ALL through the afternoon I had been trying to arrange in my mind thoughts of what I took to be a legend of the robin. I could not quite make out, how much was imagination and how much memory of some tale, heard or read long before.
I thought of a long past day, dark with unutterable gloom, when even the birds must have been silent with a tremendous sorrow. I thought of how one small brown bird had plucked at the thorny crown on a wondrous Head. I saw the breast of the bird all stained with flaming crimson as it pressed its heart hard against the thorns, striving to tear away the twisted wreath that pierced that sacred Brow. I thought of how through all the centuries afterwards the robin red breast had carried the mystic mark from that divine scene of sorrow. I sat at my window wondering over the scene, wondering if I dare attempt to write the story. I sat alone in the house watching the beauty of the spring day, watching the silvery golden afternoon light on tree, and field, and far hill-side. Noting unconsciously, the blue of the sky, the deep gray masses of cloud; the quiet beauty of the whole in contrast to the dule and sorrow of that long past day. That scene I was trying to picture in words. Suddenly as I had almost arrived at the full picture of the bird, trying its utmost with beak and claw to tear those thorns from that Brow; I felt almost a presence with me, and my heart and face smiled, as a robin flew on to my window, lifting its crimson breast to the sky it lighted on the sill settling but an instant, then flew into a tree just out of sight, and burst into full song. Then I knew that it was permitted to me, to write again the story of why the robin carries its crimson breast.