The rain beat down steadily to its own rhythm. Not a heavy rain. But a light, comforting rain. A rain that complemented the brightness of the sun. She watched it and drank her tea from the porch. Of everything that spring brought, rain was her favorite.
A small flock of birds flew into a bush one by one to find cover from the rain. They each had the same routine – fly into the bush, shake water off their feathers, waddle deeper into the bush, and sit on a branch. They were all medium to large sized and bright shades of red or blue. Except for one. The last one was small and brown. She wanted to call him a sparrow, but she knew that wasn’t right. Sparrows had black and white stripes on them. This one was brown with a white chest. No special designs, no bright colors, not an intimidating size. He was different, and the others made sure he knew it, squawking at him and pulling at his feathers. He was a contender for a space in the bush, which even though had enough physical space, apparently didn’t have enough territory.
After they had plucked two feathers, he began squawking back at them. Although the small brown bird was outnumbered, he was spirited. He squawked as loud as he could, which was quieter than the rest, and dodged the other birds’ beaks rather quickly. He even nipped at one of the large red birds with his small beak. What a fearless bird, she thought. After he squawked at one of the medium birds trying to pluck more of his feathers, the other large bird with blue feathers and a pointed head decided to attack fiercely with its claws. The small brown bird tried to dodge it but was unsuccessful. He let out a small screech and fell to the ground after the blue bird released him.
A few moments had passed, but the small brown bird was still. She kept watching him, waiting for a sign of life, hoping that he was still alive. He was so petite compared to the others and had such lively movements. She couldn’t help but silently cheer for him. Finally, he stood up and wobbled until he fell again. He repeated that process several times. He’s hurt, she thought. She quickly put down her tea cup and walked over to him, lifting up her dress so as not to get it dirty. The small brown bird tried hopping away from her, seeing as she was much bigger than him, making him feel afraid. But she gently scooped him up and brought him closer to her chest. “Shhh. Shhh. It’s okay. You’re okay little one,” she whispered. The small brown bird was shaking so she stroked the bird’s head to calm him. It only took a few minutes for him to calm down but his breathing was still shallow and quick. She gently walked him to the porch and sat down with him. He looked at her eyes and she smiled at him, still stroking his head.
“You put up quite the fight out there, you know that?”
His small black eyes kept contact with her hazel ones.
“I can see you don’t have any friends. Neither do I.”
“What should we name you? Hmm…I know. Sans Peur. It means fearless in French. A good fit, don’t you think?”
He chirped and after a minute, closed his eyes, breathed normally, and let her gently stroke his head.
The friends sat and watched the rain together. The light, comforting rain.