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Against All Odds

January 18, 2012

I am combating foster–empty nest syndrome. It’s not my familial nest that is empty but Sophie’s. Sophie, the robin who has been sitting on three blue eggs in the pink dogwood tree just outside my office window, abandoned her nest last night. It was a magnificent structure. To make the inside so soft and bowl-shaped  she had  pressed her rounded breast into the material she’d gathered and painstakingly plastered with mud. She shaped it like a potter might use his hands, only Sophie-bird had used her heart.

A crow discovered the nest two days ago and swept in for repeated attacks—I’d warded off two assaults myself, leaping up from my desk in such a way as to forever skew my top desk top drawer which now won’t open, but I knew I could not always be there and that the crafty crow, a hulking black shadow, a menace to all small things that  sing, would succeed in his lethal mission, sooner or later. And he did.

Yes, Sophie was one of a billion robins, collectively known as a “worm” of robins—like a “pride of lions”  and a “murder of crows.” (Don’t have to be a writer to get the metaphor on that one) And yes the statistics are that only 25% birds fledged even make it to fall, but: she was a good mother. Or at least the best she could be.

Write about someone who did the best she could against the odds.

Improve it: Go back through and add three similes—fresh and original ways of contrasting two unlike objects that illuminates your meaning. Example: the crow was as black as menace, he struck boldly in broad daylight, like a burglar who knows you are unarmed.


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