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Charda Suuraj

Reach for the Light

bing, Story

The Sparrow’s Long Quest

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Once upon a time in a faraway jungle, there lived a sparrow. Spring was coming and all the birds were building nests in preparation. He was a very hardworking sparrow, and every morning he would venture out far and wide to find and select the best twigs and moss for his new nest. One day he came upon a wonderful clod of mud that, in his opinion, was the perfect size for his future wife and children to cuddle up and rest against. He painstakingly picked it up in his claws, being careful not to damage it and carried it many miles, back to his new nest.

Lovingly he arranged the clod in his nest and, feeling immensely proud of himself, he flew around the jungle singing of his good fortune for all to hear,

“I found a clod of mud,

Which adorns my nest,

Like a flowering bud,

Come and see be my guest!”

Many admiring birds came to look at his nest and he preened whilst showing them his work.  He was showing some parakeets and parrots when the infamous crow flew up to his nest. Crow was a mean bird; he was large and aggressive and treated all the smaller birds like dirt. When the parakeets and parrots saw the crow they all flew away in fright, leaving sparrow alone with the crow.

Sparrow was a naïve and trusting person and showed the crow around his nest; the crow was impressed by the clod and told the sparrow, “You have a great nest, little sparrow, I like that clod will you give it to me?” the sparrow was shocked and said, “No, I won’t, I worked too hard on it, I could help you find another for your nest though.” The crow was mean and cunning and said, “Yes, little sparrow, help me find one.”  The sparrow set off to try to find one and once he left, the crow smirked cruelly and he greedily picked up the clod and took it to his own nest, disturbing and destroying sparrow’s nest as he did it.

The sparrow searched long and hard but could not find another clod, so he came back as evening fell. When he saw the ruined nest he was so shocked and saddened, he started crying. He cried until morning and then, he screwed up his courage and went around asking all the other birds what happened.

The doves told him how the crow had stolen his clod and destroyed his nest and the sparrow was overcome with rage. Angrily he flew to crow’s nest at the far end of the forest and said to the crow, “Give me back my clod or else!” The crow burst out into mocking laughter and flying out of his nest the crow dived at the sparrow and tried to peck his head with his enormous bill. The sparrow cried out in shock and dodged behind a tree trunk, barely surviving the attack. “Go back and rebuild your stupid nest, you puny sparrow and be grateful I didn’t kill you!” the crow sneered derisively.

The sparrow still trembling with shock and fear flew away in a hurry. He was infuriated at the injustice and he decided that he was not going to let the crow do this to him. As he flew around in a rage he saw a bluebird talking with an owl, he knew owls were supposed to be wise and so he flew to them and told them his story, asking for their advice, the owl said, “Fly to the top of the misty mountain and you will find the nest of our great bird lord, the golden eagle, tell him your tale, only he has the power to subdue and punish the crow.”

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The Great Bird Lord

The sparrow thanked the owl and the nest day he flew to the misty mountain which was two days away on bird’s wing. He flew and flew and flew. Finally, he arrived at the mountain, looking down he saw a huge and gorgeously luxurious nest, lined with fresh moss and flowers as well as soft cotton and even a few scraps o the infinitely rare silk. The sparrow was impressed by the finery and he flew down to the nest. The great eagle was sleeping and the sparrow woke him by singing,

“I found a clod of mud,

Which adorned my nest,

Like a flowering bud,

But now I am distressed,

The mean crow stole the mud

And ruined my nest,

So I left on a quest,

To find the Great Lord of Birds,

To fight the Crow,

As he does best,

And receive his help in this contest!”

The eagle was annoyed at his sleep being disturbed and said, “Go away little bird and let me rest!” “Won’t you please help me, my lord? I am powerless. ” Pleaded the sparrow. The eagle was irritated and said “No, now leave!”

The sparrow was terribly disappointed and disillusioned. He became even more incensed and determined, he flew round and round the mountain for days, singing his mournful song. The eagle paid him no mind and after the fifth day the sparrow was disheartened and ready to give up when wile resting in a nearby tree he overheard a couple of squirrels talking about the eagles’ greatest enemy and object of fear, the Lady of Cats, The sparrow was struck with inspiration and he went searching for the cat lords den. He soon found it by the foot of the mountain and the Cat Lady was eating when the sparrow came upon her, the sparrow sang,

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The Lady of Cats

“I found a clod of mud,

Which adorned my nest,

Like a flowering bud,

But now I am distressed,

The mean crow stole the mud

And ruined my nest,

The lord of birds snubbed my request,

So I left on a quest,

To find the Great Lady of Cats,

To fight the eagle,

As she does best,

And receive her help in this contest!”

The Cat Lady ignored the sparrow and kept eating, finally when she was done, she turned around and said, “Why should I help you, you are not one of my people so it is not my responsibility.”

This time the sparrow gave up only after a few days and asked around about the Cat Lady’s weakness. He soon found that The Lord of Dogs was the Cat Lady’s greatest enemy and fear. The Sparrow then journeyed to the other side of the foot of the misty mountain and there he found the Pack of dogs, whose lord was directing the digging of a tunnel leading to the caves that were the pack’s homes.

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The Lord of Dogs

He flew to the dog and sang his song of sorrow,

“I found a clod of mud,

Which adorned my nest,

Like a flowering bud,

But now I am distressed,

The mean crow stole the mud

And ruined my nest,

The Lady of Cats snubbed my request,

So I left on a quest,

To find the Great Lord of Dogs,

To fight the Cat,

As he does best,

And receive his help in this contest!”

The Lord of dogs was kinder to the sparrow, but he still would not help him. The sparrow flew around the Pack for a day and sang his song, to no result. He then asked around about the Dog Lord’s weakness and found out that the only one that he feared and obeyed was the Great King of the Jungle, The Lion.

So the sparrow turned around travelled for days and days into the heart of the Jungle. There he found the Caves of the Royal Pride of Lions, They were huge, larger than any residence the sparrow had seen before and he was overawed. When he saw the Great Lion, the sparrow could not help but gasp aloud at his sheer magnificence; he was enormous, with a huge shaggy mane and a sleek golden coat. The King was at this point holding a meeting with the lord of Wolves and the Lord of Monkeys regarding the border patrol. The sparrow gathered his courage and alighted in front of the King, singing his song,

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Great King of the Jungle, The Lion

“I found a clod of mud,

Which adorned my nest,

Like a flowering bud,

But now I am distressed,

The mean crow stole the mud

And ruined my nest,

The lord of Dogs snubbed my request,

So I left on a quest,

To find the Great King of the Jungle,

To order the Dog,

As he does best,

And receive his help in this contest!”

“I am sorry little one but I do not have time to solve such unimportant squabbles, I am the King and I have much more important things to do, such as ensuring the safety and good health of my subjects and providing good border security! Go way for now and come back at less busy time, maybe I will have time to address your request after summer’s end.”  The Lion said dismissively, yet not unkindly.

The sparrow was so disappointed he could barely hold himself up, he had pinned all his hopes on the King, and his courage fled him completely, the sparrow turned around and flew away. He flew to a corner of the forest where he cried and sang his song everyday as he flew around. A few days later the kings Adviser and the wisest animal in the Jungle, the Lord of Elephants overheard the Sparrow’s song, while going about his errands. The sparrow’ song now went thus,

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the Lord of Elephants

“I found a clod of mud,

Which adorned my nest,

Like a flowering bud,

But now I am depressed,

The mean crow stole the mud

And ruined my nest,

The King of the Jungle snubbed my request,

So ended my long quest,

Everywhere I go I am oppressed,

My home from me was wrest,

Oh, will no one help me save my nest? “

The Elephant Lord was sympathetic and he called out to the Sparrow, “Oh tiny sparrow, come with me, sit upon my brow, I will help in your quest!” The sparrow was shocked at being addressed by so important a personage and alighted on his brow closer hesitantly. The elephant carried the sparrow back to the Lions’ cave and he talked to the Lion, “Oh Great King of mine, a subject of yours is in need.” The King answered, “What is his need?” The sparrow once more repeated his song.  The king sighed and said, “Not that again, I told you I don’t have time for this.” The sparrow was about to fly off but the elephant stopped him, “Wait outside while I talk to the King.” The sparrow went outside.

“My King, why did you not help him?” asked the elephant, the King replied, “I don’t have the time to deal with such a small matter, I have to run an entire Kingdom.” The elephant admonished the King, “My Lord it may just be a small matter to you, but for that poor sparrow his entire life lies in ruins. As the King it is your duty to protect every one of your subjects, from the smallest ant to the largest elephant. That is the mark of Great King.” The King said, “I had not considered that before, thank you for your wisdom, my friend. I will set this to rights at once.”

The king ordered one of his messenger hawks to summon the Dog lord. The dog Lord arrived within the day as he was immensely loyal to the king and he ran the whole day without pause. The King ordered the Dog to help the sparrow and the dog agreed. He followed the sparrow to the home of the Lady of Cats and fought her into submission; she acquiesced to helping the sparrow and went to attack the Eagle Lord, the eagle Lord surrendered and flew to the crow’s nest to fight and punish him. He fought and subdued the crow in short order and the rest of the birds helped sparrow fix his nest and move back the clod.

The sparrow was immensely happy and everyday he sang in joy, “The King is great, the King is wise, long may he rule this state, as long as the sun will rise!” The sparrow soon got married, had lovely little children who all cuddled around the lovely mud clod to keep cozy and they lived happy ever after.


 

9 Comments

  1. savvyaf

    Nice work! I like the song repeated throughout. 🙂

  2. Nice story..Simple and sweet.

  3. Really brilliant ..zabardast ..keep it up lovely daima hussain

  4. mistimaan

    Well written

  5. Zubaida Hussain

    Lovely story Daima. Stay blessed and write many more of these

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