A half-grown robin, smart for his age and equipped with a gigantic hunger, has been demanding free board from Mr. and Mrs. Carl J. Chiaretto of 41 Dodge Avenue, since he crashed into their lawn three weeks ago.

Worms, blueberries, strawberries, fresh bread and hamburger vanish in split-second time down the maw of this brash bird that decided to roam before he could fly right.

Despite his appetite, the robin has been accepted as a pet by the Chiaretto family, which also includes three-year-old Terance, whose nickname is "Peppy," Carl, 6, and Dorine, 9.

After leaving his nest somewhere in the neighborhood, Mr. Chiaretto told a reporter, the adolescent bird was found by Mrs. Chiaretto, who brought him indoors for feeding.

The mother bird tried, by swooping in the direction of home, to coax the roamer back to his nest. But as he couldn't fly at the time, it did no good. The wise young bird stuck around the Chiaretto home. He liked the food there.

Becoming tame in a short time, the robin now flies about inside the house, when permitted, and often alights on the outstretched arms of the children, or on the back of "Spunky," the family dog. Spunky takes a dim view of that, however.

Once when Mr. Chiaretto was painting from a ladder, the robin flew onto his shoulder. He was seeking aid for a long piece of grass stuck in his throat. "I pulled it out," Mr. Chiaretto recalls. "He peeped a couple of times, then flew off."

The still speckle-breasted bird has lately taken to prolonged daytime flights returning for supper at dusk. These excursions followed pointed snubbings by both Spunky and Peewee, the family canary. The robin is called "Jamie" by young Peppy Chiaretto, in honor of a playmate. Carl calls him "Lazy" — because, says Carl: "He's lazy."

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.