I am quite captivated by the works of Frances Hodgson Burnett since reading Unearthing The Secret Garden, by Marta McDowell. Included in that book is a short memoir — the story of the little English robin that inspired the robin in The Secret Garden. My Robin is a lovely book to read on a gray and rainy afternoon.
I did not own the robin—he owned me—or perhaps we owned each other. He was an English robin and he was a PERSON—not a mere bird. An English robin differs greatly from the American one. He is much smaller and quite differently shaped. His body is daintily round and plump, his legs are delicately slender. He is a graceful little patrician with an astonishing allurement of bearing. His eye is large and dark and dewy; he wears a tight little red satin waistcoat on his full round breast and every tilt of his head, every flirt of his wing is instinct with dramatic significance. He is fascinatingly conceited—he burns with curiosity—he is determined to engage in social relations at almost any cost and his raging jealousy of attention paid to less worthy objects than himself drives him at times to efforts to charm and distract which are irresistible. An intimacy with a robin—an English robin—is a liberal education.
This story is also available in book form, as an e-book, and as a short audiobook through Audible. It’s a sweet little read, especially for those of us who loved The Secret Gatden.