The Woman and the Red Sparrow

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A tale of a young woman who finds a friend in a Sparrow

Submitted: July 08, 2017

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Submitted: July 08, 2017

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Once there lived a happy family in France and the year was 1856. They had a villa in St Tropez which was facing the sea. The family consists of a father, mother, and two sisters. The elder sister name was Maria and younger one was called Lucy. Their father was the captain of the ship called HMS Arbela. He used to be absent from home for many months. Sometimes even more than a year. When he finally returns home he will spend more time getting drunk with his friends and risk his hard earned money by taking part in gambling but he was a loving husband and a good father to his daughters. He saw that his family didn't have any sort of lacking. Maria's mother needed a wheelchair to move around since she fell from stairs and badly injured her knees a few years ago. The daughters took every care to see that their mother is well looked after.

Maria and Lucy were inseparable since they were very small kids. They always shared their thought, feeling and confided little secrets between the two. Maria was eighteen years of age, looked taller than Lucy who just turned fourteen looked very petite and cute. Whenever Maria went for a stroll every gentleman looked at her like a woman and greeted her with respect. Lucy was full of scorn since she didn’t get the similar kind of attention Maria earned from everyone. They looked at her like nothing more than a playful baby. Maria smiled at her and said someday you will grow up to be an attractive woman and stir the whole town under your charms.

As Maria reached 21 years of age she saw that her mother health was deteriorating. Her eyes sight was getting poor. They were still decent enough to have two maids to attend them. Her little sister growing into a woman stopped paying attention to Maria and started spending more time with boys of her age who are very much interested in her.

One day Maria heard a knock on the door. She opened the door to find two tense looking men. One man stared here and there without maintaining any eye contact with Maria. The other guy was tall and introduced himself as a sailor and broke the terrible news that the ship their father and his crew were sailing sank in a violent storm and no one survived. Their mother was in tears when she heard about it. Lucy and Maria both hugged each other tightly. Without their caring father, the family was not able to live in comfort. They have to send the maids away and decided to attend the house on their own. Maria practically took care of the house while her sister who is still playful and danced without a care. Maria was very much delighted to have Lucy around. Her sister's presence always kept her in high spirit.

Soon they heard a Russian circus approaching their town. Both sisters thought they really need a good break from this morbid life. They checked the money they saved and quickly bought two tickets for the show. They both occupied the front row and had an exciting time. Lucy was mesmerized to see strong men performing various acrobatic stunts in the air. They saw lion tamer put his head inside the mouth of a ferocious lion and made many lions jump inside the circle of fire. They made an elephant ride a bicycle and do various acts. The audience roared with cheers and gave thunderous applauds.

When it was time for the group of jesters to make everyone laugh, Lucy was feeling terribly ill and asked Maria to take her home soon. She laid her sister gently on the bed and hurried to fetch a doctor. When she returned her sister was already coughing blood on her cloth. The doctor examined her thoroughly and checked her pulse. He palely turned towards Maria and said your sister is suffering from a severe condition of acute bronchitis. She may have only a few months left to live. Now the whole world collapsed for Maria. Her only source of joy that kept her going ahead in life was slowly fading away.

Nevertheless, she took great care of her bedridden sister and read stories for her at night. Her mother decided that it is time for Maria to get married to a well-settled gentleman. This way they can regain their lost glory. Maria was against the idea of getting married at this time. She was confused about her future. One day her sister who became gaunt and weak due to sickness told Maria that she wants to take a boat ride in the river. So they both sat on the boat talking about their happy days while Maria was rowing the boat. Lucy didn’t stop smiling until they were passing under a bridge. She gave a strange look that Maria will never forget. Her hand fell into the water dangling lifelessly.

This was the second blow in Maria's life. Without her sister, she is seeing the reality of life for the first time. Her mother got too grief-stricken and she told her that we still have hope only if you can make up your mind to marry a nice companion. But she was still not prepared for it. Poverty forced them to move from luxury villa to a tiny old cottage containing a small garden. As years went by her aging mother gave up all hopes of getting her married. Now being all by herself she started sewing clothes for ladies to make some money. She found all sort of garments made of different sizes, colors, and textures. It almost took a whole day to get done with those clothes. She worked hard with patience to get her job done.

Many young men showed great interest towards Maria but some intuition made her feel that their love is not from the heart but rather more of a wild desire to have her. She became lonely and avoided the needless attention of such men. The garden had an old fountain with a single red sparrow perched on it every day. The Sparrow reminded her of Lucy who used to be so cheerful. She fed the sparrow with grains every day. Soon both become so close that the sparrow sat on Maria's head without fear.

Some school going children passed in front of her small garden and asked if they can touch the sparrow too. But the sparrow flew away from them to their disappointment. Maria continued sewing the clothes while the sparrow sang songs for her every day. Years passed and the sparrow was still there for her. The sparrow became part of her family and she felt joyful sharing her life with this tiny creature.

When Maria turned 29 her desire to be with a man grew stronger. One day she took the sparrow with her to a park for a stroll. She saw many women around her happily spending time with their partner. She felt like an invisible ghost not being part of this happy environment. Suddenly the sparrow flew from her shoulder and landed on the hand of a handsome gentleman. It started fluttering its wing rapidly and chirped for few minutes and looked at Maria very slowly then gently closed it eyes and passed away.

The gentleman was perplexed and asked her whether the bird belongs to her. She nodded her head sadly. Unknowingly both felt drawn to each other. They spoke to each other for a whole day, later, they started seeing each other for weeks which turned into months. One day he proposed to marry her and told Maria about his affection for her. She blushed for some time. Then she looked into his eyes and said I am already yours. It was an autumn season the leaves were falling from the trees. Somewhere in the heaven, the red sparrow was chirping happily.


© Copyright 2017 Praveen Newman. All rights reserved.

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