Short Stories

The sparrows fountain

Once upon a time there was a roadside fountain. The sparrows of the neighboring trees had their meeting place there.

  They quenched their thirst, bathed, chirped with each other.

  From week to week, a man came, always by car, to fetch water from the fountain. It filled a number of plastic carboys and then shook it.

  At this point, the sparrow fled into the trees and watched.

  – What is he going to do with so much water? A young sparrow was intrigued.

  “Must go water the cabbages,” suggested a sparrow.

  – For watering cabbages is little – replied an old sparrow, very knowledgeable of life.

  “So it’s for him to drink,” proposed another sparrow.

  – For him to drink is too much – replied the old sparrow.

  – What will it be for? Asked the sparrow without anyone knowing how to answer it.

  Decided to investigate. He flew behind the car, but as his wings were still weak and the road was curving and turning, he lost track. And got lost.

  It fluttered in the gutters until it descended on a shed by the road. In the shed were melons for sale and onions and potatoes and carboys of wine. Hold on! And there were also carboys of water, just like the ones the car man filled, at the sparrows’ fountain.

  If the sparrow could read, it would read on the carboy label:

  “WATER FROM THE SOURCE OF HEALTH – Thanks to it, the young grow and the old do not shrink.”

  Jumping in front of the carboys, the sparrow admired the photograph of the label. There was the fountain, the center of his life, and some birds drinking water on the rim of the tank. See, this little one on the right could be him, the adventurous sparrow.

  Very proud of his discovery, the sparrow flew so high, so high that, from above, he saw the carboy carport, the curving road, and the source of Health or the sparrows from whence he had come.

  He fired towards the starting point and very excited jumped at his teammates:

  – I already know the secret of the carboys. The man is selling our portrait plus the portrait of our source.

  – What is the water for? Asked a fellow.

  “To hold our picture,” the sparrow responded promptly.

  António Toasted

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