Little sparrow had nothing to eat. She had looked around, but all the food she saw was claimed by bigger birds before she could grab it. Little sparrow felt sick with worry. She turned her head this way, that way, but there was no solution in sight. She was so frail, so weak! never mind that she liked to think of herself as a sister of the eagle, quite conveniently forgetting to acknowledge the contrary evidence every time she took a sip of water and a little sparrow looked up at her. She could fly, could she not? She could find food, build a nest and raise her little ones just like Big Eagle could. Poor little fool of a sparrow.
She took tentative little jumps and looked into the Rat's burrow. Rat had a bad reputation, but Little Sparrow had broken through Rat's moods and nastiness and found that he was not so bad after all. Perhaps Rat would give her some food for her very little sparrows. The burrow was empty of occupants, and she dared not enter to look for food, lest Rat came back and reacted before recognized her. She shuddered as she remembered the fate of other, bolder creatures. Rat could be fearsome, specially for someone so weak and frail as her.
She then flew to Rabbit's hole. Ms. Rabbit was kind and gentle, and her own wee sparrows usually played with the cotton tailed little rabbits. She was a mother, and she would understand.
-Hello, Little Sparrow!
- Hi and how do you do, Ms. Rabbit?
- None too well. Mr. Rabbit has not returned and I have nothing to start today's meal!
Little Sparrow swallowed hard, smiled a little sadly and bade her friend goodbye. There was no point in asking her for what she had not.
There were many animals all through the field, but she could not go to Fox, or to Snake. She tried digging for worms, but it was late and all the early birds had got them. She watched Squirrel run all over the trunk of her tree, and the little squirrels were happy gnawing at the nuts they had stored. Why couldn't she store worms like that? She would have tried it but she feared worms would go bad if stored when dead, and somehow she did not think live worms would stay to be happily eaten in her nest.
She was so sad she felt like crying, but her birdies would wonder what was wrong, and she had not the heart to see sadness in their merry little eyes. So she went back to her nest, where she found her little ones blissfully asleep. She felt another shudder, knowing well the hunger that would strike her babies come tomorrow, and she fell asleep praying, asking for God's mercy and shedding pitiful little tears.
Next day, Little Sparrow woke up to the happy chirping of the babies. There was food! So many seeds! They had appeared out of nowhere, and were in a little box next to her nest. Little Sparrow felt a surge of joy in her little heart and let it out in a song full of gratitude and joy
From the shelter of the shadow in a bush, Little Boy watched as Little Sparrow hopped around her nest in glee. He had watched her with his glass all afternoon the day before, and felt sorrow in his heart for the helpless creature. That night, while Little Sparrow prayed for help, Little Boy had a prayer in his heart as well. He asked God to help the birdie and protect her, because he was such a little boy that couldn't do much to help her, and there were other, bigger People who could do it better than he. He also asked God to deliver him from the Big Ugly Dog of the new neighbor. In the night, he dreamt that come morning, he'd take a little box full of seeds and place it next to the little Sparrow's nest…
To be continued…