Essay, Touché_Tale

Touché And The Robin

Touché And The Robin
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This story is dedicated to my Brittany family: Touché, Mona (Touché’s sister), Tango, Lexie, & Finley.

Please don't eat me. I'm frightened." cried the little bird in Touche's mouth. "Put me down! Put me down!"

Touché gently licked RobinTouché gently laid the bird onto a shady part of the grass and spoke, as he licked the bird's head, "I won't eat you. I will lick you to make you better because I'm a dog, and that's what dogs do. They say my lick has magical healing powers.”

It all began when Touché rested, half awake, on his comforter. Suddenly, he heard a loud bang – a thud sound from outside. Instantly alert, he quickly flew through the doggy door into the backyard to see what made that horrible noise.

It was an ordinary spring day – The warm sun beat down on the lush green grass. A gentle breeze carried the sweet scent of blooming flowers in the air.

Robins at the feederIf it were the weekend, Dad, Touché's human guardian,  would be whistling as he worked in the garden. But it was the middle of the week. Dad was inside working at his computer.

Bees were doing their work, buzzing around the flowers. Hummingbirds were, as usual, fighting for ownership of their feeder. … But, now, no birds chirping merrily.

The birds were not at the seed feeder. At this time of year, birds passing through on their migration northward would normally crowd the feeder, constantly chirping and vying for access to the seeds.

Dad should have filled it this morning. Or, possibly, Something else. Touché guessed the birds spied a hawk flying overhead and sounded the alarm for all to flee. When that happens, they panic and fly off in all directions.

Then, Touché saw what caused the thud sound. Lying on the grass was a tiny bird. And it wasn't moving. It was helpless. But the bird was still breathing.

Having the Brittany Breed's instinct of compassion, Touché needed to save the bird.

He licked the bird again, and it began to sit up. It was in obvious pain. Touché sat before the bird, wondering what to do next to ease its pain.

“I'm a dog. My name is Touché. What’s yours?”

“I guess it’s Robin. We don’t call each other by names. It’s all in how we chirp.

Touché & Robin chatting”I don't know what happened just then,” whimpered the little bird excitedly. “I was with my family at the feeder. It’s always hectic as we push each other to get a perch. Then, the danger alarm was given, and we all scattered.

“I zipped off. Suddenly, another bird was flying directly at me. I tried to avoid it, but it would do the same every time I changed direction. That other bird looked exactly like me – sorta.

“Then we banged into each other, and everything went suddenly dark. “I don't know what happened until I awoke in your mouth. It all happened like it was in slow motion.”

Robin Flying Into Window"You didn't crash into another bird. You slammed into the window. You saw yourself in the mirror, which is why it looked like you. I heard the bang and ran outside to find you lying on the grass … Can you walk?”

"No. It hurts. But I need to catch up with my family. We are on our way north but stopped here to rest and eat. They are leaving soon and will leave me behind. What can I do? I am scared … and very hungry.”

"Well, stay here, little birdie, and I will bring you some food. You'll be safe here." With that, Touché went to his secret stash of treats he kept in a dark closet in the house.

“Here’s something to eat.”

“I’m sorry, Touché, but I can’t eat it. I only eat seeds or worms, which I find in the ground under the grass.”

Touché began frantically digging in the grass, trying to find a worm …

Dad runs outside and yells, "NO DIG! How many times do I have to tell you? You're ruining our lawn.”

"No Dig"

Head hung low, Touché returns to the little bird. "I'm sorry, Robin, I don't have seeds or worms. I'm just a dog; I don’t eat those things,”

“That’s my Dad. I call my human guardians Mom and Dad. Of course, they’re not really my mom and dad—they’re humans, after all. But they take such good care of me like a mother and father.

“I used to have a different Mom and Dad, but they couldn’t take care of me and gave me up. It’s called adoption. My new Mom and Dad are very nice. They care for me and say I’m in my forever home.”

Robin ruffled her feathers, trying to be brave. "It's okay, Touché. It's not your fault. It's just that our world is changing.

Robin eating a berry“In the spring and summer, we are in our homes in the north where the food is more varied and plentiful – we love worms – and we raise our families. But we can’t stay there all year because it gets too cold in the winter. 

So we fly a long way to the south. There we find lots of trees and bushes with berries. It's warm there, but we know it will soon get too hot. Each spring our inner senses tell us that we must fly back home in the north.

“It’s a very long trip, and we must stop to eat and rest.  The places where we used to rest and feed during our travels are disappearing. It's harder to find food and shelter each year.

"Our navigators complain that everything is different every year. Our favorite stopping places are not there anymore . . . The navigators get very confused."

Touché tilted his head, trying to understand. "But why? What's happening to your resting places?”

Robin sighed. "It's because of what humans are doing. They build more and more, and our natural habitats are being lost. We rely on these places to rest and regain strength during these long migrations. But now, we're finding it harder to locate safe spots."

"That sounds tough," Touché empathized. "But why does it matter so much? Can't you just find new places to stop?"

"It's not that simple," Robin explained. “We follow ancient routes passed down through generations. Our navigators learn these routes, which are based on certain land features and climate conditions. When our usual stops are gone, it throws us off.”

Whare Can We Go

Touché nodded. He began to understand the gravity of the situation. "So, by the time you realize it, you must be exhausted. You’re just ending a very long flight. What happens when you can't find these places?"

”We struggle," Robin admitted. "Some of us can't make it any further. They either starve or become too weak to continue the journey. It's a big problem for many bird species, not just mine."

Touché looked around the garden, his eyes thoughtful. "Is there anything I can do to help? I may be just a dog, but I want to help."

Robin chirped softly, a hint of a smile in her tone. "Just being aware is a start. You can ask Dad to create a safe place for birds like me in your garden. Plant native plants and keep cats indoors.

Even have a bird feeder like you have that I can't access now because of my leg.”

"That's a great idea, Robin!” Touché barked excitedly. "I'll tell Dad everything. We'll make our garden a sanctuary for you and your friends.”

Robin's spirits lifted. "Thank you, Touché. It's heartwarming to know there are friends like you who care."

Robin's Dream GardenAs Touché bounded off to find Dad, Robin felt a glimmer of hope. “Maybe, just maybe,” she thought, “if more people and pets understood the plight of migratory birds, they could make a difference, one garden at a time.” While waiting for Touché, Robin dreamed of being in a magical garden.

Touché raced back to Robin, his mind whirling with plans. "Don't worry, Robin! I've told Dad everything. He's calling a friend who helps injured birds."

Robin's eyes widened with a mix of hope and fear. "But my family, they're getting ready to leave. If I don't go now, I'll be left behind.”

Touché sat beside her, trying to be comforting. "I know it's scary, but we must ensure your leg is better. If you try to fly now, you might hurt yourself even more. You won’t get to your destination.”

Bandaged RobinJust then, Dad arrived with his friend, Mrs. Jenkins, who carried a small box of bird care supplies. She gently examined Robin's leg. "It's a sprain, but it's not too severe. With some rest and care, you can fly again.”

Robin looked at the sky, where her flock was fluttering restlessly. "But my family... I can't lose them.”

Mrs. Jenkins with RobinMrs. Jenkins spoke softly, "I understand, Robin. Birds have strong bonds. But if you leave now, you might never keep up with them. Let's fix your leg and give you some food and water. You'll need your strength."

Reluctantly, Robin agreed, and Mrs. Jenkins carefully bandaged her leg. Touché watched, feeling helpless yet hopeful.

As the sun set, Robin's flock ascended into the sky. With her bandaged leg, Robin could only watch them disappear into the horizon. Tears filled her eyes as the reality of her situation sunk in.

Touché nuzzled her gently. "I'm sorry, Robin. We'll take good care of you. Who knows? Maybe you can join another flock, or yours might return for you.”

Though heartbroken, Robin found comfort in Touché's words and the kindness of his human friends. As night fell, she nestled into a cozy box that Mrs. Jenkins had prepared, with Touché lying beside her, guarding her through the night.

The following day, Robin felt stronger. Her leg was still sore, but the pain had lessened. Touché, wagging his tail, said, "Good morning, Robin! How's the leg?”

"It's better," Robin chirped, testing her weight. "But I don't know what to do now. I'm all alone."

Touché's eyes sparkled with an idea. "Maybe you're not alone after all. We can help you find another flock, or maybe your flock will return. And until then, you have us."

Robin felt a warm glow in her heart. Though she had lost her family, she had found unexpected friends in Touché and his humans. Together, they would help her recover and find her way back to the skies, proving that friendship and kindness can make all the difference, even in the most challenging times.

They sat quietly, Robin staring wistfully toward the horizon.

Touché jumped up. He tilted his head one way, then another like he was trying to listen hard. ”Do you hear that, Robin?”

Are you coming, Robin?

Not understanding the acute hearing skills of dogs, Robin replied, "No. Hear what?"

"It sounds like lots of chirping."

A tiny dark cloud appeared on the horizon. The cloud grew bigger and bigger, and the chirping became louder and louder.

"It's my family! They came back for me!"

Robin jumped up and began to flap her wings. "Ouch. It hurts," Robin exclaimed. "I need to fly, but I can’t! What can I do?"

The duo realized Robin could not run fast enough to lift off. They needed a plan … and quickly. The flock looks pretty anxious, flying overhead.

"I've got it," cried Touché. "I will be your launching pad. I want you to climb onto my back and cling on tightly. Then, I'll run across that field as fast as possible until you get airborne. That will work."

"That sounds okay, but how will you get to the field? There's that fence around us.”

"I've never done it before. But I'm sure I can jump over that gate. It's our only hope to get back to your family … so have faith, and let's go!"

"Climb on my back," he said, laying down as low as he could. Robin limped and struggled. She used her beak to help pull herself onto Touché's back. It was hard, but she finally made it.

"Okay. Hold on tight as I’ve gotta leap over that fence." Touché walked to the end of the yard, turned,

Hang on tight, Robin"Here we go. Hang on tight," he screamed  As Touché ran as fast as he could toward the fence.

As he accelerated, he felt confident, jumped with perfect timing, and cleared the fence.

"We are in the field, Robin! Are you okay? ”

“Yes, Touché! Please dash as fast as you can. I'll hold out my wings until I feel myself lifting. 

“I'll be able to get up there. I see my flock, and they see me. I hear them cheering."

Touché gathered all his strength and dashed across the field, Robin clinging to his back. The wind rushed past them. Robin spread her wings wide, feeling the air beginning to lift. Her heart pounded with hope and fear.

Running to take offTouché ran faster than ever, his eyes fixed on the flock in the distance. "You can do it, Robin!" he barked encouragingly.

The tall grass seemed to open up for them as Touché sprinted straight ahead, his ears flopping in the breeze.

As they neared the end of the field, Robin felt a surge of strength. She flapped her wings. To her amazement, she began to lift off  Touché's back. "I'm doing it! I'm flying!" she chirped joyously.

Panting heavily, Touché watched in awe as Robin soared higher and higher, joining her flock in the sky.

Robin Takes Flight

Seeing their lost member return, the flock chirped and fluttered excitedly, rearranging themselves into a heart-shaped formation as a farewell gesture.

Robin, now high above, circled once above Touché. "Goodbye, my awesome friend!" she called down. "Thank you for everything. I will stop by next year. See ya!"

Although Touché felt very sad to see Robin fly away, he barked happily, wagging his tail as he watched his new friend disappear into the horizon with her family. He felt a sense of pride and joy in his heart, knowing he had helped a friend in need.

Robin's flock shapes a heart

Touché trotted home. He couldn't wait to tell Dad about their incredible adventure.

Robin's brave journey and unlikely friendship would be a tale they both would cherish forever.

And in the depths of his heart, Touché knew that the following spring would bring another reunion with the brave little bird he had helped save.

The End  –  Not 🙂


Robin takes off

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