Goldenrod returned to his tree by himself, cradling the little magnolia blossom the whole way and saying the sweetest words he could think to say: “Oh, you lovely beautiful pretty magnolia blossom, sweet and dainty lady, precious adoring darling.” He patted its petal and kissed it over and over again. When he finally reached the tree, he shouldered the blossom carefully and scrambled up the branches that led to his nest.
“Mama!” Goldenrod’s mother and all of his siblings were home now, and his shrill bellowing sent them all running over at once with concerned looks and concerned voices; “Goldenrod! Are you all right?” “What happened, Goldenrod?” “Did something hurt you?” “Did you fall off of something?” Goldenrod shook his head at all of them and said, “I found this poor little magnolia blossom, and she’s hurt. Mama, please make her well again!”
“Goldenrod,” said one of his sisters, “magnolia blossoms aren’t ‘hims’ or ‘hers.’ They’re not like birds. They’re just blossoms. And it’s not hurt. It’s fallen from the tree, that’s all.”
Goldenrod refused to accept this. “But oh, just look at her!” he cried. “She is hurt, and I know she feels it! Please, Mama, please do something!”
The mother finch took the blossom from Goldenrod and looked it over carefully. His brothers and sisters gave him odd looks, and he overheard one of his brothers whispering, “Has he gone mad?” Goldenrod glared at him, but said nothing. His heart and his mind were entirely focused on the poor blossom.
Finally, his mother sighed and said, “Goldenrod, I don’t know what I can do for this blossom. Once it’s fallen from the tree, there really isn’t much you can do to keep it alive.”
“Then let her stay with me!” Goldenrod cried. “I’ll take care of her! I’ll talk with her and tend to her all day, and sleep with her by my side all night. Can she stay here, Mama? Please?”
Goldenrod’s mother smiled and said, “I certainly don’t see why not.”