The Seagull and the Sparrow


Off she fluttered, quick and light as only Sparrows know how. The winds gathered speed above her, 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.

Seagull swooped by, strong and quick like a fighter jet. He was accustomed to the open skies and stormy seas and thought nothing of the storm.

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

“No,” replied Sparrow, “I’ve broken my wing,” her tiny voice battling against the howling winds.

Down came Seagull to Sparrow’s aid. She held onto his back tightly with her tiny talons as he took her away to safety.

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

“When the colder months come, I will fly away to a warmer place. I will find a mate and start a family” he explained as he plumped up piles of straw for Sparrow to sit on.

Once the storm passed, Seagull mended 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 days passed they swapped stories of land and sea, each tale so different from what the other knew.

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

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

As she healed they began to dread parting ways. The warmer climates were calling 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. Neither could rest as they pondered their fate, longing for love to conquer their differences. Now that they were hopelessly bound together, they agreed to go to warmer climates together.

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, one small, and always side-by-side.

Seagull clung to the air, spanning his gigantic wings and letting the currents take him high. Sparrow flapped to keep up. As her body gave all its strength she began to fall lower. Lower still when there was no land as far as the eye could see.

“Don’t worry, I have you,” declared Seagull, swooping beneath to catch her should she fall. When she could fly no more, she clung to his back as she had done once before.

As the sun began to set over the horizon, Sparrow admired the splendid golden sunset and nestled deeply into Seagulls feathers.

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

Lower still as darkness took over the sky. They dipped as he fought to keep hold of the wind’s currents, but it was useless against the dancing night air. He was conquered. Sparrow desperately flapped but her tiny wings could not stop them both from falling.

They spiralled downwards in a tangle of talons and wings, the strength of their love not enough to save them from a watery grave.

*  *  *

For more stories, please check out Fairytales for Adults.

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