ImageThe Little Sparrow: Once upon a time there was a beautiful baby sparrow. Every day her mother would come and feed her and tell the little sparrow that one day she, too, would be able to fly. The little sparrow loved to watch her mother soar freely through the air with the other birds, and waited longingly for her time to fly from the nest.

ImageThe Little Sparrow: Once upon a time there was a beautiful baby sparrow. Every day her mother would come and feed her and tell the little sparrow that one day she, too, would be able to fly. The little sparrow loved to watch her mother soar freely through the air with the other birds, and waited longingly for her time to fly from the nest.

One morning, the little sparrow’s mother said, “You are almost ready to fly. Your wings have grown strong enough to carry you. Soon you will know that the time is right, and you will leap from the nest and feel the wind in your wings. But until then,” she warned, “beware the cat. He is full of lies because he does not believe in the truth. He will say anything so that he can come close enough to eat you.”

“What are lies?” asked the little sparrow.

“Lies are the opposite of truth,” replied her mother, “and the truth will set you free.”

“But how will I know the truth?” asked the little sparrow.

Trustworthy counselors, such as your father and I, will tell you the truth.
Rules of nature will demonstrate truth: birds fly, acorns fall.
Uncorrupted knowledge is truth learned through study and patience.
Test everything you are told against the truth that has been revealed to us.
Heart knowledge, your conscience, will whisper to you right from wrong.”

“I don’t understand, Mother,” sighed the little sparrow.

“That’s all right,” laughed her mother. “You will understand in time, just as you will soon be able to fly. I am going to hunt for food for you now. Goodbye, little one.” With that the little sparrow’s mother dived from the nest and flew swiftly and gracefully out of sight.

The little bird sighed again, confused by all that her mother had said, and still too afraid to leap from the nest so that she could fly.

“What is wrong, little bird?” purred a kindly voice.

The little sparrow looked around curiously. “Who was that?” she wondered.

“It was only I,” replied the voice, and a sleek, beautiful cat walked out of the shadows and into the sun-dappled grass below the little bird’s nest. He sat on his haunches and looked up at the little bird, licking his lips.

The little bird’s heart beat wildly. “You’re the cat!” she exclaimed. “My mother warned me against you.”

“Did she? And why do you label me as a ‘cat’? I am an animal, just like you. What did your mother warn you about me?”

The sparrow looked uncertainly down at the cat…at least, he looked like the cat that her mother had shown her. “My mother said that you were full of lies,” said the little bird, “and she said that you would do anything to get close enough to eat me.”

“Did she really say I would eat you?” laughed the cat. “And why would I want to do that?”

“B-because cats eat birds,” replied the bird, a little confused. “Everybody knows that.”

“There you go with your judgmental stereotypes again,” sighed the cat. “Look, I will climb up onto this branch below your nest, and I will not even try to eat you.”

The little sparrow watched in fascination as the cat used his sharp claws and powerful hind legs to grapple his way up the tree until he reached the branch below the sparrow’s nest. He walked easily along the limb until he was in a position to see eye to eye with the small bird.

“Wow!” exclaimed the sparrow, “I’ve never seen anyone do that before.”

“Well, yes,” replied the cat modestly, “we all have our gifts.” He flexed his right claw admiringly.

“I can fly!” the little bird informed him proudly.

“Oh, can you?” laughed the cat. “And who told you that?”

“My mother told me.”

“Oh? And I suppose you believe everything your mother says,” smirked the cat.

“Of course!” replied the bird emphatically. “My mother would never lie to me.”

“Hmmm…so tell me, have you ever flown before?”

“Well…no…but my mother says that my wings are strong enough that I will be able to fly any time now,” said the little bird, ruffling her wings.

“Yes,” purred the cat, “you have lovely wings. But I hope you weren’t intending to use them to fly in the same way that your mother can fly.”

“What do you mean?” asked the little bird, puzzled.

“Well, your mother can soar through the air and fly safely wherever she pleases, right?”


“I’m not quite sure how to tell you this, but I’m afraid you will never be able to fly in that way.”

“Why not?” asked the little bird, alarmed and very upset.

“It simply isn’t possible,” replied the cat matter-of-factly. “Oh, you would certainly fly if you ever jumped out of your nest…but eventually you would hit the ground, and…well, your mother wouldn’t have to worry about finding food for you any more.”

“That’s awful!” exclaimed the poor little sparrow.

“Yes, it is,” replied the cat sadly. “Now, your mother is a perfectly fine bird, but taking care of anyone for such a long time can be a burden on the best of birds. In order to be safe you really must stay in that nest forever.” The cat sighed and shook his head sadly. Then he looked slyly at the sparrow. “Unless…”

“Unless what?” asked the little sparrow, unsure of what to think anymore, but desperately wishing to escape from a life of sitting in a nest and being fed by her mother every day.

“You could come with me,” purred the cat. “You saw how easily I climbed this tree, and I can climb down just as easily. I can show you things that you have never imagined before. There’s a whole world outside of your little nest, and I can help you discover it.”

“You can?” asked the little bird, captivated by the thought of escaping from her little nest. Then a thought occurred to her and she tilted her head curiously. “But how can I go with you if I cannot fly?”

“I will carry you in my mouth,” replied the cat, smoothly jumping up onto the branch next to the bird.

“In your mouth?” asked the bird hesitantly. As nice as the cat seemed, he had a row of very sharp, gleaming teeth.

“I’ll be as gentle as a kitten,” promised the cat, dipping his head down towards the little bird. “Shall we go, then?”

The sparrow hesitated, yearning to see the world that the cat offered her and yet held back by a whispering of danger from her quickly beating heart. Suddenly, something occurred to the bird that her mother had said earlier.

“Mr. Cat,” she said, opening his eyes very wide and tilting her head to one side, “do you believe in truth?”

“Whatever do you mean?” laughed the cat uncertainly.

“I was just wondering…you seem so wise, and I’ve always believed that my mother told the truth, but I guess I must have been wrong. Is there really any such thing as truth?”

“Well,” chuckled the cat, sure of himself once more, “you are a very perceptive little bird. Truth is something made up by simple creatures who want to claim that their way of thinking is the only way to think. It’s a terribly judgmental, narrow-minded concept, really.”

“So…you don’t believe in truth?” asked the little bird, tilting her head to the other side.
“No, dear, I don’t.”

“Well, then!” laughed the little bird triumphantly, “my mother was right after all! You are full of lies, and I have no reason to trust you.”

With an angry hiss, the cat lunged forward to gobble up the small bird. The sparrow was too quick for him, however. She leaped from the nest just in time, spreading her delicate little wings. The wind caught her long before she hit the ground, and she soared up triumphantly through the air.

“Well, well, Mr. Cat,” she boasted, flying in circles above his head, “it looks like I can fly after all. Too bad you couldn’t fool me with your pack of lies.”

The cat angrily swatted at the bird, but she darted just out of reach each time, leading him closer and closer to the edge of the branch. Finally, she perched on the very tip of the branch.

“So tell me, Mr. Cat,” she taunted him, “can cats fly?”

The cat growled at the little bird, then turned and stalked off in a huff. He’d have to search elsewhere for more foolish little birds to feed his greedy stomach.