Pek, The Rhyming Sparrow

By Yolanda Gallagher

(c) 1998 Yolanda Gallagher

“I fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Soaring and swooping through the mid-summer breeze. I am a young bird with a whole life to go. How will my day be? I will soon know!”
This is the song of Pek, a little brown sparrow. He flies from tree to tree and from branch to branch.
“I must find berries and seeds for that’s what my little tummy needs!” He chirps happily. Pek lands on the branch of an old oak tree and looks around with quick jerks of his head.
“Food, chirp! chirp! Food, chirp!”
He spies a bird feeder close to a window and glides to it. He wraps his long clawed toes around the perch and pecks at the black and white seeds. As he chews them up, he notices a cat looking at him from the other side. “Chirp! Chirp!” He cries, pecking at the seeds.
“I’m out here and you’re in there. Oh, I bet you just can’t bear!” He laughs. The cat jumps on to the arm of a couch that sits in front of the window and walks along the back. It sits itelf directly in front of Pek and paws at the window.
“Ha, ha! You can’t get me, you poor little kitty!” He teases. Pek does a back flip easily through the air and glides past the window. He spits the chewed seeds at the cat, and the cat flinches as they bounce off the glass.
“Ha, ha! Chirp! Chirp!” He laughs as he pecks at more seeds before flying off. “That cat’s mad. Aww, too bad!”
Pek flutters his wings as he lands on the side of a marble bird bath. He hops along the rim and then hops into the still water.
“Clean water? Neat! Warmed by the summer’s heat!” Pek started splashing water over his head and wings and drinks with his beak.

“What is it, Princess?” The Grandma asks her cat. “Do you want to go outside and play?” Princess rubs her sleek back against her mistress’s legs.
“Purr! Purr!” She cries.
“Have fun and get some exercise.” The Grandma waves as Princess slips through the open door.

“You’ve got to keep yourself clean, or else you’ll become stinky and fellow birds will be mean!” Pek sings out.
Princess peeks her head around a corner of the house and spots Pek. She licks her lips and eyes him hungrily. She silently creeps through the grass.
“Mmmm,” Princess purrs as she reaches the base of the bird bath.
“Chirp! Chirp! Singing while I’m cleaning and I’m also dreaming, that I will find a mate and set the big date!”
Princess balances herself carefully, twitches her whiskers, and prepares for a cat pounce. With her strong back legs, she leaps up to the top of the bird bath, knocking it to the ground with a thud!
“Squeech! Squawk!” Pek cries. He flutters around on the ground. Princess walks around the fallen Pek with sassy strides. Pek looks up at his feline enemy with frightened eyes.
“I’m a young bird with a whole life to go. You don’t want me, I should know!” Pek pleads.
“Yum, yum!” Princess licks her mouth. “Purrr!”
“You think you’re hungry, but I know you’re not! You shouldn’t eat me right on the spot!” He rhymes.
“Stop rhyming, you foolish bird! You’re going to make a tasty snack.”
“Cat food, dog food, bird food, seeds. That’s the food some animals need! Why can’t you eat your own food, you’re a cat! Those different foods were meant for that!” Pek hollered.
“Stop it! You’re giving me a headache!” Princess yells, covering her ears with her paws.
“Apples, cherries and berries, oh my! Squish ‘em together and make a pie! Shake it and back and when you’re done, pat it together and slap on a bun!” Pek sings as he hops around the annoyed cat.
“Meow! Meow!” Princess hisses. “You’re driving me crazy with those rhymes!”
“Turkey, chicken, rooster, crow! Dogs, cats and buffalo! Fish, whale and starfish too! They can even trick you, too!”
Princess shakes her head and bats her ears with her paws. She then turns and runs back to the house without looking back.
“You should not have a cat for a pet. They are the stupidest animals I have met! You can scramble their brains with a few little rhymes. I surely haven’t met my match this time! Chirp! Chirp!”