I'm happy with the purpose of と when it precedes verbs like 言う、聞く、思う etc. The following sentence puzzles me:
I understand that the man feels disappointed and wonders if the sparrow is alright, but I can't make a sensible translation. Did he say it while feeling disappointed, or did he say it in a disappointed manner? Please explain if this is a shorthand way of saying a longer expression or whether it is common to be able to quote feelings in Japanese.
Here's a slightly different one:
I know that と is used with sound effects (for want of a better word) so ちゅんちゅんちゅん needs it, but there's a whole sentence in quotes and it needs to be 'said' or 'asked' or 'thought'. It doesn't make sense for it to be 'looked around-ed'.