The sparrow’s lost bean | Sunday Observer

The sparrow’s lost bean

18 September, 2022
Books, a store house of knowledge. Pic by Thilak Perera

Once upon a time, there was a sparrow in a jungle. He had a nest on top of a branch of a tree near a river. He was very neat and clean. He got up early morning and cleaned all the twigs in the nest. He dusted the wool in the bedding. Then, he went to the river and cleaned himself.

A bean

One morning, he found a bean. It was his favourite breakfast. And he knew that after eating a bean he will not have to search for food for the rest of the day. He was overjoyed. But he didn’t forget his habit of being neat and clean. He took the bean to the river and washed it. Then he put it safely on the bridge and cleaned himself.

After getting his feathers soothed and sun dried, the sparrow couldn’t wait anymore. He went on top of the bridge and got ready to have his favourite breakfast.

The bean is lost

The bean was not there. The sparrow started searching for it. He looked everywhere. He was exhausted and about to give up.

The sparrow saw a carpenter walking over the bridge with a saw on his shoulder. He went to the carpenter. “I have lost my breakfast bean. Can you please help me to find it?” he pleaded. The carpenter smiled from a corner of his mouth and continued walking.

The sparrow was heartbroken. He felt like crying. A soldier appeared from the other end of the bridge with a gun on his shoulder. The sparrow flew and sat on the cap of the soldier and cried into his ears. He was not afraid of the gun because hunger was burning him. “I have lost my breakfast bean. Can you please help me to find it?” he pleaded again. The soldier just wiped his cap saying “Chip!” and walked away.

Then a captain came on the bridge and was not ready to help the sparrow. He was followed by a minister who was checking security on the road. Neither did he help. He thought “Who cares about a sparrow with no power?” and continued checking security.

The hungry sparrow was sad.

The king and the royal tusker

He heard the sound of drums and flutes. He saw an elephant decorated with gems and mirrors coming in a procession. It was the royal tusker. It had a pair of long tusks too. And the king was on the tusker’s back. He looked so proud. The sparrow thought that he will do justice to his hunger. He started crying and grieving loudly. The king pretended that he did not hear the sparrow’s cry.

The ant

There was an ant sitting on a leaf and watching all these things. He approached the sparrow. “Sparrow, I was watching everything from the beginning. I am so sorry. Can you give me a chance to help you?” the ant asked. The sparrow was starving but he laughed out loudly. The ant could see the sparrow’s thinking.

The ant jumped on the tusker’s forehead and whispered into his ears. “If you don’t ask your master to find the sparrow’s lost bean, I will bite the inside of your ear. Hmm!” it was a command.

The elephant was frightened. He said to the king, “If you do not find the sparrow’s lost bean, I will jump up once and kick you down”. The king started sweating out of fear. The king called his minister.

“If you do not find the sparrow’s lost bean, I will fire you from the post”. The minister remembered that he had to buy food for the entire family. He ran to the captain.

“If you do not find the sparrow’s lost bean, I will promote the soldier and send you home”, he said. The captain stopped checking security and called the soldier who was guarding the bridge. The soldier stopped guarding the bridge and called the carpenter who was fixing the bridge after the rain for the king to ride on the elephant’s back.

The carpenter was tired. But he had to listen to the soldier as the soldier was carrying a gun. “If you do not find the sparrow’s lost bean, I will shoot you” the soldier shouted.

The carpenter stopped his job and started searching for the sparrow’s lost bean. It took half a day to check on the bridge, under the bridge, under water and in the jungle to find the lost bean.

Finally, the sparrow had a good brunch. The poor carpenter got a half a day pay cut. And as the bridge was almost fixed, the king completed his tour and returned to the palace with the minister and his army. Everyone forgot about the ant.