Sparrow Girl

Ming-Li looked up and tried to imagine the sky silent, empty of birds. It was a terrible thought. Her country’s leader, Chairman Mao had called sparrows the enemy of the farmers–they were eating too much grain, he said. He announced a great “Sparrow War” to banish them from China, but Ming-Li did not want to chase the birds away. As the people of her village gathered with firecrackers and gongs to scatter the sparrows, Ming-Li held her ears and watched in dismay. The birds were falling from the trees, frightened to death. Ming-Li knew she had to do something–even if she couldn’t stop the noise. Quietly, she vowed to save as many sparrows as she could, one by one.