The Grumpy Sparrow and the Unfortunate Trees

Why am I like this.




It was a Sunday full of wine and sprinkles for all but the poor and the poorly, and the animals in the forest rejoiced but for a grumpy little sparrow who fluttered about, searching for some sweet, sweet white to abate his surly demeanor.

“Sir Sparrow!” called a canary from a branch above.  “Why so somber on such a beautiful day?”

The sparrow settled on another branch.  “It is a medium day at best – at the very best – and, if you must know, I’ve had not a bite to eat for its entirety.”

“Ah, well, there are some crickets in the underbrush just east of here!”

The sparrow glowered.  “I’ve had my fill of cricket.  Begone with your sunny feathers and lackluster suggestions.”

“Suit yourself, then!”  The canary took her leave.

It was in that moment that the sparrow noticed a leaf to his left of precisely the wrong shade of yellow-green.  Properly offended, he bent down and plucked the unsightly thing from his perch.  Doing so, however, created an imbalance with the other side of the branch, so he plucked a second leaf to even things out.

Several minutes later, the branch was laid bare.

Please do not remove all of my leaves, Mr. Sparrow, said the tree in a language made of rustles.  I need them to photosynthesize.

The sparrow pecked the tree in irritation, then took to the air.  But in his haste to be on with his search, he neglected to pay sufficient mind to overhead clearance, and promptly bonked his head upon a higher branch and plummeted to the earth below.

He awoke sometime later to the gentle shake of a thin brown squirrel.  “Are you all right?” asked the squirrel, nosing him when he stirred.  “Come on – let’s get you up before a fox comes around and spots you like this.”

The sparrow hopped to his feet and stretched out his wings, which felt intact.  “I’m fine.  I was merely seeing what it must feel like to be one of those stupid birds who falls to the ground for no good reason at all.  To see if I could better sympathize with them, you understand.”

“Oh!  Did it work?”


“Haha!  You’re a funny one, sparrow.”

“I’m hungry, is what I am.  I can’t seem to find a spec of sugar anywhere.”

The squirrel’s eyes brightened and he clapped his paws together.  “Oh!  You’re in luck!  I have a big pile of it in my tree.”  He gestured to a knothole in a nearby oak.  “I’ll tell you what – if you help me gather a couple of the hard-to-reach acorns up there, you can have as much of it as you want!”

The sparrow considered this for a moment, and then ended the squirrel’s life.

Slipping into the oak, the sparrow instantly noticed the heap of glorious snowy powder tucked away in one corner of the hole.  Wasting not another moment, he thrust his beak into it, but then immediately recoiled.

The sparrow puffed up, pregnant with rage, for it was not sugar at all, but saccharin – a devious impostor created by man.  He knew this, for as well as grumpy he was a clever sparrow.  In fact, a human child had once tried to feed him saccharin.  A child who had concluded that day with fewer fingers than she had begun it.

The sparrow thwacked the atrocious substance with a wing, sending up a billow of grievous white dust which settled upon his feathers.

A squirrel was a low-quality creature, he reminded himself.


Bene scribete.


10-Minute Story: The Grumpy Sparrow

Yeah, I don’t know.




There was a bird.  It turns out it was a sparrow, let’s say.  It was a terribly grumpy sparrow, which, as you might imagine, made it a very bothersome creature.

It flew around the forest, day after day, looking for sugar and saying unkind things about the other animals in its passive-aggressive manner.  It was rude as well as grumpy, it seems.

One day, the sparrow landed next to an incredibly stupid frog.

“Helloooo,” said the frog.  “Are you a fox?”

“No,” replied the sparrow.  “I am not a fox, you incredibly stupid frog.  I am a bird, of which a fox is clearly not a type.”

“Oh,” said the frog with a thunderous ribbit, then hopped around in circles.

The sparrow fluttered its wings and chirped in irritation.  “Look – I realize that you are incredibly stupid, but do you know where I might find some sugar?”

The frog jostled and regarded the sparrow with a distant, wavering look reminiscent of the way a tree might gaze upon the sky – which is to say, stupidly.  “Is sugar the black things that fly around and I eat them?” burbled the stupid frog.

“Not,” spat the sparrow, “in the slightest.”  It was at that very moment – or perhaps the moment immediately thereafter – that the sparrow murdered the frog, which was, one must agree, a gross overreaction.  But the sparrow was quite grumpy, you might recall.

Thereafter, the sparrow flew around some more until it came upon a fox and alighted on a branch overhead.

“You – fox,” he called.  The fox looked up.  “Can you believe I was mistaken for you not long ago?”

The fox wrinkled her nose.  “No, I don’t believe that I can.  You’re a bird, of which a fox–”

“Is clearly not a type.  Precisely.”

The fox tilted her head.  “Say, sparrow, now that we are speaking, would you mind coming down closer so that we may chat more amicably?”

“Of course not,” huffed the sparrow.

“Whyever not?” asked the fox, licking her chops.

“Because you mean to eat me up.  I am grumpy, not stupid.  The frog – now, the frog was stupid.  Though I do believe I murdered him.”

“That sounds awful.”

“Only in that he was not made of sugar.”  The sparrow squawked and fluttered off, fed up with another tiresome day.


Bene scribete.