It sounded like a distressed bird. Neil listened intently. Was it coming from the basement?
Neil's feet scampered down the basement steps. Then he stood silently, pricking his ears to catch any chirping sound. Was it in the basement somewhere? It wasn't the usual tweet-tweet of contentment. This bird was desperate.
Following the direction of the distress call, Neil headed toward one of the cellar windows. He wasn't aware that birds could make such an unusual sound. He dragged the gray bench over to the window, then stepped up on his tiptoes so he could look out. There in the window well was a sparrow.
It was huddled in a little ball. Its body was still covered with fuzzy hair, although it had obviously had sprouted a few new feathers on its wings and tail.
A feeling of sympathy welled up inside Neil. He needed to rescue this fledgling sparrow.
He noticed, however, that the little sparrow made not a squeak of noise. Where was all the chirping coming from? A close look showed two full-grown sparrows hopping about frantically, close to the window well. They hopped from one ivy vine to another. They fluttered in the air, flew about, landed close to window and looked down at the tiny bird. Their chirping continued at a stressful pitch. They were desperate.
Neil stood back far enough so they would not see him. What's causing them to act like this? Neil wondered.
One of the grown sparrows flew away, wasn't gone long, then dropped seeds down the three-foot drop into the window well.
The baby bird hopped toward the seeds and within a moment had gulped some down.
"That's the parents!" exclaimed Neil, aloud. "Their little bird probably tried to fly for the first time. It left the nest on its own, then fell into this window pit. The parents are all worked up because their little one can't get out. The male bird is providing food by dropping seeds so the little one can survive until it's rescued. I must call Daddy so he can open the window and rescue the little bird."
For about fifteen minutes Neil and Daddy watched nature's act through the basement window. Then Daddy opened the window, reached out, and cradled the tiny bird in his big hand. He handed it to Neil, then closed the window tightly.
"Oh you poor thing! Your wings aren't strong enough yet, and you would have died if you wouldn't have had such a concerned mama and daddy. Aren't you awfully glad that they care that much about you?" Neil asked the furry little ball. "Your parents were awfully upset when you got yourself into trouble."
Daddy's strong hand rested on Neil's shoulders. "Yes, those sparrow parents were awfully concerned about their little one. God gave special knowledge to birds and animals to care for young. But He has given human parents greater concern and responsibility for their offspring. Humans not only have a body to care for like this bird, but human parents have the additional care of their children's spiritual safety."
Neil looked up into Daddy's blue eyes, then glanced down at the rescued bird once more.
Daddy continued. "Now that you're becoming a young man, you're somewhat like a fledgling. You are trying your own 'wings' more and more. But never forget, son, our concern goes with you, wherever you may fly. God has given your mother and me this fear for your safety, both physically and spiritually. Don't be angry with us when we 'chirp' our concerns or corrections to you. Our prayers, love and fear for your safety will follow you long after you have left our nest."
A special thanks to The Wallings for typing up this story for Anabaptists!
From Stories for Every Season
by Verna M. Martin
© Christian Light Publications
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