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The Sparrow That Fell
By Anna Fuller
Although I've always loved birds, like many people, I'd never taken much notice of sparrows. Now it's one of the highlights of my day to watch the big noisy happy families of sparrows feeding on the lawn. Indoors, one of their relations sits on my shoulder and pulls my hair with his beak.
Three summers ago I found a sparrow chick that had fallen from its nest high up under the eaves. I thanked God for letting me find it, for otherwise it would have quickly died. I remembered that God sees every sparrow fall and I felt that between us, God and I would take care of this little naked fellow. I got all the info I needed from the zoo bird-keepers and a bird sanctuary, and set about raising the chick. I was heartbroken when two days later the chick died. It had been doing so well and I had felt so confident. Soon after, a second chick I found also died. I wondered why God had got me involved in sparrows if they were just going to die.
Then someone arrived at my house with another chick and asked me to take it. The chick thrived. He consumed vast amounts of food, grew a lovely set of feathers and learned to fly up and down his box. As soon as he saw me he would go into begging mode, vibrating his wings and calling out. Yes, I was "Mum" to a sparrow. After 3 months of full-time care and feeding, I felt "Mister Brown" was ready to face the world. I was sad at the thought of letting him go and anxious for his future, but I don't believe in making pets out of wildlife and wanted him to join his big family on the lawn. But then I was told by several people that hand-raised sparrows don't usually survive. Apparently wild sparrows will attack and drive away or kill a stranger to the flock. The newcomer, short on survival skills, cannot fit in with the others and doesn't know how to find wild food. What to do with Mister Brown? I don't have an aviary and cannot afford to build one. I tried to find him a good home in an aviary. Nobody wanted a sparrow. So I bought a big indoor flight cage and Mister Brown became a member of the family.
He flies freely around the room, visits his budgie buddie and hops back into his cage when he wants to eat, rest or sleep. Every day when he sits on my hand I marvel at the beauty of his feathers and the wonderful detail of every part of his little body, his bright sparking eye with tiny eyelashes, his fun-loving and cheeky personality. Over the years many visitors and children have admired him, saying they hadn't realised how pretty and intelligent sparrows are. Every day he brings us joy. Sometimes (often) I feel sad that Mister Brown has not had the chance to live a normal life, but then I remember that God saw him fall from his nest and brought him to me. He has shown me and the visitors to my home that every creature is a beautiful individual, no matter how commonplace and numerous. Now I know why God got me involved with sparrows!