Mr G-Nome and the Baby Blue Tit

    The noise from the nest box strapped to a lamp-post in the garden interested Mr. G-Nome. He was watching two Blue Tits which Mr. G-Nome had decided to call Mr. and Mrs Bluey. He saw them fly in and out of the box for some time taking bits of grass, straw and feathers inside.

    Then he noticed that Mrs Bluey hardly ever came out while Mr. Bluey was in and out regularly carrying little grubs and bits of food for his wife.

    Then nothing had happened for a few days apart from the food delivery, until now. Now he could hear lots of scuffling and chirping coming from the box and both Mr and Mrs Bluey were now making food deliveries, but who were they feeding?

    Mr. G-Nome realised that there was a family of Blue Tits in the little box – judging from the sound, a lot of them.

    He kept his eyes on the box while still holding his fishing rod over the garden pond, the string hanging limply from the end of the rod into the water. He had never caught a fish and didn’t want to. He would not know what to do if he did. In any case, without a hook he knew he wouldn’t catch anything.

    It was two weeks before there was any new development. The parents were still making hundreds of flights a day to deliver fresh food to the baby birds. Then, when they were both away hunting for more food, he saw a tiny head peep out of the small hole in the box. It was a baby Blue Tit.

    A little blue cap was perched on its head and he saw the little beak move as loud cries came from the bird. Obviously more food was needed.

    Sometimes he heard a strange fluttering noise which came from inside the box. He realised the little birds must be flapping their wings to get strong.

    “I don’t know how they can do that,” he said to himself. “There doesn’t seem to be enough room to move in there let along practice flying.”

    And then came the day when he watched Mrs Bluey perch outside the nest and call her small babies out of the box one at a time.

    As each one squeezed through the hole it stood on the edge of the box and then flung itself into the air, flapping it’s wings – flying for the first time.

    He saw seven little birds take off and fly away, with the mother following.

    “Well,” he thought, “That was very special. More lovely birds for the garden. I enjoy watching them fly about – unless they stand on my head and make a mess.”

    This had happened before, once. It was horrible. But fortunately it rained shortly afterwards and the rain washed the mess away. He dreading it happening again.

    He looked at his fishing line and tried to concentrate on the fish he did not want to catch.

    But then he heard another noise; a fresh chirping coming from the nesting box.

    “Oh dear,” he thought. “There is still a little bird in there.”

    He looked round and saw Mrs Bluey arrive with more food. He heard shuffling inside the box and imagined her feeding the last little one and trying to encourage it to fly.

    That happened a few times and still the little fellow did not appear to want to fly off and join his family.

    All night long the little bird was alone. Mr. G-Nome could hear little chirpingwhimpers coming from the box and felt really sad.

    “There is nothing I can do,” he told himself. “I hope he can fly soon.”

    Early the next morning Mrs Bluey appeared again – with more food. This time he heard her telling the little one off. “You must fly – I can’t keep coming back,” she seemed to say.

    She came out again and perched on the top of the box.

    Mr. G-Nome then watched as the final baby appeared in the hole, poking his head out and looking around. Then he pushed his way completely out, perched on the edge of the hole before flapping his wings and soaring away.

    At least that’s what he started to do. Suddenly, however, he seemed to stop flying, spun round in the air, and plopped down – right into the middle of the pond.

    “Oh dear,” Mr. G-Nome muttered. “Now what will happen?”

    Mrs Bluey fluttered around looking helpless and chirping and calling to her baby, trying to get him to flap his wings and get to the side of the pond.

    But he didn’t seem to understand and gradually began to get weaker, beginning to sink.

    Mr. G-Nome knew he had to do something. He pulled his fishing line in and, with an expert flip on the line sent the string flashing out until it wrapped its way around the small, fluttering figure in the water.

    He leaned back and began to pull the rod so that the line drew the tiny figure to the bank. When the baby Blue Tit was on the edge Mrs Bluey rushed round, used her beak to pull her baby to safety and watched as he flapped himself dry.

    Then she gave more instructions and he fluttered again, this time getting off the ground and staying in the air until he reached one of the lower branches on the trees overhanging the garden.

    There he was joined by his brothers and sisters and Mr. and Mrs Bluey. They all perched on the branch in a long line, obviously delighted to be together again – a complete family.

    And they all looked down at Mr. G-Nome and chirped together.

    Mr. G-Nome could tell they were thanking him for saving the little baby. He felt very proud. In fact he had to turn away so that they did not see his face going all red as he blushed. It was very nice being a hero.

     

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