Watercolor Journal - Mary's First Friend

Based on “The Secret Garden,” by F. H. Burnett

“Mistress Mary went a step nearer to the robin and looked at him very hard. "I'm lonely," she said.

She had not known before that this was one of the things which made her feel sour and cross. She seemed to find it out when the robin looked at her and she looked at the robin….. Suddenly a clear rippling little sound broke out near her and she turned round. She was standing a few feet from a young apple-tree and the robin had flown on to one of its branches and had burst out into a scrap of a song. Ben Weatherstaff laughed outright.

"What did he do that for?" asked Mary. "He's made up his mind to make friends with thee," replied Ben. "Dang me if he hasn't took a fancy to thee."

"To me?" said Mary, and she moved toward the little tree softly and looked up. "Would you make friends with me?" she said to the robin just as if she was speaking to a person. "Would you?"   (From Chapter 4, the Secret Garden)

April at the Colorado River. 1981

April at the Colorado River. 1981

How lovely to remember our children reading this story.  Now, our oldest granddaughter is reading about the same mysterious garden, and the robin who knew where it was.  Generations of children have played outdoors, laughed at the antics of the wild things, and imagined they were friends.  Grown ups are no different.  Ever try to entice a squirrel to come close with a peanut?  While hiking once with Gary, we came upon a huge bull moose.  The surprise and fear gave way to the realization that he did not mind us being there.  We weren’t exactly “friends” with him, but for a moment, he was allowing us into his wild world.  Thrilling.