Saki: The Image of the Lost Soul

I have read and reread many Saki stories but I must admit I have never read this before. After I went through it, I felt the need to check whether it was indeed written by him and whether there was any mistake on the website where I read it (though it is highly unlikely). For there were no domineering aunts  or presumptuous uncles, no mischievous or prodigious children or any similar hallmarks of his writing.

It is a moralistic fable much in the mould of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Happy Prince’ or ‘The Selfish Giant’.

A songbird comes flying to the parapets of an imposing cathedral and tries to find a resting place in one of the crevices there. But other birds already nesting there discourage it and so the newcomer is forced to resort to a niche in a particularly grotesque figure among the carvings there.



(ignore mistake in the title in the link above)


Every day, through the long monotonous hours, the song of his little guest would come up in snatches to the lonely watcher, and at evening, when the vesper-bell was ringing and the great grey bats slid out of their hiding-places in the belfry roof, the brighteyed bird would return, twitter a few sleepy notes, and nestle into the arms that were waiting for him.


One Response to Saki: The Image of the Lost Soul

  1. Nice sentiment neatly depicted! the fat pigeons and the people who locked up the bird represent the callous arrogance and perversity of the worldly sections of society!

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