Richer or Poorer  

Patrick figured he should keep quiet for now.  Everything he said was going to make matters worse.  The two sat quietly.  They knew they loved each other, but having a disagreement was painful.

Suddenly, the silence was broken by the sound of something ripping open.

"The bus seat!" exclaimed Cricket.  "Someone is ripping it up!"

"HEY!" said Patrick.  "STOP!  That is Guinney Gumdrop's seat!  You can't tear that up!"

At first, Cricket and Patrick could only hear ripping and clicking sounds.

When they looked very, very carefully, they could see that a pair of robins were busy tearing into the bus seat, and pulling out the stuffing, piece by piece.

A pang shot through Patrick's heart to see Guinney's chair ripped up.

"Who ARE you?" he demanded to know.

The robins flew over to talk to the sheepies right away.

"We are so sorry we upset you," they said.  "We are going to have babies soon, and we have no where to lay our eggs.  We are poor and have nothing at all.  We just wanted a little stuffing to make a nest soft and safe."

"Don't you know it's WRONG to take something that isn't yours?" Patrick scowled at Mr.Robin.

"Please forgive us, Mrs.Dog. You must have babies of your own.  You both seem so rich, you seem to have everything you need," said Mrs. Robin.  "I only want what is best for our babies."


"I am not married yet, Mrs.Robin," said Cricket, "but I do understand.  I also understand that the bus seat is very special to Patrick, and now that it's torn, it cannot be put back together."

"We'll make it up to you somehow," said Mr.Robin.  "We're really, really sorry. The pressure of getting ready for our babies hs really gotten to us."

Patrick thought about what they were saying. He knew what it was like to worry about bills, but he and Cricket really DID have everything they needed. 

Guinness would have been happy to help the little birds.  His heart softened as he realized that life goes on, and in this small way, perhaps Guinness was still doing good for someone.

"I"m sorry I lost my temper," said Patrick.  "Please take all the stuffing you need. And we will make sure to keep clean water here in the bird bath for you and your family.  It would be an honor if you would stay and sing in our beautiful garden. You can even put your nest right in the GumDrop Tree.  We'll protect you."

"Thank you!" said Mr.and Mrs. Robin to Patrick and Cricket, "you won't regret it!"


Cricket was so proud of Patrick.  "We really DO have everything we need," she thought, feeling very "rich" inside with all the right treasures.  Cricket forgot all about their argument as she watched the robins splash in the water with happiness.

"Cricket, would you like to pick out our dog tags tomorrow?" asked Patrick.

"I would love to!" said Cricket, feeling very proud of the dog she was about to marry.