Friday, May 27, 2005


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.

Are you sure the old man isn't going to kill it?
Deep...very deep.
You just made my whole day. Beautiful.
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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