Mary’s Sparrow

by Susan Sundwall –
Twigs snapped and feathers swirled as the little bird landed hard on the tree branch. The terrible storm that dashed her nest to the ground had blown furiously, lifting her high and away into the sky. Chilly desert air settled around her as night fell. Alone and frightened, she tucked her head beneath a tiny wing and tried to sleep.

When dawn broke there was no friendly bird chatter to comfort her. The ancient wind-bent tree stood alone over a battered stone well on a long stretch of road.

Ting-ching. Ting-ching. The bird picked her head up at the strange sound. Harness bells danced to the rhythm of a caravan and she watched a ragged line of camels come towards her. The camel driver gathered the animals to the well and one plodding old camel stopped beneath the branch where the bird sat. The man in the saddle nibbled on a seed cake. It looked so good! The camel looked up. “Are you out here all alone?”

Yes,” the little bird said, “My home was blown to bits and I don’t know where I am.”

“Come with us,” said the camel kindly. “We are near the end of our journey. You may find shelter in the village where we stop.”

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