Books about animals are almost inevitably sad and it came to a point where I just had to stop reading them.
“Providence of a Sparrow” by Chris Chester, for example.
A bird story that reduced me to a quivering wreck. It was so terribly poignant and about a sparrow.
The little bird in this picture reminded me if that.
Two days ago, when I was outside, I noticed that it did not fly away as sparrows usually do when approached.
What this told me is that there was something wrong, even though it was pecking happily at the seed.
After I took these pictures, it flew off.
“Maybe he’s OK”, I told myself.
But yesterday he was on the back patio, alone.
Sparrows always seem to be in a flock.
And this morning, after the snow, there he was again, looking forlorn and cold.
We debated what to do, if anything. To cause more harm is cruel. But what if it just needs to rest and recuperate in a warm, safe place?
Maybe it flew into a window? I’ve often picked up birds that were stunned in that way. They sit in my hand while I talk to them softly, then they poop and fly off, after a few minutes.
Somewhere, I read that these birds don’t, in fact, survive, but maybe some do. I hope so.
The perfection of the feathers and the fragility of this little bird touches a place deep in my heart.
It’s not “just a sparrow”. It’s an amazing and beautiful creation of Nature.
The sparrow Chris Chester wrote about apparently touched him in the same way. So it’s not just me.
Grant and I thought we would offer our bird a safe warm place, if it was receptive, but as expected, it flew off and I haven’t seen it since. I must learn to accept these things.
Nature knows best, but mankind challenges her so cruelly.
After the sparrow flew off, I looked up and saw another creature approaching through the new snow.
How beautiful is she?
Then mother arrived, cautiously.
If I was to move too quickly, or open the door, they would flee, which they should. I will never attempt to befriend them. Their safety depends on their fear of humans.
But I sit on the floor and watch them and maybe they can read my thoughts. They are very aware of us.
The cats definitely read my mind and so do birds.
Not my thoughts, of course. My intentions, my heart.
I’ve always felt one with animals. I care for them far more deeply than for any human being.
Because they are all so vulnerable to our emotionally bereft species.