A young sparrow's nest was nestled in the top of a tall tree. Each day he watched Melanie play in her backyard.
A few weeks ago she moved to this huge house in the village of Greenfield, Nova Scotia. It even had an outdoor swimming pool.
Today the little girl pushed around a circle of snow, which grew larger with each roll. Before long her snowman was finished. And it had a huge tummy.
Then she began skating on her backyard rink.
Inside the house expensive toys lay scattered around her room.
A red and white tricycle was unused in the guest room.
And standing right beside it, a beautiful doll carriage was forgotten. Even her play stove from last Christmas was left into a corner with nothing baked.
This little girl seemed to have everything.
But, she did miss her friends.
Now she climbed the tree house left behind by some other boy or girl. From high above she could see nothing but forest.
Blue spruce trees provided a shaded shelter around her parent's property.
Living here in the country was very private, yet much too quiet for an active Melanie. It was certainly different from busy Halifax city where cars beeped and tires screeched.
At least her cat could have peaceful naps here.
The sparrow enjoyed watching his new neighbor. He thought his life was dull compared to Melanie's. Being the smallest bird in the nest caused his unhappiness.
And his sad chirping was less than a whisper.
Other birds avoided him. They thought every sparrow should be able to sing loud enough to welcome each day.
He wished his voice would get much stronger.
Melanie made a wish. She wanted at least one new friend.
"Let's do something special this Christmas," she said to her parents, as she helped with the dishes.
"Any ideas?" daddy asked.
"Let's decorate a Christmas tree outside. Instead of in the house," Melanie answered.
Looking up from her art work, her mother said, "Very interesting."
"Hmmm, yes indeed," came from Melanie's father. He was an engineer, who worked in Truro.
Only three days were left before December.
And the family had been too busy unpacking to think about decorations.
High above, the little sparrow practiced chirping. But, only a few weak sounds came out.
Melanie's mother and father really liked Melanie's idea.
Even Fluffy "Meowed" her approval.
A list was made for all needed decorations. And shopping for them in Truro was really fun.
When the family returned, their station wagon was filled with boxes.
Daddy was excited as he climbed up and down the ladder. Soon, lights, round balls and red bows hung from many branches.
The evergreen tree was now the nicest one in their backyard.
Melanie was extra brave climbing the ladder and placing a silver star at the very top. Snowflakes began to fall.
Now it really felt like Christmas!
When the little sparrow returned from his journey, Melanie was looking up at one tall tree.
Why that one? The sparrow wondered.
After all, the forest was full of trees. Then he noticed different shapes and objects hanging from many branches.
He didn't realize Christmas Eve had arrived.
Melanie was dressed in her warmest snowsuit, a gift from grandma and grandpa last year. Daddy and mommy stood beside Melanie.
They looked with pride at their tree, now full of ornaments.
Melanie's daddy said, "Okay." And her thumb pushed a black button on an electric box. She shivered with excitement, as red, yellow and orange colors lit up the sky. Glowing bulbs quickly chased away the darkness.
Blue, green and white ones joined the bright blinking. It turned Melanie's backyard into a very special place.
An inquiring deer poked his head from between two trees. Then a raccoon had to see what produced the glow. A fox and three rabbits were also interested.
The little sparrow made a slow circle over everything, astonished at this activity. Perching on a limb he watched Melanie dance with her parents around the decorated tree.
And they began to sing songs.
Beaver, partridge and a brown squirrel stared from under shrubs. A moose with huge antlers showed up.
They formed a half circle within the trees, like a zoo around the yard. Reflections from colorful lights shone in their eyes.
Then a line of cars drove into the driveway.
Headlights followed each other as in a flashlight path. Children and adults quickly joined Melanie and her parents.
Stars gleamed as if they exploded from a can of spray glitter. And the full moon provided a happy smile.
The sparrow leaned his head to one side, listening to the little girl and her parents. As the family below held hands, their song rose high above the trees.
The sparrow did not understand the words.
"Peace on Earth" sounded strange to his tiny ears. But somehow he knew it was a good thing.
He sensed this moment was meant for him. A strange feeling rose from within his little chest. Lifting his feathered head upwards, a song of joy burst forth.
Melodies danced in a rhythm of their own. They covered everyone with a gentle touch. His chirping was glad to join Melanie's song.
Christmas day arrived in a backyard of singing!
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Richard & Esther Provencher 2007
My wife, Esther and I are "born-again" and enjoy sharing our writing. It is a Christian Outreach for us. Our E-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are invited to visit our website at: www.wsprog.com/rp/. We live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Please pray for peace in the world.