The Seagull and the Sparrow

Off she fluttered, quick and light as only Sparrows know how.  As she flapped, a great storm brewed in the sky and the winds gathered speed, swiftly changing direction from this way to that.

Sparrow fought against the gusts with all her might, but her strength was no match; down she fell twisting and turning until she hit the ground.

As luck had it, Seagull swooped by, strong and quick like a fighter jet.  Seagulls, after all, were used to the open skies and stormy seas.

“Are you ok down there?” he cawed from high above.

“No,” replied Sparrow, “I’ve broken my wing,” her tiny voice was almost lost against the howling wind.

Down came Seagull to Sparrow’s aid. “Come with me, hop on!”

With a running leap, off they flew to Seagull’s home. Sparrow held onto his back with her tiny talons.

Used to plush trees and cosy nests, Sparrow eyed Seagull’s home with suspicion as she found herself clinging onto a rocky cliff edge. “Why do you live here, Seagull?”

“When the summer months come, I will fly away from here to a warm place.  I will find a mate and start a family” he explained, while he plumped up piles of straw for Sparrow to sit on.

As the storm died down, Seagull set about mending Sparrow’s wing by the light of the moon and a thousand stars.  When that was done, he swooped away to fetch some fish for their supper.

The next day, Sparrow felt better but she still could not fly.  As the days passed they enjoyed each other’s company while Sparrow’s tiny wing healed.  They swapped stories of land and sea, each tale so different from what the other knew.

Seagull listened as Sparrow told of the vast flocks of birds which gathered in trees during the evening hours, high above hills and cities.

Sparrow gasped as Seagull told her how he hunted fish in dangerous, shark infested waters.

While Sparrow learnt to fly again, they began to dread the time when they would part ways.  The summer days were fast approaching and the mating season was upon all of Nature’s creatures.

“I will come with you!” Sparrow gushed, full of hope.

“But it’s a long flight and your tiny wings will not carry you there,” Seagull lamented regretfully.

As they settled down for the night, neither could sleep as they pondered their fate.  They were too different, but longed for love to conquer all difficulties.

They decided to go the warmer climates together for they were now hopelessly in love and couldn’t bear to be parted.

Up they flew into the clear blue sky.  Higher and higher Seagull soared with Sparrow flapping alongside him. They flew into the vast expanse over the oceans, their shadows following far below on the shimmering water; one big and one small, but always side by side.

Seagull hung on the air, spanning his gigantic wings.  He let it carry him high, while Sparrow flapped to keep up, spurred on by the purpose of their journey.  Lower she fell as her little body gave all its strength.  Lower still, when there was no land as far as the eye could see.

“It’s okay, I have you,” declared Seagull, swooping beneath her to catch her should she fall.  When she could fly no more, she clung to his back as she had done when they first met.

As the sun began to set over the horizon, Sparrow nestled herself into Seagulls feathers admiring the spectacular golden sunset.

Seagull began to tire as he flew. Lower he fell with the weight of Sparrow on his back.

Lower and lower he fell as darkness took over the sky. They dipped as he fought to keep on top of the wind’s currents, but it was useless; the dancing night air conquered Seagull’s tired wings. As hard as Sparrow flapped, she could not stop them falling for Seagull was too heavy.

As they spiraled downwards in a tangle of talons and wings, alas, even the strength of their love could not save them from their watery grave.

*  *  *

For more stories, please check out Fairytales for Adults.

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