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The Robins Will Chirp And Sing For Matilda Peri Rusterson
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Matilda Peri Rusterson sat brooding in her back garden; she stared up at the weeping willow and sighed.
"You know, you look just like how I feel inside; I'm just not the same person I used to be."
Just then some black and white magpies swooped down on the green grass and began to play with one another.
She gazed at them and smiled wistfully.
"Everyone seems to be pre-occupied with one thing or another, except me. Nothing exciting seems to be happening in my life, I don't know what to do next!"
Matilda lived alone in a large semi-detached house.
She had no job, but had a good amount of savings which kept her stable.
She was in her mid-sixties and tried very hard to keep herself busy with household activities, but once she had done the chores for the day there always came that point of time in the late evening which she called 'the void hours' or 'limbo time' in which she would sit in her back garden pondering and like today, brooding.
'You know,' she said to herself, a regular habit of hers being alone, 'I still seem to have this strange fantasy in my mind that one day someone will appear in my life, a friend who I can talk to and we can sail through life's journey together.'
It was 6.30pm and now more magpies appeared in her back garden.
"More magpies! I don't mind but why don't robins ever come here, like in other peoples gardens?"
She got up from her white chair and began to walk around on the slabs.
She stared across at the plants.
It was summer and some of the new buds were opening up.
She noticed that some were also thirsty, so she got her green hose-pipe and turned on the tap. She adjusted the tap so that it changed from a strong jet into a soft spray at fast speed.
She giggled and raised the hosepipe up in the air until the water went upwards and landed onto her hair and face.
Suddenly there was a rustling sound close by.
She turned around and noticed to the left of her that there was something moving in the hedges towards her; she could hear heavy breathing.
Matilda thought for a moment about what she should do.
She held her breath, removed her slippers and tip-toed bare foot up to the hedges.
She quickly turned the hosepipe to jet speed and fired it into the hedges.
"Hey! Turn that darn thing off before I drown!"
"Peter Robinson Devlon, I should have known it was you."
She turned off the hosepipe and put it down.
Peter was Matilda's next door neighbour who lived on the left side of her, he enjoyed playing pranks.
"When will you grow up, for heaven's sake?"
He shrugged and cut his way into her garden through the hedges and pulled a small booklet from his back trouser pocket and handed it to Matilda.
"The Pocket Book of Bird Songs" she said out aloud. "Oh, you really shouldn't have."
"I borrowed it from the local library and thought that maybe you might find something interesting in there. I know you're a big, in fact a huge fan of robins."
Matilda's eyes filled with tears of joy.
She gave him a hug and jumped up into the air and then skipped back indoors. Peter began to follow in her footsteps.
"Hey, Matilda, you forgot your slippers!"
He picked them up and followed her, when suddenly there was a click.
She had locked the door, a signal for Peter to go back home and not to disturb her.
Peter caught a glimpse of her lying on the sofa in her conservatory, flicking through the book.
He gave a sigh and turned back to his own home next door.
"One of these days I'm going to dress up as a robin myself to catch Matilda's attention. I swear."
He stopped in his tracks and his face lit up; he snapped the fingers of his right hand with an enlightened look on his face, 'I have an idea!'
The following morning Matilda woke up, as always at 10am, and was fixing herself some toast when the bell rang.
She tottered to the door and opened it.
"Peter, what on earth are doing at my doorstep at this ungodly hour?"
"It's 10am Matilda. OK, listen, I want you to close your eyes."
"This isn't another of your childish pranks, is it, Peter?"
Peter looked at her re-assuringly and placed his left hand over her eyes.
"Now, not a word until I say so."
There was a moment's rustling noise and then Peter removed his hand from Matilda's eyes.
"Alright, now very slowly open your eyes."
Matilda opened her eyes very slowly and then Peter escorted her outside; he stopped and pointed across the garden.
Matilda looked around and then she spotted something from a distance.
"It looks like a..."
"Move closer and have a good look Matilda." Peter said, prompting her gently with his hands.
She looked back at Peter and then again in the direction of the small object which appeared to be moving. A few steps further revealed everything and a huge smile formed on Matilda's face as she rushed up to it.
"Why it's a baby robin, Ah! Poor baby."
Peter stood his ground and acted as an observer.
He called out, "You see Matilda, a robin did appear after all. That's what you wanted all along, isn't it?"
Matilda nodded, gently cupping her hands and picked up the baby robin.
She made her way inside her home; Peter followed and this time Matilda did not lock him out.
Once inside Matilda got to work right away.
She placed the robin gently on a pillow case and sat beside it, flicking though the Pocket Book of Birds.
"Now what are you looking up, Matilda?"
"I'm searching for the part about robins and what they eat from infancy; now sshh!"
So engrossed was Matilda in her Pocket Book of Birds that she completely overlooked the fact that the baby robin was restless indoors and used its beak to edge its way off the pillow cover.
In a few moments, when Matilda had located the page, with Peter's help, they both turned to where the baby robin had been placed, only to find it empty.
"Oh! No" cried Matilda hysterically, "where is it? Well don't just stand there gaping Peter, help me find it!"
"Find it? It has a name you know, she is a beautiful baby girl whom I have named Andreanna."
"Ooh, Pardon Me." quipped Matilda, wiggling all her fingers outwards at Peter, tauntingly.
"Now, do you have any dried fruit paste?"
Matilda's eyes grew wide and she tutted, folding her arms and tilting her head to the left.
"Peter Robinson, I just cannot believe my ears, you're behaving just like a school boy. Peter, your school days are over, read my lips, O-V-E-R."
Matilda's lips were rounded and she looked just like a goldfish underwater. Peter tried very hard but could not resist a giggle.
"Oh this is getting so silly," he decided to put his foot down, "that's it."
He headed straight towards Matilda's kitchen cupboard.
"No, Peter, wait!"
"Yes, here it is." He turned the packet of dried fruit paste to check the expiry date; it was valid for at least a few more months.
Matilda was watching closely and followed Peter as he closed the cupboard door and made his way to the piano room.
"Oh, please don't mind me, just feel at home." she tutted.
Peter shrugged and pulled up the piano chair, placed the opened dried fruit packet to one side and rolled up his sleeves.
He coughed and then began to play a lullaby. This was accompanied by whistling.
With a mischievous smile he softly sang.
"Little baby Andreanna; oh please come back my love, for I love you so."
"Now come to me quickly, my angel-pie, as your din-din's getting cold, my dear sweetheart."
He stopped as he heard a chirp, followed by another and another. Then he could feel something on his left foot, pecking away.
Just then, Matilda appeared from the kitchen and shouted out, "Lunch is ready."
"Sshh!" he said.
"Ahem," coughed Matilda, "Don't shush at us!"
Suddenly Peter's jaw fell and his eyes lit up with joy as he turned to see Matilda with Andreanna perched on top of her head.
Peter could still feel a strange sensation on his left foot and when he looked down to see, he could not believe his eyes.
All over his trouser legs, little baby robins were climbing up his leg and there was even one who had made it into the packet and was pecking and enjoying it.
As if that wasn't enough, all the birds began to chirp out and both Peter and Matilda kept quiet as the birds chirping formed a kind of love song until Peter looked at Matilda with bright eyes.
"You see?" Quipped Peter, "the robins WILL chirp for Matilda Peri Rusterson!" Matilda smiled and began to laugh out aloud.
"Peter, this may sound really daft, but I think they're telling us that we should be together. So, err; what do you think?"
"Well, I think it's a pretty good suggestion; what do you think Andreanna?"
Andreanna flew off Matilda's hair and onto Peter's right palm.
She began to chirp and sing aloud.
"And just think if we married," Peter said with another mischievous smile;
"Your surname would then be Robin-son too; just like the birds you always dreamt about."
"Yes Peter and we'll adopt these baby robins and...and."
"Open a robin sanctuary?"
"There's no need to; we can convert our homes into sanctuaries."
And so, that is the story of Peter and Matilda the family Robinsons. They spent the rest of their lives as a married couple enjoying the sweet and simple life, surrounded by robins, which sang and chirped all day long.
Matilda had found her friend to sail through life's journey with.
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