Two baby sparrows, each the size of a human thumb, both unknown to flying, were hiding under a bush of rose plants.
The overnight wind had thrown them out of their nest, where their parents were searching for them. The rosary they landed in, fell in the territory of a cat, who was always hungry.
The babies still carried whiteness on their tender feathers. Their wings were only light brown.
As the sun began to rise and the first light of the day threatened to expose them, they knew they were in trouble.
Their mother had already told them about the cat and how to stay away from her territory.
Now, they were right in the middle of it.
The birds cuddled, waiting for their fate, waiting for the cat to come and taste the easiest prey she could ever find.
They didn’t make a sound.
Their eyes remained tightly shut.
They heard a familiar sound, of something moving through the bush, something coming closer.
It was not the cat, but their mother who had finally found them.
“I am glad to have found you,” she said.
The babies were happy to see her. They came running to their mother.
So did the cat!
Seeing her coming, the mother sparrow knew she had to fly.
But she carries her babies on her back or in her beak. She could only save them if they could fly, which they hadn’t learned yet.
“Listen, my dear babies,” said the mother.
“I know you are afraid, but you will have to stay strong. You need to fly.”
The babies looked at each other and made a lot of noise out of panic.
“We do not know how to fly,” said one of them.
“We cannot fly,” said the other.
But the mother motivated them.
“You will fly with me. We will fly together. You must copy my actions.”
The babies agreed.
The mother sparrow spread her wings. The babies did theirs.
The mother sparrow ran a few steps. The babies did too, but one of them tumbled.
The cat was only inches away from them, ready to make its last long jump to catch the birds.
The babies were up again.
They spread their wings once more and ran like their mother.
The mother was up in the air before the cat reached her.
She looked back to watch her babies. She was sure they got left behind.
But there they were. Flying right behind her. More like swaying left and right, until they safely reached back to their nest.
The cat looked up at her missed meal.