There was a sparrow in my parents' bedroom.

This is, by and large, not what one expects to find in a bedroom of any person, be they parents or not. (Come to think of it, my mum wasn't entirely expecting it herself)

Part the First
I walk into my parents' room to say my goodnights, perhaps hoping to sneak a cup of tea before heading on to bed. As I enter, I find my mum sitting straight up with a look of sheer disbelief on her face.

"I just woke up, and saw a sparrow on the dressing table..." she offers; after a brief discussion, I agree to perform a hasty (albiet silent, there are children sleeping) search of the upstairs, whilst my dad (ever the keen ornithologist) searches the ground floor. This failing to discover any birds, sparrow or otherwise, the three of us decide it was, more than likely, a "corner-of-the-eye"-type illusion.

Saying my goodnights, I head to the bathroom, brush my teeth, the usual, only to find upon leaving my father creeping out of the bedroom with a very excited look upon his face...

"Get the nets."

Thus begins a rather desperate attempt to corner the poor bewildered bird, and relocate it to a more suitable outdoors environment. (I would like to stress that we did this with utmost care, and did everything in our power to prevent injury to the poor thing.) Eventually, it (more from accident than skill) flies into a lever-arch file, and is taken downstairs to be released.

Part the Second
Having forgotten to close the front door behind us in our attempt to release the sparrow, we are now faced with a dilemma. How does one retreive a bird from behind the kitchen cabinets?

Thankfully, it was rather easier than before to coax the bird towards us, and it was gently lured into a net, whereupon it was taken outside and released into the garden. Making its way past the guinea pigs, it eventually settled amongst the rushes, and we bid it adieu.

What an eventful evening this was.