Thursday, April 16, 2009

The sparrow . . .

This morning as I emerged from the subway in Daley Plaza, I was greeted by the eternal flame, as always, and this little fellow.

I should explain that, on chilly mornings, there are always about a million pigeons huddled around the flame, so close that it looks like we're going to end up with pigeon flambe every time the wind blows. The pigeons pretty much own Daley Plaza(the city just leases it from them), from the Picasso to the benches along the outer edges. They strut around, pecking the ground for bits of bread or popcorn, attacking the man who comes by each morning and feeds them from a huge bag of breadcrumbs (which are gone within seconds). This is big, bad pigeon territory.

So, I was surprised to find this bold little sparrow sitting on the fence near the flame, chirping a bit, rather cheerfully. A few times the pigeons wandered closer, trying to intimidate him away, but he stayed, hunching his tiny head into his feathery body, sure of his right to be there. I took the picture and walked on, crossing the plaza, and then saw the man dropping breadcrumbs again, which drew the birds over like a magnet. They converged in a flapping mass, and I thought, the little guy's going to get shafted in the crumb department. These guys are way too big; they'll force him out. But, he waded in, pecking and flapping, grabbing a crumb or two, and encouraging another sparrow who had just landed nearby to do the same. I watched this and smiled, and then continued onward to work.

That's all it really takes, isn't it? One person who goes where he's not welcome, makes a place for himself in spite of the opposition, and then encourages others to do the same.

It's a nice way to start a Thursday, n'est ce pas?

4 comments:

down and out chic said...

your blog design is very pretty!

Ginger said...

Thank you!

Kimba said...

This really is my smile for the day! Thanks! May we all strive to be bold sparrows in the face of the big, bad pigeons of the world!

Ginger said...

Aye, aye!