The little “bird” hops,
her pink poufy winter jacket unzipped, her Disney boots untied.
Tentatively towards the table where we sit.
Eyeing the chocolate cookie that sits temptingly on the edge
seemingly unguarded (both the bird and the cookie)
A young woman’s voice calls,
and in some foreign language (Polish? Ukrainian? Russian?)
calls the little bird back.
Seconds later I see a perky hopping
towards us again,
this time coming right up to the edge of the table, nose parallel to the baked good
in precarious proximity.
Suddenly she becomes aware of our presence, looks away from the tempting morsel and directs her bright blue eyes right at us. Eyes darting between the cookie and up at us. Tilting her head inquisitively. Assessing the situation.
And back she hops.
Then, sure enough, feeling brave because the intensity of our conversation has taken our immediate attention away from her,
This time close enough where one ponytail brushes my elbow.
“Can I give this to her?” we ask her mother. “Can she eat this?”
The mother nods permission and
I sloooooowly edge the cookie towards her, offering it gently,
afraid she’ll fly away.
She eagerly takes the cookie in her little hand, and with wide eyes that smile in appreciation she
devours the cookie…not delicate like little sparrows do, but rather like a little bear, ferocious and hungry. All the while standing confidently in front of the hands that fed her.
“Marta, say thank-you”. But not a sound comes from little mouth. Only a small, smile wrapped in brown crumbs.
The glint of satisfaction and happiness in her eyes are thanks enough.