That Girl’s Blog: The Little Girl With The Robin’s Egg

“Were you the little girl with the robin’s egg?”

It takes a lot to catch me off guard with a random question… This one did.

“In elementary school… Hyannis West… Maybe first or second grade… Did you bring a robin’s egg to school?”

As a matter of fact, I think I did. It was strange that a story from four decades ago would suddenly drop on my desk. We all know Cape Cod is a small place and Facebook makes it even smaller. You see, a co-worker of mine had been chatting with a woman several days ago who suddenly asked if “That Girl In The Morning” (AKA: Cat Wilson), was Catherine Wilson who went to Hyannis West elementary school?

Yes I am. I went to Cookies Pre-School Center for kindergarten, Hyannis West for first, second and part of third grade and finally Centerville thru fifth grade, until we were all corralled into the Sixth Grade Building in Hyannis. And yes, I was the little girl who brought the robin’s egg to school. I was also the little girl who brought the Monarch and Swallowtail butterflies to school… and the occasional bucket of polliwogs, too. I was THAT little girl.

“Did something happen to the egg and you cried in front of the class?”

Yes. The egg broke. I cried – just like any little girl would cry at the thought of a baby bird never hatching as she stood there with a gooey mess on her desk. I cried.

And thank you, my friend and co-worker, for bringing back such a horrible memory from my childhood! I suppose, my response was a way to prove that I was not a likely to grow up to be a serial killer in my later years. That said, it was an odd moment in my life for someone else to remember.

A day or so later, I connected with my old classmate who resurrected the broken robin’s egg from so many years ago… FORTY YEARS AGO!

We sent a few messages back and forth. We were in homeroom together at Haynnis West Elementary School. Apparently it was a vivid childhood memory for her. She even thought she could remember what I was wearing that day!

Why has such a seemingly insignificant memory stuck with her for so long? After all, I was the one who had been set up and embarrassed and teased. 

 She said she didn’t know, but it’s a vision that she has carried through her entire life. ‘Perhaps,’ she said, ‘because it’s the first time I saw someone make someone else genuinely sad for no valid reason.’

Then it came back to me. The egg broke because someone pushed me or knocked me or deliberately poked the shell, and I cried. In my mind, someone had murdered a baby bird that I had taken responsibility for. And they teased me. Whether they were teasing me for crying or bringing the egg to school in the first place was irrelevant. I am sure the egg had been pushed or fallen from a nest and was never going to hatch, but you cannot explain that to a little girl with a big imagination.

I walked to and from school in Hyannis. I remember there were days when I ran the entire way home so I wouldn’t get picked on. I hated walking home from school.

Throughout elementary school, I was teased for a lot of things I did. I remember being called “Butterfly Lady” on the bus in Centerville… Not in a way that an adult would own the title, but the way a few little boys call someone a name because they are a little odd, and happen to like something outside of ‘normal’ school stuff. I can remember one day when I brought a great big moth to school in an empty box of kitchen matches. The boys took the box with the (dead) moth from me and laughed and chanted “Butterfly Lady! Butterfly Lady!!!” I hated taking the bus. Occasionally I cried. 

As a little girl, I was told that children will ‘grow out of’ mean habits like name calling and teasing and bullying. Some do. Some don’t. I think you can see it in them when they are adults either way.

You can also see the compassionate people who witness such mean actions and empathize, or try to stop them. 

By the way, I still enjoy watching butterflies and seeing baby birds in nests. It’s been a while since I caught a polliwog, but if you have a net and a bucket, I am up for the challenge. I am still THAT GIRL, after all.

Would you like to share a story, or add to mine? Feel free to send me an email: 

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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