Little Things

Today, I saw a bird in the supermarket.

I had been lingering particularly long in the canned food section, bested by the amount of variety of tomato paste displayed in front of me. Tomato paste is tomato paste, right? How much difference can there be? I stared with hazy eyes, brow lowered in concentration.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flutter of movement to my left.
And there it was, hopping from tile to tile. Lowering its face to scope out the crummy situation. Pun always intended.

I looked around me, willing someone else to share in this unexpected scene with a word or a glance. But there was no one. Other shoppers steered their carts quickly by, only vaguely glancing at the sign above. Apparently deciding they did not need to spend ten minutes debating the best choice of tomato paste.

I wondered how it got in the store. Maybe it bided its time just outside the sliding glass doors, waiting for someone to trigger the sensor, so it could swoop in, unnoticed. Maybe there was a hole somewhere in the roof, just small enough for a sparrow to wriggle its way in, hiding from the cold.

A loud, smoke-worn voice erupted at the end of the aisle, scolding his wife for forgetting their shopping list. I watched to see if the man would see my little bird, but his sudden bass had cleared the bird under the shelves and out of sight.

I smiled to myself. Little sparrow.