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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Honoured Friend



Time for another introduction. I’m busting to let you know about my little friend who features in my masthead. My darling Sparrow with a Prosthetic who sits on my kitchen bench (my bench is yet another story to be told another time).

While this might actually be a finch, for me it’s a sparrow. Sparrows hold a fond place in my heart since they are so common in NZ, and not so common over here. I so love their gentle, unassuming natures, and I especially love the sweet story of how male sparrows came to have dark feathers down their chests.
Whenever we see sparrows, I relish the opportunity to retell this gentle, and to me humorous, story to the girls:
A kind old woman would always feed the birds that gathered on her lawn under the cherry tree. As the days passed, she noticed that some birds would eat a great deal, while others seemed to struggle to snatch even the smallest crumb. As she continued to watch, she decided to tie little aprons round the necks of the greedy birds who always pushed in to the front at feeding time. If she marked them in this way, she thought, she could allow the birds without aprons to receive more food. As it turned out, all the ones who received greedy aprons were males. To this day male sparrows wear dark little aprons.

So my fondness for things NZ and for sweet stories explains why I have a ‘sparrow’, but not why I have Sparrow with a Prosthetic. Well, Little Sparrow was bought at a $2 shop in Oakleigh (another story for another time…I LOVE Oakleigh!), and tucked into my Bulging Mother’s Handbag. I think the very first time Sparrow was shoved in there between Emergency Rice Crackers and Just in Case Container of Sticky Plasters, its little leg broke. Oh! Too sad! However, since Little Sparrow had already won a place in my heart with its dear little face, Broken-legged Sparrow had to find an honoured position on my Bench of Treasures. This is where I house all the special wonders the girls bring to me: Kinder art works, wild flowers snatched from the nature strip en route to and from school,  and now this sadly sweet, now disabled Sparrow. From this honoured position, whenever activated by movement, Sweet Broken Legged Sparrow would tweet cherrily to me.

Although, over time, Sweet Broken Legged Sparrow began to tweet the tweet of an ever-flattening battery, it still lived in its honored position. Finally, on a trip from NZ, my Dad, the master of all things gluey, performed a Glue Job (also worthy of another story on another day), and transformed Sweet Broken Legged Sparrow into Sparrow with a Prosthetic Who Cannot Any Longer Sing.

Now, whenever I look at Sparrow with a Prosthetic Who Cannot Any Longer Sing, I am reminded of so many things. Of sparrows and NZ, of greedy boys and bibs, of fathers with great love, and of the transforming, restorative power of patience and care. And so Sparrow with a Prosthetic Who Cannot Any Longer Sing seems a wonderful mascot for me as I journey into a new world of blogging.

Since I strongly suspect none of you has a Sparrow with a Prosthetic Who Cannot Any Longer Sing, I wonder if any of you have a Bench of Treasures?

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