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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)

TITLE: Help From A Sparrow
By david grant


A sparrow’s been watching me from outside my second-floor bedroom window. She looked at me from out on that branch yesterday, shook her head, and twittered to harmonize with my complaining. Well, I was glad she was out there suffering in the cold wind. Can’t say I appreciated her criticism anyway.

When I woke up this morning she was there, watching silently as I knelt in prayer and badgered God about my sleepless night. She was still there when I came back from wrestling my son out of bed. It’s a wonder I ever get that boy to school. I bet she doesn’t have that problem.

Downstairs I yelled at my wife because she was too slow with breakfast. I kicked at the cat, too, and spilled coffee on to my laptop computer. I was fuming and fussing at everything and everybody. Sure enough, when I looked out the kitchen window, she was there, my sparrow, peeking in at me with a worm in her mouth. Did she look a little confused?

I got in the car. My son got in the back seat, my wife cowered in the passenger seat next to me. Stupid car wouldn’t start! Paid $25,000 for this deluxe hunk a junk and it betrayed me again! The sparrow came back, and perched on the pink flamingo in the yard. Of course she stared at me again. Where’s the cat? Son, how come you always let the cat out when we leave but not today?

So, I went to work and my sparrow was waiting for me when I got home.

I ignored her and everyone else, and went to my den to watch TV. Couldn’t turn the TV up loud enough, she was chirping so loud! It was like this sparrow was sitting on my shoulder. She was driving me so crazy I actually went to my gun cabinet, snatched up my largest rifle, and ran outside. I was going to end this feathered voyeurism right then and there.

She was in the tree outside my den window. All I had to do was aim and pull the trigger. Suddenly the ridiculousness of the whole situation struck me. Headline: “Man blows away little bird with big gun! And half a tree. And half the neighbors tree too!”

For goodness sake, it was only a little sparrow! So I dropped my gun to my side and stared into the tree. In another moment she leaped off the branch, dove right at my face, pulled up just in time, dropped her worm on my shoulder, and flew away.

That was a funny thing for a little bird to do. Maybe there was a message in that somewhere but I wasn’t sure what. Then I heard my wife’s voice behind me.

“I think she felt sorry for you, “ she said.

“What?” I stormed back.

“I said I think she felt sorry you. She’s been watching you. You should be so secure in your big warm house, surrounded by all your possessions, yet you look so unhappy.”

“What right does she have to judge me?” I growled. “I AM happy!”

“Well, not in her eyes, dear. That‘s why she gave you her dinner. ”

I had no words to fight the rebuke. Remorse rose slowly in me, and then sadness gripped me. I had been so stupid.

“Well, then, won’t she go hungry?” I asked.

“Maybe. Maybe not. Unlike someone else I know, she knows she has a heavenly father to provide for her. She doesn‘t need to fuss or worry.”

“Oh, I get it. His eye is on the sparrow, right?”

"And how does the last line go, my dear?” she said humming her way back in to the house.

I stood alone in the yard, thinking, for a long time.

Finally, I had prayer.

“God? It’s been a while since I called you Father. I’ve been father here, and it hasn’t been easy. I guess in all my fuming’ and cussin’ I plumb forgot there was somebody watchin’ out for me, all of us really. Thank you for asking that little bird to sit outside my window to remind of you. Amen.”

With deep respect I laid the worm in the grass, walked back in to the house to tell my wife I was taking her out to dinner, and I began humming.

Dog-gone-it! Now how am I gonna get that song outta my head!

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This article has been read 952 times
Member Comments
Member Date
janet rubin02/27/06
I really love your style and the humor. The "lesson" and change of heart were a bit too neat and tidy for me, but I still enjoyed this.
Lynda Schultz 03/01/06
I liked it! Good humor, (especially: "Headline: 'Man blows away little bird with big gun! And half a tree. And half the neighbors tree too!'") with a great lesson.
Jan Ackerson 03/03/06
What a wonderful, laid-back voice you have! In the first half of your story, I was reminded of Poe's "Raven", who just wouldn't go away! Very entertaining read.
Amy Michelle Wiley 03/03/06
I especially enjoyed this since my nic name is Sparrow. :-)
Kenn Allan03/03/06
There is some great humor here. I especially like the line, "'What right does she have to judge me?' I growled. 'I AM happy!'" Funny stuff!
Cheryl Harrison03/03/06
Oooh, you remind me of the guy I spoke to the other day... I told him to "have a nice day" and he growled back at me..."don't tell me what kind of day to have..." Glad to see your day improved. Keep up the good work! :o)
Suzanne R03/04/06
And now I'm singing that song too ... but am not in a rush to get it out of my head.

Touching! Thanks.
Karen Rice03/05/06
For a moment there, I was afraid you ran over the cat...

I really like your style!

Good writing! (and thank you for the morning laughter)
Shari Armstrong 03/05/06
A very nice lesson -well done.
Beth Muehlhausen03/10/06
Cute, witty, honest, and inspiring! Enjoyed seeing things from a more transcendent point of view.....

Would enjoy reading a series of stories like this one - !