I want to tell you the true* story of Sammy the sparrow. He was born under my roof and is very new to this world. About a month ago, his mum and dad decided that he needed to go out and explore the area, see the wonders of Pitsidia for himself. And this is what happened.
“Don’t go too far,” his mother warned. “Your wings are still very young and you will need to gradually build up your strength.”
Sammy was nervous, and scurried to the back of the nest as his brothers and sisters all took the leap of faith from the rooftop. He watched in fear as they plummeted to the ground, but then his heart filled with joy as he saw them all rise again into the air, one by one. With renewed confidence, Sammy strutted towards the edge of the tiles and looked down to the ground below. His eyes went blurred and he felt a knot growing in his stomach.
“Go on son,” his Dad encouraged. “You can do it, just remember to flap your wings.”
Sammy gulped, and took one last look back at his Mum and Dad, their faces full of hope and pride. He breathed in, and took a step forward.
“Flap Sammy,” his Dad shouted from above, but Sammy couldn’t hear him. All he could see was the ground getting closer and closer. Then he remembered, I just need to flap my wings, he thought.
Soon Sammy was flying high in the air, high above the houses and the trees. Everything looks so small from up here, he thought. He flew past the garden gate, round the wild fig tree, beyond the school. He looked back and his home was a tiny dot on the horizon. But then he started to feel tired. His wings wouldn’t work any more. He needed to rest, but knew it wasn’t safe to stop here. He turned around and headed back up to his home on the hill.
I made it, he thought as he flew past the olive tree at the bottom of the garden. He could see his Mum and Dad screaming to him from the roof, but then his wings just stopped working. He collapsed to the floor and just lay there, with no energy to move. A movement from the bushes caught his eye, a huge white cat stalking towards him.
Sammy desperately flapped his wings but couldn’t get more than a few inches from the floor. His parents were calling out to him, but there was nothing they could do but watch. The white cat pounced, and caught Sammy under it’s paws. He wriggled, trying to free himself, and the cat removed a paw, setting him free. But the freedom didn’t last long before he pounced again. He’s playing with me, Sammy thought. He’s playing with me before he eats me! Oh why didn’t I listen to my Mum.
“Oi, get off, shoo,” a thundering sound came from near the house. A lady person
was running towards them both waving her hands. The cat ran off, leaving Sammy cowering on the spot. The human lady gently bent down and looked at him. He tried to fly away, but his wing was sore from where the cat had banged it into the floor. Help me, Sammy thought looking pleadingly at the lady.
“You’ll be okay,” she said, scooping him up and wrapping him in a towel. He wanted to be brave, but he couldn’t stop shaking. He was scared, and didn’t know if this person was friend or foe. She gently placed him in a container with smelly old, dry leaves. Whether from relief or terror Sammy couldn’t be sure, but he suddenly wet himself.
“Don’t worry,” the lady whispered down to him. “I’ll find out what to do. I’ve got the power of Google on my side!”
A few minutes later, the lady was taking him upstairs, up towards the roof where his Mum and Dad lived. She carefully lent out over the balcony and placed the container on the rooftop, right above his nest. He could hear his brothers and sisters bickering below him. He started jumping around, still unable to use his wing, but desperate for them to hear him. Then the lady disappeared through the door, and he saw her watching him from behind the glass.
“Mum, Dad, I’m here,” Sammy called out.
“Oh thank goodness,” his Mum said flying over to him. “I’ll be straight back. You’ll need some food to regain your energy.”
Sammy’s Mum soon reappeared with something in her beak. She flew up to the side of the container and popped the item in his mouth. He swallowed it whole, not realising how hungry he had been.
“Thanks Mum,” he said flapping his wings tentatively.
“Are you ready?” she asked as he nodded eagerly.
The lady person watched with a smile on her face as the two sparrows flew off together, landing on a branch in the olive tree. They were soon joined by the rest of the family all chirping and tweeting about what they had seen on their maiden flights, Sammy’s ordeal soon forgotten.
Sammy looked back up to the window. Thank you lady, he thought.
*Sammy’s family have been put in witness protection after testifying against the white cat, so I’ve been unable to verify all the facts as I would have liked. Therefore some of the story has been assumed and I apologise for any misrepresentation that may have occurred as a result.
ON A SERIOUS NOTE: If you find an injured or fallen bird, please check the RSPB website for information on what to do. For example, you should never give it food or even water (you might drown it). And ideally you would either return it to the nest, or call a local bird sanctuary to come and collect it. Find out more on their website.