Friday, September 26, 2014

Have you ever held a sparrow?

Years ago, one warm summer afternoon we were called out of our doors with the sound of a soft thud on our porch. Probably something had fallen over our underground tank-top.

And indeed something had. To be precise a living thing- a sparrow. We are still at a lose to guess how it landed there, but it did appear very scared. A cute little thing, it sat cuddled in one place looking around with utter helplessness and shock. When it realised our presence it cuddled up even more.

We were worried if it was hurt. I and my sister were about to check on it when my mother stopped us and warned us against touching the innocent thing for its own good.

My mother has spent her childhood in the countryside of Tamilnadu and witnessed from her own eyes, so she knows. Sparrows are very puritan kinds and never ever forgive being touched by a human (she does not know if they have other species in their taboo list). Once a sparrow is touched by a human it becomes an out-cast in its community and never taken back. In fact (my mother has seen so herself) the rest of the sparrow community pecks the erring bird to its death.

Maybe that is why, as I realise it now, I don't recall even one of the sparrow handlers in zoo and museums ever hold them. They have always entreated them to perch on their balled up fists.

So, have you ever held a sparrow? If so, have you seen it through to the end?
What is your opinion in this regard?


  1. How beautiful, Asiya, and funnily it's the second post today about sparrows! I am sitting here, watching my little bird friends and wondering about your mother's warning. Like many communities, flocks of birds may fear being touched by the outside world. We may believe that we are doing good, but that may not be the case.

    You post takes me into my past. I worked with beautiful young sparrows, who grew up in a closed Ultra-Orthodox community. Many of their leaders did their utmost to hide the outside secular world from them. And, sadly, those who chose to step into that world, even without changing their core beliefs, did become outcasts. I was their teacher, and being me, I had to walk a fine line. How much could I share with them about the world beyond their little town without being seen as contaminating their minds?

    You have brought back memories and deep thoughts. HUGS <3

    1. I'm glad i was able to send the message through. And the sparrows you speak about touch my heart, Judy. I pray for their welfare :)

  2. I have never held a sparrow Asma and never even knew about that so thanks for educating me on that. I wonder how many other birds and/or animals might share a similar fate if held and/or touched by humans? Makes you wonder! ;) <3

  3. Exactly Elly! It makes us wonder and take caution before extending even a well-intentioned, loving and helping hand for them.