I Saw a White Sparrow
I stopped walking
On the top of neatly trimmed bushes along a park stroll path
I saw a group of about ten… perhaps twenty sparrows perching.
One of them is white!
Milk white from its head to shoulders,
The rest of the body is a little brownish.
But it’s definitely a white bird.
I stood awhile watching it.
Suddenly the birds flew up.
They flew to a nearby fence and perched on it in a row.
Just then a park attendant passed by on a bicycle.
I stopped him and asked,
“That little white one on the fence, is it a sparrow, do you think?”
“Oh, that,” he squinted his eyes at it.
“We’ve received reports about seeing a white sparrow in this park.
“That must be it. This must be your lucky day, seeing that.”
He rode off on his bicycle without showing any further interest.
Returning home, I picked up the telephone.
I wanted to call up a TV station.
I thought a white sparrow would be an interesting piece of news.
And it shouldn’t be difficult for them to find it at the park.
“What did you say? You saw a white sparrow?”
The woman I was connected to on the phone almost shouted.
“Are you sure? When and where?”
She seemed to think it was worthwhile to look into.
But, just then, my bad habit took over me.
I just hung up the phone.
I was simply urged to hang up and I did so before knowing it.
I’d often wonder where such an urge comes from.
In many occasions I am unpredictable to myself.
I do things and I know those things only afterwards.
Because of this I have often been a white crow at schools and work places.
I thought it was some kind of a mental disorder, and I kept it secret.
And lately, I chanced to read a psychologist say,
“Your brain makes you do something before you decide to do it.”
This means my own behavior is predetermined
by something, or someone, other than myself.
Then, my behavior is basically subconscious.
I am a slave to that subconscious mind.
Scary! I might do something horrible a second from now
without my knowing.
I didn’t feel like calling the TV station again. No urge.
Instead, I found myself walking back to the park.
I only knew I wanted to see the white sparrow again
to make sure I have really seen it.
The sparrow’s domain isn’t all that big.
I walked around only an hour or so before I could find
a group of sparrows on a maple tree near the edge of the park.
In the group, there is definitely one that’s white.
White but not all that conspicuous, and this gave me a relieved feeling.
“Leave it alone. Let it be free,” I thought consciously.
Both the sparrow and I may be slave to the subconscious mind
by which we are commonly possessed.
The white one was merrily chirping like giggling like others.
The difference in the color of their feathers doesn’t mean a thing to them.
I stood there and watched them
until they flew away out of my sight.