A home for the house sparrow

Rani dreamt alot, even during the day time. Often she imagined flying like a bird. She loved watching birds for this reason, and tried to talk to them and ask them to help her fly. One day she saw two small birds trying to enter a hole in the wall of her house and was curious to know what they were up to; her mum said they were house sparrows trying to build a nest. Rani was thrilled! Her mum told her that the one with a black throat and dark head was male, and other with a white eyebrow a female. Every day she watched the pair. They started bringing pieces of hay to construct the nest, but some bits fell down and littered the floor. Sometimes these sparrows flew into the living room where there was a ceiling fan, which Rani’s parents worried might hurt the birds. So her father sealed the nest hole with cement. Rani was very upset. She felt bad for those two birds which had tried to build a nest. One day she dreamt that sparrows flew towards her and asked whether she wanted to fly. The sparrows lifted her into the sky by her shirt collar, and Rani could see the sprawling city below her. She landed near a house and heard the baby sparrows chirping noisily from their nests. Rani watched those house sparrows feed their young ones, and then they carried Rani back home. But to her shock, her house was gone!

Rani told her parents the dream, about how she couldn’t bear the feeling of losing her home. She asked her parents to imagine how disappointed the house sparrows would have been when they found they could not build a nest. Rani’s father took a shoe box and covered it with brown paper, and made a small hole for the sparrows to get in. He hung this in front of the house, and in a week Rani found two sparrows in the box busily building a nest.

Rani’s friends and neighbours visited to see the sparrow nest often. Now, Rani proudly everyone that she shares a home with her sparrows! Unfortunately sparrows are disappearing in many places in India.

This article appeared in the Hindu in School on 18 April 2012.

Picture: A cardboard box or a mud pot can work as great nests.
Credit: Lingaraj Panda