Right outside my office window a Red Robin set up her nest in the elbow of some old antlers that are there by my back door. For many days she would fly each time I came out the door but gradually we developed a level of trust and eventually she would perch on the edge but not fly. Later she didn't even bother to get up. Then came the hatch and three hungry mouths could be seen, wide open waiting to be filled. A male robin came to help with the feeding chores and the chicks grew fast.

For a few days the dragonflies were active so the birds had plenty of food.

About two days ago she quit feeding the chicks and I thought maybe something had happened to her. But then I would see her out in the yard and I put two and two together. The chicks were ready to leave the nest and the only way she could get them on their own was make them hungry and want to leave. It was time for them to be on their own. She knew if she kept feeding them they would never leave.

Is there a lesson in this story? Look around us at the people who have never learned to fend for themselves. Someone has always provided food, shelter and medicine for them. There are more jobs than there are people and still they go unfilled. Businesses have had to shut down or curtail activities for lack of help. Yes no one ever kicked them out of the nest. We talk often about the greed at the top but talk little about the greed at the bottom. This country will be great again when everyone who is capable pulls his or her own weight.

Mike Holst