All the birds of the sky came to the robin and asked her to teach them how to build nests. For the robin is the most clever bird of all at building nests. So the Robin put all the birds around her and began to show them how to build a nest. Firstly, she took some mud and made a sort of round cake with it.
“Oh, that’s how it’s done,” said the bluejay; and away it flew, and so that’s how bluejays build their nests.
Then the robin took some twigs and arranged them round in the mud.
“Now I know all about it,” said the blackbird, and off he flew. That is how the blackbirds make their nests to this very day.
Then the robin put another layer of mud over the twigs.
“Oh that’s quite obvious,” said the wise owl, and away it flew, and owls have never made better nests since.
After this, the robin took some twigs and twined them round the outside.
“The very thing!” said the sparrow, and off he went; so sparrows make rather messy nests to this day.
Well, then the robin took some feathers and stuff and lined the nest to be very comfortable.
“That suits me,” cried the starling, and off it flew. That is why
Starlings have very comfortable nests.
So it went on. Every bird took away some knowledge of how to build nests. But, none of them waited until the end. Meanwhile, the robin went on working and working without looking up till the only bird that remained was the turtle-dove. The turtle dove hadn’t paid any attention all along, but only kept on saying its silly cry “Take two, Taffy, take two-o-o-o.”
At last the robin heard this just as she was putting a twig across. So she said: “One’s enough.”
But the turtle-dove kept on saying: “Take two, Taffy, take two-o-o-o.”
Then the robin got angry and said: “One’s enough I tell you.”
Still, the turtle-dove cried: “Take two, Taffy, take two-o-o-o.”
At last, the robin looked up and saw nobody near her but the silly turtle-dove. She got very angry and flew away. She refused to tell the birds how to build nests again. And that is why different birds build their nests differently.