The Bluebird and the Afghan
By Shannon Redmon
She pulled the blanket off her daughter’s bed and gave it a lingering glance. It seemed so long ago when her mother had wrapped her up and, together, they had watched the bluebirds nest outside the window. Goldie had passed on the tradition to each of her children, but after a good cleaning today, the afghan would retire.
"Whatcha’ doing, Mommy?"
Goldie turned to see her eight-year-old daughter, Violet, standing in the doorway.
"I’m spring cleaning your room, and thought I’d wash this blanket to store in the closet."
"But Mom, I need that blanket … for my tent!"
"Yes. I’m building a tent in my room, and I need this blanket for the roof." Violet grabbed the corner.
"But honey, this blanket has holes in it, not to mention the one growing in the middle. Your roof will leak!" Goldie tugged back.
Her daughter’s determination surfaced. "That’s my observation area. I can gaze at the stars through the opening."
"Okay you can have it … but only for a few days."
Several weeks passed and Violet grew bored with her inside tent. Soon the spring weather beckoned her outside. When it did, Goldie dashed up to her room looking for the "starry" observatory, and found the blanket wadded up in the corner.
"Well, at least I can take care of you now."
As she descended the stairs, Goldie heard the back door slam.
"Mom, I’m home!" Her son’s arrival stopped her journey to the laundry room. She bundled the afghan in her arms.
"Hi Son! Did you have fun at Grandma’s house?"
"Yeah… Hey, is that my old blanket."
"Yes it is. I took it from your sister’s room and was going to wash it. I hope to find a nice, safe place for it to live out the remainder of its days … and from the looks of this hole that might not be many more."
"Aw, Mom … I need that blanket."
"It’s for my … uh … my fort! I’m going to make a fort with it!"
Timmy grabbed the blanket from her and ran upstairs. Goldie yelled after him.
"Okay, you can have it … but only for a few days!"
Several weeks passed and Tim grew tired of the indoor fort. He turned his interest to fighting enemy soldiers outside in the spring sun. Goldie was watching from the kitchen window when a bluebird building his nest caught her eye.
"I bet you don’t give into your kids like I do."
The bird flew back and forth, bringing a variety of worms, bugs, and straw to his family. Small beaks grabbed his treasures while he perched at the door.
"Well, maybe you do."
The sound of the basketball on the pavement diverted Goldie’s attention to her son and daughter playing a game of H-O-R-S-E. A grin crept onto her face.
"Now’s my chance!"
She raced upstairs to her son’s room and glanced around till her eyes saw the old blanket secured in the corner over two chairs. Even the toy army men guarding their prisoner could not prevent its rescue.
A few suds and swirls cleaned the blanket right up and Goldie basked in her accomplishment.
"Some warm weather and fresh breezes should give you the aroma of spring."
She headed out to the clothesline underneath the deck to hang her treasure.
Behind her, quiet footsteps emerged.
Goldie jumped and almost lost hold of the blanket.
"George! You scared me to death!"
Her husband stuck out his lip in a boyish pout. His hands appeared from behind his back and held a bouquet of jonquils.
"Oh … how sweet. But you need more than flowers for that scare!" She kissed his cheek.
"Then how about a picnic? We could take this old blanket and spread it on the…"
"Oh no! I finally got this afghan cleaned and there is no way it will hit the ground. However, I would like a picnic … just up on the deck."
George agreed, and after some fried chicken legs and corn cobs, Goldie descended the deck steps to remove her blanket to its final resting place. Her feet halted at the sight below.
"George! Come here!"
The whole family rushed down to see what had happened. George’s wife stood laughing as she pointed past the clothesline to the bird house. The hole in the blanket had grown bigger and the unraveled thread led straight to the culprit.
"Okay, Mr. Bluebird, you can have it … but only for a few days!"
Shannon Redmon loves God, her family and writing! When she isn't writing, she homeschools her children, enjoys singing to Jesus and for those really creative moments, breaks out the oil paints. She desires to glorify God, encourage believers and bring the loving truth of Jesus to those who do not know Him. If you would like to write to Shannon, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.