On a recent mid-afternoon, I was sitting in the backyard reading, absorbing the quiet and admiring the white roses. Then two visitors appeared: two fat grey sparrows. They headed straight for the little water fountain which my housekeeper had filled that morning. I was holding my breath trying to become invisible but they paid me no attention whatsoever. One plunged in the water and the other perched on a high branch and pip-pip-pipped softly as if to reassure his companion that all was well. Then bird #1 started splashing merrily, spreading his wings, dipping his beak to drink, then thrashing some more. This went on for a while until they reversed roles. Bird #1 went to take up his position as sentry while bird #2 went through the same ritual in the basin. I felt as if I was watching an episode from Nature in real time. Quite a magic moment.