So2 THE SPARROW AND HIS YOUNG ONES.
"I am aware of that," said the young bird, "especially if you are near a wall, or see anyone put his hand in his pocket or his bosom."
" Where have you learnt your wisdom then?" asked the father.
" Among the mountaineers, dear father, who when they travel, carry secretly stones with them."
" Mountain people ! working people ! striking people ! Have you been with the mountain lads ? then indeed you have seen and learnt something.n
At last the father called over his youngest son and said to him, " My dear little nestling, you, who were always the simplest and weakest, stay here with me now. In the world are many rough and wicked birds with crooked beaks and long claws who lie in wait for little birds to gobble them up, so you had better stay here with your own relations, and pick up the spiders and caterpillars from the trees or houses, and you will be safe and contented."
" My father," replied the little bird, "you have lived and been fed in safety all your life; people have never hurt you, nor has any hawk or kite, or other bird of prey been near you to do you injury, and this is because the great God has sent you food morning and evening. For He is the Creator and Preserver of all the birds of the forest, or the city, and He hears the young ravens when they cry, and not even a sparrow can fall to the ground without His permission."
" My son," said the old bird, "where did you learn all this?"
" I will tell you." he replied. " When the great storm of wind separated us from you, I was driven into a church, and remained there all the summer, living upon the flies and spiders. Once I heard these words preached, and it was the Father of all the sparrows Who gave me food during the summer, and preserved me from injury and from fierce birds."
" Truly, my son," replied his father, " if you fly to a church, and help to clear it from spiders and summer flies, and chirp to God like the you ng ravens do, and will trust in Him, as your own Creator, then you will be safe, even if the whole world were full of ravenous and malicious creatures."