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  • March 20: It's the first day of spring but it feels like early summer, it's so warm outside. The sun is beaming, the daffodils are smiling, and the cherry trees are blushing. Birdsong is blaring all around me. I'm strolling along beautiful Berkeley Street, savoring the promise of the day.

    Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a robin fluttering wildly on the ground. I think, "How cute, it's frolicking and cleaning its feathers in the dust." (Birds do that, don't they?) It thrashed around for a few seconds, and then flipped over on its back and lay still. I could see that it was still breathing, but it just lay there, motionless. I stopped and watched it for a minute or so, hoping it was just resting. It was still breathing when I continued along my way to an appointment in Harvard Square.

    Half an hour later when I walked by again on my way home, the bird was clearly dead, its crimson breast a spot of color on the drab earth.

    Robins are harbingers of spring; is it a bad omen that I witnessed a robin's death throes on the first day of spring?
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