Jenny Wren

By Jay Laverick

Jenny Wren was a kindly bird who was known for thinking often of others, helping many fellow birds whenever they had troubles. Only a few weeks before she had assisted Mr and Mrs Robin to escape an attack from a ferocious Hawk. She had used her wit and speed to distract and lead the bird of prey away whilst the couple gathered up their eggs and found a new safe place to hide.

But know she knew now she was ready to start laying eggs, she had a partner and as is customary he had built a beautiful moss and leaf nest in a mighty oak tree next to the great river. She was happy and content and only had to find a beak full of feathers to complete her home.

With her rich brown plumage and short cocked tail she spent a day a flight, searching the trees and hedges for the discarded plumage of other birds. Tired, hungry and dejected she returned to the mighty oak, having found no feathers, to rest and think out her plan for the next day.  Her friend Mr Robin was flying up the river and noticed Jenny sat looking forlorn. He circled and perched next to her, asking how her day had been, immediately she began to sob and told her tale of a wasted day and how she knew she would be laying her eggs soon and likely as not, if she didn’t have better luck tomorrow she would be having her chicks in an incomplete nest.

To the little Wrens surprise Mr Robin paused briefly, gave his apologies and headed off back down the river from where he came, heading for Mr and Mrs Sparrows nest. Feeling a little upset Jenny just managed to snaffle a Daddy Long Legs crawling along the branch, which would do for her supper then headed for bed.

Shortly after sunrise with the Dawn Chorus in full song she headed across the river to hunt the hedgerows she had not covered the day before, after much searching and diving and a close call as she encountered an old Barn Owl in his nest who eyed her hungrily, she once again returned to the home Oak fatigued, hungry and more than a little miserable.

As she felt the pressure from inside her due to the nearness of her eggs to make the next part of their journey, she wondered how she could ever finish her little home. As she looked at her small feet her attention was caught by a great commotion coming from downstream. She looked to see a large bird heading towards their part of the river bank and fearing an attack from a bird of prey, she backed into her nest with just her beak and eyes looking out following the flight of what she could now see was a tremendous creature with a large brown wingspan, heading directly for her Oak tree. Poor little Mrs Wren was terrified as this animal landed on the branch by her nest with its ferocious long sharp claws biting into the wood. To make things worse this monstrous being still had the remnants of its last poor prey sticking from its mouth.

Clearing its beak on the branch of the Oak the bird spoke with a deep and assured voice “Mrs Wren, are you home?” cowering in the furthest point of her nest she meekly called “I am, but please don’t eat me as I am carrying children” at this the large bird boomed with laughter, tipping back his great head and beak. “Little Jenny” he said “I received news that a tiny little wren was in need of feathers for her nest and I have flown from the great forest with these for you”. Slowly emerging and more than a little shocked Jenny saw that his face wasn’t covered with the remnants of dinner but it was in fact a large stack of every kind and colour of feather that she had ever seen.

The great Buzzard smiled kindly and began to tell the tale of how Mr Robin had spoken to Mr Sparrow, who had told the Blackbirds, who had passed on the message to the Finches and so it had proceeded until, carried on the song of what seemed like every bird, he had heard the story of a kind, helpful and selfless Wren who needed a little support herself. “It may be so that birds prey on birds” the great animal said, “but we all live in the same great world and can only exist when each other does”. Please accept these feathers as a gift from all of the birds who live by the river and I hope you have a successful brood. With a wink, he took off and flew back down the river to return to his wood.