Robin Robin and Roberta Robin made their home together in the wisteria draped around Shorne Village Cricket Club’s club house.
Robin Robin (obviously his parents lacked imagination) worked hard to build a veritable palace of a nest for the two love birds and when it was finished, he stood proudly at the entrance and invited his bride to hop inside.
Roberta could not help but be impressed as she stood at the entrance, chirruping sweetly and blushing deeply. With a sigh, she overcame her natural shyness and accepted Robin Robin’s impatient advances.
Soon afterwards they had four beautiful oval eggs of deepest blue to show for their efforts, onto which Roberta Robin, bristling with maternal instincts settled down to incubate.
Robin Robin flew off to boast to all and sundry of his prowess as a maker of children. Perhaps his boasts were a little disproportionate considering his relatively unskilled and certainly brief part in the process.
Back at the nest, all was peace, love and joy as Roberta chirped happily to the unborn young beneath her soft bosom – until the wisteria was rudely parted and a pair of grubby hands reached inside to grab the nest, mother and embryonic family and drag the ensemble rudely out into the open air.
Roberta flew up, shrieking her distress and outrage, while the desecrated nest sat in the aforementioned grubby hands – hands owned by one Malcolm Cruddy, infamous in Shorne and surrounding regions for petty misdeeds and casual violence. Seventeen wasted years of age he was, and a thief of this good planet’s oxygen.
Roberta, seeing her precious babies in peril, dived at Cruddy and caught the oaf a passing blow on his overlarge ear. Enraged, Cruddy threw down the nest and picked up a length of broken picket fence. With a lucky blow he clubbed Roberta to the ground, where she lay amongst the wreckage of the nest and shattered eggs.
Her heart and tiny body both were broken and with a final twitching and a fluttering of her lustrous eyelashes, she expired.
Cruddy was happy with his work. If he could spread a little pain and chaos in his daily round, he considered it a day well spent. He dropped the murderous length of wood and turned to go, just as an air-to-ground guided missile came looping over the picket fence and made straight for Cruddy’s face. Robin Robin had been alerted by his beloved’s piteous cries and had returned post haste to protect his property. Taking in the disastrous scene at a glance, he was filled with anger and vengeance; and when his attack hit home on Cruddy’s gormless face, it hit hard.
Robin attacked again and again, drawing blood at each pass, until the cowardly youth turned and ran for dear life back to the village.
Robin watched him go. Then the poor bereaved bird turned his attention to providing his wife and children with as dignified a disposal as he was capable.
Cruddy, now at a loose end, headed back into the village where he terrorised a group of primary school children before boldly stealing two two litre bottles of cider from Mr. Jhalawan’s corner shop, The Happy News and Provisions Store.
Malcolm Cruddy sat by the village pond and quaffed one bottle of cider, throwing the empty bottle at a pair of unfortunate mallards paddling quietly by.
As dusk fell, Cruddy headed back home to the Rectory, where he lived with his disappointed parent, the right reverend Aloysius Cruddy. The oaf trailed muddy footprints along the entrance hall carpet, up the carpeted stairs and on into his room, where he threw himself onto his bed. The second two litres of cider went the way of the first, and as evening turned to night, Malcolm Cruddy passed out in a drunken stupor.
Meanwhile, Robin Robin had been busy. He had gathered about him a Green Woodpecker, a Magpie, a Jackdaw and – because this was serious – a Raven. Robin’s tale of woe had touched them all deeply.
“So listen boys” tweeted the robin “this is what we are going to do”.
The group huddled closer, listening.
Malcolm Cruddy lay snoring loudly, cider dribbling from his open mouth. Cruddy’s room consisted of a metal bedstead, an untidy wardrobe, a games console and a half open window. On the windowsill were perched a robin, a woodpecker, a magpie, a jackdaw and a raven.
At a signal from the robin the birds glided from the window to the bedstead. Dropping gently to the mattress, they hopped and stalked their way to Cruddy’s pillow, where they arranged themselves about his defenceless head.
By chance, Cruddy had passed out with his eyes wide open, which made things all the easier.
The robin did not take part in the main attack – his beak being so insignificant by comparison with the others. He waited until the eye sockets were emptied before dipping his pointed little appendage inside to cause an extra serving of agony.
Then the birds flew away. Having done a service not only to Roberta’s memory, but also to the villagers of Shorne.
So if you happen to be in Shorne and see a robin with an extra red breast, it is sure to be our hero. So please tip your hat.