Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
One might only hope that this self-important Christian anthropocentrism is only the result of a poor translation, but sadly that’s not the case. One can be reasonably assured that, each Sunday, the puppy millers are all singing hymns in church.
Even Islam, where the spittle of dogs requires a seven-fold washing of the hands, appears to do more for the sparrow.
Whoever kills a sparrow or anything bigger than that without a just cause, Allah will hold him accountable on the Day of Judgment.
Sparrows, little monks, are a fixture in my backyard, along with chickadees, starlings, grosbeaks, crows, cardinals, robins and finches in season, but not blue-jays so much these days because of West Nile.
For the past few days, one of these petits moineaux has been fluttering close to the ground, her down puffed up through her brown feathers. Yesterday, she was huddled next to the patio door for warmth. The dogs were going nuts on the other side of the glass, since their ancestors were birders back in Japan.
I don’t know whether the little bird was just hungry or cold, or whether old age or illness was weighing her down. I debated whether to catch her, put her in a box with airholes, and take her to the Toronto Wildlife Centre. She could fly, and she had a hearty enough appetite at the brimming bird feeders in the yard, so I decided to let Nature take her course. I broke up the ice in the birdbath, and installed the heater to keep the water from freezing. Then I topped up the birdfeeders with pieces of apple, pear and birdseed.
She settled into the big birdfeeder at the back of the yard, amid the bounty.
This time, it appears that we may not need to make a trip to see the wonderful folks at Toronto Wildlife Centre. But if we did, where the sparrow is concerned, they are better than god.