“Where is he?” asked Bluebell, peering carefully over the edge of the nest.
“He was looking for Mom, and he went too far! I think he fell out!” Her newly hatched, smaller sister twittered excitedly.
“Oh dear,” said Bluebell. The young blue jay searched the ground below. Sure enough, there on the grassy lawn lay her brother, Dandelion.
“You’re right, Marigold,” said Bluebell. “I see him!” She whistled and called down to him.
“Are you all right, Dandy?”
Her brother was on his back, legs up in the air. At his sister’s call, he kicked up his feet and twisted around, trying to stand up. He ruffled his bright blue feathers, then squawked with pain.
“Ouch! I’m okay but my wing hurts,” answered Dandy. “I don’t think I can fly.”
“That’s no surprise, since you didn’t know how to fly before!” Bluebell laughed, relieved her brother seemed safe, for the most part. But she was worried: how would her brother get back into the nest?
She heard her sister gasp beside her. Marigold was pointing toward the ground. Crouched underneath a rose bush was an orange tabby cat, tail silently swishing back and forth.
“Oh no,” breathed Bluebell. “A cat!”
Green eyes glittering, the cat took a step forward. It watched the small blue jay hopping around on the ground below the tree. It seemed to know the bird was too young to fly, and helpless – making it an excellent choice for a snack.
“Look out, Dandy!” tweeted Bluebell. She flapped her wings weakly from the nest. Bluebell hadn’t learned how to fly yet, either. Marigold just hid her face under her wing.
Dandelion tweeted and trilled loudly, more scared than he’d ever been. He watched helplessly as the cat move forward and tense into a crouch, getting into position to pounce.
“No, you don’t, Tiger,” laughed a boy as he appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and scooped up his pet, hugging it close.
The cat mewed in angry frustration. The boy walked to the house and put the cat back inside. Then he slowly walked back to the tree.
Kneeling down beside the little bird, he smiled and spoke softly.
“Hey there, little guy. Had a scare, huh? Sorry about Tiger there, he can be grouchy when it comes to birds. Did you fall out of your nest?”
Dandy make a little peep, and the boy looked up at the tree, noticing the birds twittering from the nest above.
“I see it. Now let’s get you back home, okay?”
He looked around and spotted a box near the house. He placed it under the tree. Carefully the boy scooped the small blue jay into his hands. Stepping onto the box, he barely reached the branch where the nest was tucked snugly in place.
Gently, he opened his hands and Dandelion stepped off and into the nest. Bluebell and Marigold chirped and danced, delighted to see their brother safely returned. It made the boy smile.
“Next time, make sure you can fly before you jump off your nest!” He laughed. He grabbed the box and walked away from the tree, whistling, proud to have done a good deed.
Minutes later, Momma Blue jay flew to the tree, fluttering her feathers as she settled back into the nest with her babies.
“My, my, you three look happy. Did I miss anything exciting while I was gone?”
The three birds looked at each other, grinning. What should they say?
“Nope, nothing at all,” answered Dandy, before his sisters had a chance to tell the truth.
“Just another boring, sunny morning in the nest!”