FROM READERS: A day in the life of the birds in John Hall's backyard

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 | 6:49 p.m. CDT
Roberta the Robin sings John Hall a song.

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years.

Each year I rent three properties that I own. The renters are the Bluebird, Wren and Sparrow families. Each year its the same problem. The Sparrow family wants something for nothing and usually attempt to sneak into one of the better of the rental properties. The Sparrow family are legend for having so many kids they don't know what to do with them.

While Sally and Sylvester Sparrow thought they were getting away with something I had my eye on them. Monday morning Sylvester awoke after a heavy night of whatever it is that Sparrows do and peered out the front door.


I told him we needed to have a conference and he ignored me. So, utilizing my owner's rights I proceeded to serve an eviction notice and took down the front door and cleaned out everything they had already placed in their bungalow for two.


Immediately, it was evident Sylvester was in no manner happy. He called Sally and she watched as he pondered his next move.


I could hear Sally telling her husband that all her hopes and dreams had vanished due to the eviction. Sylvester was in no mood to listen to Sally whine and when she asked him what his next plan was he replied, "I'm going to turn and give the guy who destroyed our home, a piece of my mind," which he did in photo.


In that brief, but pointed, verbal blast he called the landlord everything but sweetheart. The landlord replied, "Same to you, bud." Say what you want about Sylvester Sparrow, one thing he isn't is lazy and shortly he was  attempting to restore what had been destroyed moments earlier.


Sally could be heard in the background telling him his attempts were useless and she kept repeating that, more vociferously, as she watched his repair effort.


After a few minutes work, Sylvester had to step back and ponder his next move and why his rebuilding effort didn't seem to be going well.


He wasn't having a good morning and keep saying "Sally, I can't figure out why this new material doesn't fit."


Finally, Sally, like all wives, good or bad, dropped that famous line, "Do you actually know what you're doing?"


After a few more minutes of watching Sylvester, Sally finally drops the every wife special line, "I told you all along it would never work."


And, with that Sylvester exclaimed that he had an idea, and Sally said, "You can stay if you like but I'm outta' here. I've got to find some place to raise these kids."

Meanwhile, a squirrel nearby was oblivious to the bickering and snarfed down a couple of bowls of sunflower seeds to get the day started on a high note.



Just a few feet from the quarreling Sparrow family, and the contented squirrel, was a mother-to-be Robin singing "The Wind Beneath My Wings."




I couldn't figure out why she was so happy when it appeared she had a left leg that she was favoring. So, when I have a question the best thing to do is ask it. So, I asked mom Robin, her name is Roberta, why she seemed to be on top of the world she replied, "Go over to the picket fence and look just to the right of the rose bush and tell me what you see." I did, and what I saw was a nest already completed of material she had gleaned over the past few days from the backyard.





Roberta thanked me profusely for the strips of plastic bags that were left over from last year's tomato season which were used to tie the vines to the stakes. She let me know that was such a benefit in holding the nest together. And, in appreciation for that she said she'd like to sing a song for me.


The song was "Poor Little Robin, Walking to Missouri." And, as the song goes she walked to Missouri because she couldn't afford to fly. You doubt me? Look it up on You Tube and play the song for yourself.

By the way, the Magnolia Soulangeana are at the peak of their blooming stage which will last about a day or until the next rain.

If you can't view the slideshow below, view it on Flickr here.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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