The first sparrow lived in the city. Insects were her food. She had to battle buildings and bridges to source her meals. Though there was always somewhere to hide, the city was a noisy, scary place to be. She happened across a spot for her nest amongst the rusty pipes and cold, brick walls in an alley where few cats and even fewer people visited. There was very little time for rest, except at night when everything in the city seemed to dim. This provided the sparrow at least some opportunity to gather the energy needed to head out in search of food. She thought about her babies all of the time and this kept her motivated to keep searching and searching for insects despite their scarcity.
Each day was very similar. Even as the seasons pushed the year along, the heart of the city remained mostly unchanged. The chicks had never seen beyond the walls of the alleyway, so motivating them to fly was hard to do. The sparrow no longer brought their food to them but encouraged them to leave the nest by dropping what insects she could find in an open, concrete space, gradually making her babies fly to the window sills, then to the tops of buildings. Before the next season, the sparrow’s work was done and her babies no longer needed to come back to the nest. Sparrow felt content, knowing that the city would provide what it could for her and all future sparrows.
The second sparrow lived in the country. Insects and seeds were her food. She had to battle crops and open forests to source her meals, though there was always plenty to eat and drink. All this food meant that danger was never far away. She spent time finding the ideal spot for her nest high in a pine tree, hidden from the snakes and cats. There was very little time for rest. Even at night, the sparrow remained on her guard, ready to protect herself and her babies.
The country was an unforgiving place for a sparrow. The cold winters were long and the warmth of the summer sun was, at times, nearly unbearable. But, she pushed through the challenges, always thinking about her babies and the satisfaction they brought to her life. The chicks, however, had other ideas and keeping them confined to the nest was proving to be more difficult. The sparrow decided to teach her babies to fly. Through a series of fumbles and foleys, they learned to tame the basics of flight. Before long, the sparrow had only herself to look after, yet, she was content, knowing that the country would provide all of the food, shelter and love her family would ever need.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
Illustrations by Alisha Towers: FACEBOOK
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