‘Good Enough For Sparrows’. A flash fiction.

 My contributions to #fridayflash have been irregular recently, due mainly to time constraints, but I found time this week. I won’t say too much about the inspiration for this one; suffice to say someone I know does this with dog hair. Comments, as always, greatly appreciated.

Good Enough for Sparrows

Half an hour into our first walk together across the fields she produced a plastic bag from her pocket and ran the length of a barbed wire fence plucking swirls of snagged sheep’s wool from its spikes. The animals looked on, bemusement quickly giving way to renewed ruminating.

‘For the birds,’ she said, as if that were explanation enough.

Later, after dusk, she crept into the garden and placed clumps of her foraged booty at regular intervals in the bushes.

‘They’ll take it for their nests,’ she said, and I began to understand.

Short on time after work, she took to forensically cleaning out the tumble drier’s filters. Depending on the load, the clumps outside turned blue or white, even pink on one occasion, having washed the red towels.

Shortly after, she took to ambushing me to pull lint from my sweaters and loitering at the bathroom door whilst I dried off, dustpan at the ready.

‘It’s a bit wiry,’ she said, ‘but sparrows aren’t too choosy.’

Finally, waking one night at three o’clock, I caught her surgically easing out the stuffing from my pillow by means of a well-placed incision.

‘Please don’t,’ I said, ‘this is my nest.’

‘Who ruffled your feathers?’ she muttered, attempting to reverse the procedure, which, we quickly discovered, is a bit like trying to put toothpaste back in its tube.


© flyingscribbler 2012


22 comments on “‘Good Enough For Sparrows’. A flash fiction.

  1. adampb says:

    The imagery is superb. Well crafted and the last line is spot on. Loved it.
    Adam B @revhappiness

    • You were quick off the mark Adam. Thanks for your very encouraging comments. That last line cheered me up no end this evening after a tiring day. It was the third last line I wrote for this story, so glad it worked for you.

  2. TEC4 says:

    I really enjoyed this… you employed the avian scheme to great effect.

  3. i could see her going around collecting bits of fluff! LOL The whole thing worked for me. I enjoyed it!

  4. Stacey says:

    Loved this story! She went just a bit too far eh? Hehe

  5. John Wiswell says:

    Ha! Very weird and out there, perfect for tonight.

  6. A very odd practice, but kind of endearing. Nice little titbit 🙂

  7. Steve Green says:

    Nice flowing easy-on-the-eye humour Justin.

    I think the girl is definitely well-meaning, but maybe just a tad obsessed. 🙂

  8. Larry Kollar says:

    Yes, you chose well with the last line — got a chuckle out of me on an early Saturday morning!

    Not a bad idea with the lint — let *someone* get some use of it.

  9. Gail Aldwin says:

    Like the story, nicely rounded, enjoyed the warmth of the relationship between the characters

  10. I think she underestimates how well the sparrows can fend for themselves. I’m surprised she didn’t raid the poor guy’s navel for its lint. And the wiry bits from the bathroom? Ew!

    Fun story.

  11. KjM says:

    Who ruffled your feathers?…

    Gorgeous, and fun.

    Your character’s lady seems to have a little OCD thing going on. Helpful, yes, but boundaries…please!

    Excellent flash. Nicely done.

  12. John Xero says:

    I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t some underlying issue which led to this obsessive behaviour. It makes for an amusing and warm flash, but there’s something lurking at a depth it never tries for. That said, it is well-written, very readable, and fun. =)

  13. Icy Sedgwick says:

    What an odd practice! Having said that, our two rabbits once had a fight and covered the lawn in their fur, and an hour or so later, the birds had cleared it up. They do so love to make their nests comfy.

  14. You may have worked out by now that I’m a big fan of obsessive compulsives in stories.. so I love her.. do you have her address? I have a load of belly button fluff I’ve collected over the last few years that’s in bad need of a good home…Who ruffled your feathers Justin to come up with such a great short? Taut, precise and as perfectly formed as a sparrows nest..

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