How about a Christmas story today? “The Legend of the Christmas Robin” reminds me a little of the hymn we never sing at church, “The Friendly Beasts,” which tells of all the animals’ gifts to Baby Jesus. This story tells of the robin’s gift.
That first Christmas night was extremely cold and a breeze blew constantly into the stable where Mary lay with her baby, Jesus. The fire in the stable, the only source of heat, was about to go out and all that Mary could do was call the surrounding animals for help. She asked the sleeping ox, lazy donkey, horse and the sheep, but they were either of no use or just refused to help. Suddenly, Mary heard the flapping sound of wings. A robin had heard Mary’s cry for help and had flown to the stable to help her out. The robin flapped his wings hard at the dying embers until the fire was rekindled and became bright red. He fanned continuously, flapping hard so that the fire never went out and it kept the baby warm. To ensure that the fire stayed alive, the robin used his beak and dropped some dry sticks in the fire. This caused the fire to rise abruptly and it burnt the breast of the bird. Despite the burns, the bird didn’t worry about himself and continued fanning so that the infant could be kept warm for long enough to sleep comfortably. Mother Mary heartily thanked the robin for his efforts, saw his breast that was now red with the burns, and blessed him for his bravery and selflessness.
Sweet story, isn’t it? It’s a Pourquoi tale at heart, telling why the robin’s breast is red, but I like the Christmas connection. That’s two Christmas Pourquoi tales in a row for me. Maybe next week I’ll talk about the poinsettia and it’s connection to Christmas.
I found one picture book on Amazon that tells the story, The Christmas Bird. I haven’t read it, but the story seems like it would make a lovely book for young children.
Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all.