Yesterday, after I got inside the house, all cozy in my warm sweats, while wrapping my cold fingers around my mug of coffee, I could not help but feel a tad remorseful for rebuffing my furry friend with his snow-covered snout. He only wanted a pittance really, a peanut, or two … or three, of which I had plenty, plus two big canisters downstairs as well. I didn’t hear his stomach growl of course, and, yes, he has fur, but it is not as if he has a matching muffler and mitts and a cozy cap keeping him toasty. He was out in the elements for goodness sake. Then, while I was in my bedroom getting dressed to trudge out this morning, as I wearily piled on layer after layer, I heard the faint cheep, cheep, cheep. The sparrows must be lined up on the back windowsill. They always seek shelter there in the Summer when there is a torrential rain storm or in the Winter when it is especially cold or snowing hard. The window ledge is under the large patio overhang giving them 100% protection from the inclement weather. They huddle together along the ledge, their little feet clinging to the cement, not moving a muscle, but for their chirping. I’ve kept that image of the lonely bird in the big tree and its song that cheered me up the other morning in the back of my mind. Between that bird, and hearing these sparrows’ plaintive tweets, I decided I must take some food and feed these poor hungry critters – but not in my yard. Whenever I go out of the house, no matter the season, the birds are lined up along the fence … waiting, hoping for that wee morsel of food that might get tossed their way. They are probably three or four generations later than the birds I was tending to in my yard before the first rats showed up in ’08. Since I was adamant about not throwing any food out in the backyard since the rat pack is back, I decided to take the food “to go”. I was going outside anyway, so I hurriedly broke up some of my own bread slices and took some of Buddy’s treats, several bottles of recently expired canary treat seeds and treat sticks. I put everything in a bag and decided to take a quick sprint over to Memorial Park. Once there, I brushed aside some snow with my foot and spread the offerings on the cement near the memorial. I even threw in a few peanuts for good measure for a wayward jay or perhaps a squirrel or two. Then, I walked a quick lap around Memorial Park observing from afar. As I suspected, some birds were watching my actions, since a few feathered friends flew over and alighted on the cold concrete to start enjoying the meager treats laid out for them. I even heard a “lookout bird” calling out to the others … a song sweeter than any you will ever hear at tonight’s Grammy Awards. It did my heart good and warmed me all over to share with these little guys. I wish they were birds from the ‘hood, but I like to think that perhaps they followed me over there.