ALL the sparrows that lived in a great elm standing in a city, had met in the morning after the first fall of snow to hold a consultation.
"This snow," began an old sparrow with a twisted bill, "is something I don't like. Robin Red Breast told me a month ago that it would come, and said we should do better to fly away to the South with him, but I thought I would stand by the tree. I felt badly enough when they took us out of our English oak and brought us across the sea, for I am a homebody. But this snow! I don't know where to set my feet, or pick a crumb for breakfast."
"Can't we go back to our English oak?" asked a younger sparrow, "it isn't so cold there."
"Not if they don't choose to carry us," said the old sparrow.
"I have heard," said another, "that the people who live in these beautiful houses around the park are very kind, and will give us plenty to eat if we will act a bit friendly. Let's go over to that balcony. I see a little boy behind the glass looking at us now, and he looks kind and gentle."
So there was a whirring of wings, and all the sparrows went over to the balcony, making the light snow fly as they alighted.
How the little boy's face brightened as they came. "I wonder if God sent the little sparrows?" he said, for he had just been reading how God gives the lilies their beautiful dress, and how He feeds the little birds. Just as he read, " Your Heavenly Father feedeth them," he looked over to the old elm, and they all came to him in a flock.
"What does it mean, mamma," he said, calling his mother to him (for he was lame), and telling her all about it.
"God has given you plenty of crumbs and a pair of hands to scatter them with," said his mother. "Perhaps that is the way our Heavenly Father wants to feed His sparrows."
A few minutes later the happy-faced boy was scattering crumbs on the balcony to as happy a group of sparrows, and every morning and evening all winter they came to their young provider for breakfast and supper, and the little lame boy and the merry sparrows grew to be great friends.
A Fictional Short Story by
Agnes Taylor Ketchum & Ida M. Jorgensen