Um. Hello? Hello, everyone. My name’s Mildwyn.
I’m a robin, as you can see, and I’m new around here. (I thought it was a bit scary at first, but don’t tell anyone. I mean, there’s a gargoyle living in this house! How weird is that? Even though he’s actually very nice, when you get to know him. But still). You might be wondering how I came to be here, and – well. It’s a long and sorry tale. I came across the world in a tiny box, you see, and I got lost on the way. I was sure I was never going to make it all the way to Ireland but then, just as everyone had given up on me, it all came good. Gripping, isn’t it? I think so. Maybe they should make a movie out of it.
Here I am with my new friends. Cuthbert is the smaller of the two (he’s the gargoyle, but ssh! Don’t tell him I told you), and Buddha’s on the other side. He’s quiet, is Buddha. Does a lot of smiling, but not a lot else. Cuthbert’s the chatty one.
You may have met them before, he tells me.
The first thing they did was bring me to see the Hardinge collection. (Keep it to yourself, but I’m really not sure what that is. I oohed and aahed at all the right times, though, and tried to look impressed. Cuthbert took a photo for posterity).
Afterwards, Cuthbert told me that the lady who wrote all the books in the Hardinge collection is one of the best writers in the world. I don’t know how he knows, but he was pretty sure about it, so I guess he must be right. The covers were pretty, though. One of them even matched my feathers, almost!
Did you know robins are supposed to live outdoors? When we left the Hardinge collection, Cuthbert kept trying to shove me out the windows, telling me to ‘fly’ (he didn’t seem to understand that I’d already flown halfway across the world, and he told me that didn’t count, which I thought was a bit mean, but we’re friends again now). I did go and have a peep outside, but it seems far too cold out there for me. I come from a hot country, don’t you know? I’m not ready for all this frost, and stuff. Nope.
Plus, when we went into the living room there was another robin there. He was bigger than me and he was a bit on the quiet side, but Cuthbert made a rude face when I told him ‘Look! This robin’s not outside, but you’re not shoving him out the window, are you?’
But don’t worry. We made friends again. I think it might take him a little time to get used to me, though. I’m not sure why. I have a feeling it’s because the human who lives here (well, there are two, but I’m talking about the shorter one, who spends a lot of time on her own, talking to herself) got emotional when I hopped out of my box yesterday. She got a bit teary-eyed and sobby, you know what I mean? I don’t know why. But she was smiling, too, so I guess it was a good thing.
Who knows, eh? Humans. They’re all a bit weird. Not like us robins.
Anyway, Cuthbert loves this short, strange human and so I suppose he feels a bit jealous that now he has to share her love with me. But she looks like the type who has plenty of love for all of us. I don’t think he needs to worry too much.
My favourite bit of the tour was meeting Elfie. She lives among the books, like a guardian (even though Cuthbert wants me to point out that he’s the guardian of the whole house, which includes all the books, and Elfie is only his helper, so that’s clear). Anyway, Elfie was very lovely.
So, phew. That was a lot to fit into one day, right? I’m off now to get some rest and find out what robins eat. Things are very different here than they were in Australia, where I was born, but I’m sure I’ll be very happy. One thing’s for sure: the short weird human loves me, and that’s all I need. I think she’ll take great care of me, and of Cuthbert and Buddha and Elfie too, and even that silly poser robin on the mantelpiece. I think I might have to learn to read, though, because there are a lot of books here, and they all look awesome.
It was so much fun to meet you all. I’m sure I’ll see you all soon! This is Mildwyn the robin, signing off, but if you need me you know where to find me.
(And if you don’t find me where I’m s’posed to be, ask Cuthbert. He seems to know everything around here).
My sincere thanks to my gentle friend Kate for making my beloved Mildwyn and sending him across the world to me for my birthday present. I hope this post will help you not to fret about your dear little robin, Kate, and reassure you that he’s among friends! (Don’t worry – I’ll keep an eye on Cuthbert) – S.J.