The Cardinal Bird And The Robin

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) by Daves BirdingPix

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) by Daves BirdingPix


“The cardinal bird,” said daddy, “is a very superior bird and will not come down to the ground. The lowest he will come is to a bush, but he never hops along the woods or lawns, no, not he!

“One day Robin Redbreast was walking on a green lawn. He stopped several times to pick up a worm from the ground, swallow it whole and then walk along. In a tree nearby he spied the cardinal bird.

“‘Hello,’ he said cheerily. ‘Won’t you come and have a worm with me? There are a number in this lawn, and the good rain we had last night has made the ground so nice and soft. Do join me,’ he ended with a bright chirp.

“‘No, thank you,’ said the cardinal bird. ‘I wouldn’t soil my feet on that ground. I hate the ground, absolutely hate it.’ And the cardinal bird looked very haughty and proud.

“‘Come now,’ said Robin Redbreast, ‘you won’t get your feet dirty. And if you do,’ he whispered knowingly, ‘I can lead you to the nicest brook where you can wash them off with fresh rain water. Do come!’

“‘I cannot,’ said the cardinal bird. ‘I do not like the earth. I want to be flying in the air, or sitting on the branches of trees. Sometimes I will perch for a little while on a laurel bush—but come any lower? Dear me, no, I couldn’t.’

“‘It’s a great shame,’ said Robin Redbreast. ‘Of course there is no accounting for taste.’

“‘Thank you for inviting me,’ added the cardinal bird politely. For he prided himself on his good manners.

“Pretty soon some people came along. At once they noticed the beautiful cardinal bird. He wore his best red suit which he wears all the time—except in the winter, when he adds gray to his wings. His collar and tie were of black and his feathers stuck up on top of his head so as to make him look very stylish and fine.

“‘Oh, what a wonderful bird!’ said the people. Mr. Cardinal Bird knew they were admiring him, of course—and so did Robin Redbreast. No one had noticed him, but he didn’t care, for he knew Mr. Cardinal Bird was by far the more beautiful, and a robin hasn’t a mean disposition.

“Well, when the cardinal bird heard the praise he began to sing—a glorious high voice he had, and he sounded his clear notes over and over again. Then suddenly he stopped, cocked his head on one side, as though to say,

“‘And what do you think of me now?’

“From down on the ground Robin Redbreast had been listening. ‘Oh, that was wonderful, wonderful!’ he trilled.

“‘Listen to that dear little robin,’ said one of the people. ‘I must get him some bread crumbs.’

“When the bread crumbs were scattered over the ground, Robin Redbreast invited the cardinal bird down again thinking they were for him! But the beautiful, proud bird would not come down, and the people were saying, ‘After all there is nothing quite so nice as a dear little robin.'”

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Ian

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Ian


Lee’s Addition:

When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2 NKJV)

Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see. None of this comes from the Father. (1 John 2:16 CEV)

I think our Cardinal friend in this story was just a little bit too proud. Our friendly Robin was trying hard to offer the Cardinal a good meal and to encourage our Red bird. Do we act more like the Cardinal or the Robin?

(Also: Cardinals in real life do not show false pride.)


Another Bird Tales


Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories – Gutenberg ebooks


Mary Graham Bonner

With four illustrations in color by
Florence Choate and Elizabeth Curtis

Daddys Bedtime Story Images


These stories first appeared in the American Press Association Service and the Western Newspaper Union.

Many of the sketches in this volume are the work of Rebecca McCann, creator of the “Cheerful Cherub,” etc.

Daddy's Bedtime Bird Stories by Mary Graham Bonner - 1917

Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories by Mary Graham Bonner – 1917



Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) ©©Flickr



  Bird Tales






  Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories




Spanish Sparrow (Passer Hispaniolensis) female ©WikiC


  Wordless Birds





Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) - ©WikiC



  Cardinalidae – Grosbeaks, Saltators & Allies Family



American Robin (Turdus migratorius) eating by Jim Fenton


Turdidae – Thrushes Family


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