Once upon a cool evening, a little boy caught two beautiful little birds. He was very happy with himself and he felt very very lucky.
“I will keep these birds as pets” He said to himself, “I will feed and take care of them and show them off to my friends,” and so he put them in a cage under a mango tree in the yard. He fed them plenty of bread crumbs and sweetened water that night. he watched them excitedly as they ate, but then he noticed that one of the birds, the smaller of the two was not as happy as the other.
“ Good night my little birds” the boy waved to them that night before leaving for his bedroom to sleep. he went to bed wishing the morning will come quickly so he would feed them a bit of his breakfast and sweetened water and watch them eat.
“Why are you sad?” the bigger bird asked the smaller one
“I want to be free. I don’t like being in a cage”
“You must learn to live in a cage my dear, it still has a pleasant side to it though; at least you wouldn’t have to hunt for seeds and nuts to eat while keeping an eye open for snakes and wild cats, and you wouldn’t have to be bothered with making nests with grasses, you wouldn’t have to fly long distances whenever the seasons change. You would be fed and protected in a cage and would be sure of a full stomach every night just as I am right now” he said, wiggling its tail feathers and settling in the soft straws of to sleep”
“I want to fly freely in the air, I want to sing when the dew is fresh on the tree leaves, I want to spread my wings in the warmth of the sun and bath in the warm sands by the lonely shore, I want to make my nests with fresh straw high on tree branches, I want to eat wild nuts and seeds and worms, I want to drink from the quiet brook that runs through the forest”
“Then you must love a hard life my dear but I love it here. Good night sweet?” he said and faded off to sleep.
Next morning, the little boy got up early and hurried to his cage, but alas, the sad little bed was dead.
“I never like it”, the boy said to himself “it was always sad. I would just throw it in the bush and maybe a vulture would have it for dinner”
And so he cast the bird in the bushes nearby. As soon as he left, the bird sprang, shook its feathers and flew into the air chirping loud and happy. It flew high into the misty morning air, through tree branches, close to the surface of brooks and over grassy fields, happy to be free at last.
One week later, it flew across the little boy’s house and then it remembered its former friend. It stopped by the familiar cage to check him. He could hardly recognize his old friend when he saw him in the cage; it looked pale, its feathers hung down like they would fall off any moment.
“How do you do my friend?” he enquired
“I am not well my dear. I am tired of drinking sweetened water and bread crumbs all day long”
“I thought you loved the easy life here?” the bird teased
“Not anymore my dear” the bird shook its head “the little boy took ill two days ago, nobody has bothered to feed me ever since”
“Drop dead as I did so you would be thrown into the bushes too”
“Don’t you see it is useless? I could actually die and nobody would still notice”
“I’m sorry my good friend, there is nothing I can do for you. I have to fly away before I get captured again. There is a lot of freedom to enjoy outside a cage. So long, my good friend” the bird said and flew towards the sky chirping as it soared in the evening wind.