temperatures stayed below zero and the snow continued to fall. I felt like taking a broom to that Robin and giving him a good whack since he was suppose to mean spring had arrived. But I didn't, I couldn't help but feel sorry for that little fellow since I knew he was cold too. The Robin huddled next to anything that it could for days trying to keep warm. Sympathy overcame anger and I gave the little fellow some bread crumbs. I bet he didn't even know that he was the first sign of spring.

The next week wasn't any better. It did warm up long enough to melt a little of the snow. But the slush froze again during the night just making things worse. Then I made a three point landing going to the barn. On my way back to the house I glared at that Robin. He had moved closer to the door. The wind was blowing and I was freezing. I wondered who came up with that idea that a Robin's arrival meant spring had arrived. Once again I regained control of my anger and gave the little fellow some more bread crumbs. I hadn't realized it but I had been feeding this little guy for two weeks.

All I can say is, so what if you do see a Robin. It doesn't mean anything except that you've seen a Robin and HE'S PROBABLY HUNGRY!

Copyright © 2001  Jo Ann Lovelace. All Rights Reserved.