The Magical Blue Bird

Myrtle and Tyrtle are sister and brother. They live in a cosy cottage in a small village called Nestling.  They like to play together especially in the garden, making dens, mixing mud pies, digging holes and playing animals.  Sometimes they get annoyed with each other’s behaviour and prefer to play alone, but mostly they get on well.

In their garden they have a pond, 2 bird tables, a vegetable patch, a hammock, a swing and a fire place with lots of sticks for making things with. At the very end of their garden lies a piece of woodland called Nestling Wood.  It is home to many old and young trees as well as wildlife.  Myrtle and Tyrtle love more than anything to play in the woods and as they do this quite often they know it pretty well.

Each morning Myrtle and Tyrtle are given some seeds to feed the birds. They place some in the bird feeders and some on the ground, then hide in their den to watch the visitors.  They often see a scampering squirrel, some wood pigeons and a confident robin.  One morning though, a new and strange bird came, one they had never seen before - It was entirely blue with a long feathery tail and it began to sing an enchanting song that to their surprise they could understand.

What it said was this:

“I am the blue bird that comes from afar,

I am the call of the shining star,

When you listen to me, you will soon see

some wishes and dreams come to thee.”

The blue bird then flew away leaving the children looking up at the sky to see where it had gone. They could not see it and it did not return the rest of that day, nor the next day, nor the one after that.  

On the fourth day as the children went out with the bird food, there on the ground lying quite still lay the very same blue bird. Myrtle and Tyrtle slowly approached it, Myrtle reaching out to touch it.  It felt warm and soft and she could feel the fast beat of its heart.  She carefully lifted it into her hands and carried it inside.  

Looking at the sick bird their mother decided it needed looking after and suggested the old bird cage of grand dads stored in the attic. Tyrtle excitedly went to fetch it whilst Myrtle sat calmly stroking the blue bird.

Once the cage had been cleaned they carefully placed the blue bird inside on a soft bed of cotton wool. 

They enjoyed having something to look after and named their new friend Blue after her striking plumage.  They tried out lots of different foods to see what Blue most liked.  They tried porridge, raisons, sweet corn, flapjack, apple slices and even cooked pasta!  Which food do you think Blue liked best?

Each day that passed Blue got slowly stronger and more mobile.  Then one day, a week after she had arrived she sang a new song and it went:

”Come fly with me some day and see,

come ‘n play with ladybird and bee,

we’ll go on a journey, where the eddies flow,

passing fields and gathering our meals,

we’ll head on west to build our nests,

with moss and mud, feather and fluff,

we’ll gather all that’s needed, such cosy stuff.

Come fly with me some day and see.”

I wonder, if you could, would you fly with Blue and where would you like to go?

That same day Blue began to flap her wings again and again. The children and mummy knew it was time to let Blue out into the garden again, after all whats the point of having wings if you can’t fly free?  Myrtle and Tyrtle glumly carried the cage outside and opened the cage door. Blue flew away all too quickly, doing a loop around the cottage and was then gone. The children felt very sad and soon Tyrtle became bored and Myrtle grumpy, “Oh would this day ever end?” they sighed.

The next day the children hatched a plan.  They would go in search of Blue in Nestling Wood.  With great excitement the children packed a rucksack with important things.  

What do you think they took?

They chose a water bottle, a packed lunch with quite a few snacks, a torch and a warm coat.  The explorers were ready to set out. They had permission to play outside all day but needed to be back before the sun had completely set.

It was a sunny day and the forest was full of life.  They followed the paths they knew well and used their senses to listen to the sounds around them, look at the colours of nature, breathe in the smell of the leaves and earth.  As they walked they picked up sticks, looked inside hollow trees and held interesting pebbles.

As they wandered Myrtle heard something that made her stop suddenly. It was a faint chirping sound.  Her eyes followed the sound to the base of a big field maple tree and lying there was a small fledgling - a young bird that is just learning how to fly.  To her amazement the bird looked up at her and said in a chirp that Myrtle could understand.

“Oowwww, I was trying to get out of my nest but flying was harder than I expected and I began falling down really fast. I bumped into a few of the leaves then landed here on this piece of moss. I am sore and I want to see my mummy. She’s all the way up there in this tree.”

It just so happened that one of the children’s favourite pastimes was climbing trees and they had practiced it a lot.  “Test every branch”  was their tree climbing motto. They could see this was a healthy tree with plenty of green leaves on living branches. Myrtle who was wearing dungarees said she would place the fledgling in her front pocket and return it to its nest.  She began to climb up the tree checking each branch whilst the fledgling kept his eyes out for his nest.  Luckily for them the nest wasn't too high and they reached it quite quickly. 

Inside the nest a very surprised mummy goldfinch cried out “Oh Oscar you’ve made it back.  Thank you sweet child for returning him to me.  How can I repay you?”   “Well” said Myrtle hopefully “we are searching for a friend of ours, a beautiful blue bird with a long tail? ‘Oh, the blue bird,” replied mummy goldfinch ‘the bird of dreams and legends, she passes over this way each day as the sun begins to set.”  “Thank you” said Myrtle “we shall wait here then” and she began to climb down the tree.  “To say thank you for bringing Oscar home I shall call on my goldfinch friends to give you a gift to keep you warm as you wait” chirped out mummy goldfinch. 

Imagine the children’s surprise when a charm of fifteen goldfinches flew around them dropping off bits and bobs of moss and leaf, stick and feather whilst others assembled them in circle around the children. they could soon feel a new warmth that surrounded them.  They ate their snacks and drank their water after which because of the soft warm nest around them they felt rather sleepy, and after their long walk thought it would be okay to have a short little nap.  They both soon sank in to a deep sleep.

And in this deep sleep they began to dream a magical dream. It began with the children snuggled in the nest when they felt a soft light tickle. Still within the dream they opened their eyes and saw beside them nudging them awake their friend Blue. But she was much bigger than usual, even bigger than both of them. Blue opened her wings spreading them out wide and laying them flat to make a platform that invited Myrtle and Tyrtle on. The children crawled onto her wings enjoying the softness of her feathers and wrapped their arms around her neck. Blue steadily came to her feet and began to beat her wings. The sound it made was loud and the children could feel Blue’s muscles contracting as she prepared for lift off.

In no time at all they were flying upwards up, up, up she flew, above the canopy of trees, above the wood, and looking down they saw the paths they had taken. She flew towards some cumulus clouds that looked like candy floss. The children squealed as a delicate shower of cool misty water droplets refreshed their faces.  They felt so alive. Blue flew onwards heading for some multicoloured coloured clouds. She flew right though them as they mutated from one colour of the rainbow to the next, soft hues of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Taking the children further they circled the whole village dancing above the cottages and homes of animal and human, insect and plant, element and atom. Blue weaving shapes and patterns that spread ideas and imagination to all that lay below. The children watched bubbles of cloud light falling softly onto the land below. When the dance was complete and rest was needed Blue began the return journey to the nest, travelling once again through the rainbow candy floss clouds, back down into the canopy of trees to return into the nest made for the children by the goldfinches upon the ground of Nestling wood.

Upon waking their minds were full of the beautiful dream they had had and with much excitement they shared their tale with one another and were amazed to discover that they had both had the very same dream.

However time had passed and sure enough the sun was just starting to set with strips of pink and red filling the sky.  Quickly Myrtle and Tyrtle gathered their things, said farewell to the goldfinches and began their journey home.  

It took them some time, walking over some fallen trees and around some brambles, but they didn’t mind.  As they walked Tyrtle said “We had such a special day that I no longer miss Blue”. “Yes” said Myrtle “I feel her in my heart as a warm glow”. So hand in hand the children walked and talked of their garden, and their dens and planned what new one they would build and new games they would play, forest explorers, saviours of the planet, discoverers of the universe? 

They arrived just as the last of the sun was disappearing behind the horizon and the aroma’s of supper awaited them.  Their mother came out to greet them holding something in her hand.  “Children” she said “I found this lying on the back door step.  I think it must be from Blue”.  She held out her hand and lying there was the most beautiful fluffy feather, a gift indeed had been left by Blue. Little did they know that the blue feather they now possessed had magical powers of its own. But that’s another story….