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Love and Hate

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A mother sparrow and her child sat on a branch near a little, white church just outside a big city. There were flowers everywhere, and the service had just finished. The bride and groom stared into each other's eyes, while a mother nearby tenderly held a baby in her arms. Children laughed and played, while grandparents held hands and looked on with pride. Friends and relatives hugged each other in greeting. Talk was full of laughter.

The young sparrow asked, "Mother, how can humans love so much?"

In answer the wise sparrow said, "Come," and flew off the branch toward the city.

They flew over a fight outside a dirty bar, five against one. They watched as people passed by ignoring the wails from the man who was losing. They flew over a mob of people waving signs and throwing rocks in the windows of some politician's house while he tried to take his daughter to school. They flew over rush hour traffic, and watched the road rage as obscenities flew and voices rose.

"Because they can hate so much, my darling," the mother sparrow said.

"But," the young sparrow asked, "how can they hate so much?"

"Come," beckoned the mother sparrow, and they followed the loudest and angriest man through the traffic and on to a smaller road. They followed him as he got out of the car into a giant building, then found the window to the room he'd went into.

He was talking to a man in a white coat. The man with the white coat gave a quick reply and left. Then the man knelt down by a woman who wept at the foot of a white bed. He put his hand on her shoulder and whispered something. A child lay in the bed. He had a tube up his nose and several in his arm. A machine near him went beep...................beep................ beep................., getting slower and slower. The man burst out in sobs, crawling around the side of the bed to grasp the child's hand .

The mother sparrow said sadly, "Because they can love so much," and as she spoke the machine went quiet.

They stayed by that window as more people, some with white coats some with black, filed into the room and they stayed by the window until night had fallen, but the man and woman still wouldn't leave and still mourned on. The two birds flew off quietly into the night, both wiser than before.



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