I’m standing outside. I hear a bird chirping.

I look down. It’s is a baby sparrow. His song is fearful.

A weakling, he’s been tossed out of the nest. His siblings watch from above.

“Better you than me,” they seem to be saying.

I reach down and scoop him up. He’s quiet now.

He looks at me. I look at him.

I’ve got customers. I can’t waste time with a bird.

I place him in the flower bed. Let nature do its thing.

Over the phones, past the traffic, through the glass I still hear him sing.

I go back outside.

He looks at me. I look at him.

I make a phone call. Then another. Someone’ll be right over.

I get a take out cup, something we use for soup, poke a few holes in the top, and put the bird inside.

The clock ticks. People wonder what I’ve got in the cup.

“Nothing,” I say.

The old man comes. Damaged by people he prefers little things.

“Where are you taking him?” I ask. The old man smiles and tells me not to worry.

I open the lid. I look at the bird. He looks at me.

Closing the lid, I hand the cup to the man. He drives off.

The best part of my day goes with him.

I go inside and wash my hands.


Sparrow — 9 Comments

  1. Seriously, an incredible piece of writing. Do you ever submit collections of your “rants” anywhere? I edit a college literary journal, and I only wish I’d had submissions like this come through in our Creative Non-Fiction category.

    Kudos to you, waiter, you balance your inherent irony with a good amount of subtle compassion.

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