To understand this story, you have to understand its original context. Originally, I meant for it to be the opening for a novel about a journey that is tied together by fables. The person taking the journey would be like the Little Sparrow. The person telling this particular story has the same perspective as the Ostrich.

You have been warned; so don't shoot me when you finish it!


Long ago, in a land beyond the sea, there lived an ostrich. An ostrich cannot fly, you know, (its wings are too small for its body) but he was fast, and large enough to fend off anything that tried to attack him.

Most of the time, though, he spent with his head in a hole in the ground. The hole was cool, filled with water and good things to eat; all he needed to survive was in that hole.

One day a Little Sparrow fell from her nest to the ground next to the Ostrich. When the Ostrich saw her, he had pity on the poor little thing and said "Come, Little Sparrow, and share my hole with me. It is cool, filled with water and good things to eat."

So the Little Sparrow came to live with the Ostrich in the hole in the ground.

After a while, though, the Little Sparrow became unhappy.

"I want to fly high over the earth and see what there is to see. There's nothing in this hole for me."

The Ostrich was hurt that she would want to leave him. "I'm here," he said, "and this hole is cool, filled with water and good things to eat. How could you want to leave?"

But the Little Sparrow flew away, up, up, higher than she should have flown. A boy on the ground spotted her and flung a stone at her.

The Little Sparrow fell to earth, dead.