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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Wow! (03/11/10)

TITLE: The Truth About Sparrows
By Melanie Kerr


Hank stroked a feathered wing gently over the curve of one of the grey and white speckled eggs in the nest. There were four of them arranged neatly among the dry moss. They were still warm from the heat of Sally’s body and Hank settled himself down for his shift. He’s heard somewhere, gossip exchanged among the crows, that talking to chick in the egg was beneficial. Singing was perhaps a little better, but Hank knew that he was no singer. He was always relegated to the back row when the Dawn Chorus welcomed the sun. It had been suggested to him that perhaps he should just mime to the words, rather than actually sing.

“Aw, Bob…I can’t wait till you’re hatched!” Hank had named the eggs. The other gossip among the crows was that whatever Sally had been eating at the time of laying would influence whether the bird was a cock or a hen. She had been pecking at the suet balls hanging from the tree in number 27, Sycamore Close. Cock birds for sure!

“Aw, Bob…Just wait until you see what’s outside the egg! Colours like you can’t imagine. Blue, Bob…the whole sky is blue, stretching from one end to the next.”

Hank moved on to the second egg, placing his grey cheek place next to the smooth surface. He gently rubbed the egg, checking carefully for signs of life.

“Aw, Magnus…just a little longer…a day or two. It’s a really big world, Magnus, but don’t be scared. Once you start flying…those distances become nothing much at all. Flying, Magnus…it’s a glorious thing to do. First time is bit scary mind you. You get to defy gravity…so the crows say. I’m not quite sure what gravity is…but you get to defy it anyway!”

Hank hopped to the other side of the nest to speak to the third egg. He rested his fine black bib, carefully on the shell. He inhaled the fragrance of Sally that still clung to it.

“Aw, Eric…you and me are going to catch some worms. Wet and juicy, twisting and tangled in the soil, we are going to drag them out of their worm holes. There’s nothing so nice as worms, Eric.”

He moved to the fourth egg. Hank was aware that he shouldn’t have favourites, but he loved the pattern of speckles on this final egg. He carefully picked away a stray feather stuck to it.

“Aw, Hamish…there’s a secret you should know, passed on from one generation to the next. And such a secret it is! It’s worth more than all the blue skies, and all the miles of flying and eating all the juicy worms. The Creator made you and He loves you!”

It was difficult for Hank to hold such knowledge in his heart. He lifted his head, opened wide his beak, and sang a melody of pure joy. It didn’t matter the Creator, like it mattered to the Dawn Chorus, that he was not quite pitch perfect. There were millions of sparrows in the world. They were not an endangered species, but Hank knew, as all sparrows knew, that when one of them fell to the ground, the Creator knew about it. The creator knew the number of feathers on his wing and the number of fleas in each feather! Hank knew that he was fearfully and wonderfully made. That the Creator should love him - a small and rather insignificant little bird!

“Wow!” he sighed, and Hamish’s egg began to roll gently first one way, then another.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 03/19/10
This is out of the egg...I mean, out of the box:) Cute story.
AnneRene' Capp03/22/10
Since I am a critter lover, always enjoy an animals POV. The Gossiping Crows were pretty darn cute.
Beth LaBuff 03/22/10
I had to laugh at "he was relegated to the back row when the Dawn Chorus welcomed the sun. It had been suggested to him that perhaps he should just mime to the words…" I loved the reminder that "when one of them fell to the ground, the Creator knew about it." This was fun to read and had a lot of Biblical truth in it!
Jackie Wilson03/23/10
Hank is a bird I think I could be friends with! Wonderful character, and so many delicious details in this story!
william price03/24/10
I think I sit next to Frank. Great, cute, entertaining story. God bless.