The Bird Revolution

by Simone
(Botswana)

Freedom is so close, yet so far.


I sat on my perch, staring at the letter on the wall. My master had been snappy lately, and my mistress was very bitter. My master walked to the kitchen to find something to eat. As he came out, he noticed that my cage was filthy, smelly and showed a huge case of neglect.

He looked at my feeder. It was empty and so was my bowl of water. I made a sort of bark that the children taught me to do, whenever I wanted something. He just walked away, not even bothering to give me a crust. I looked at the letter in disgust. I spat at it.

It so happened that my mistress was passing by and she noticed the state of my cage and blocked her nose. “Cedric, you know we can’t afford to clean a cage, if that’s what you were thinking! My mistress yelled. We are down to our last million! I don’t want to lose your father’s fortune.” I saw her throw a pale yellow paper into the fire.

I forgot to mention that I belonged to rich family, which only got its money from an ill man. My master’s father, Ferdinand Wilson, died in an avalanche in Bernard. All his fortune went to his son, Cedric. My master was more than happy to inherit his father’s fortune. My mistress only married him for his money. There was a sudden clatter in the kitchen. The children had come home from school.

Wednesday ran across the living room leaving a trail of mud across the carpet. Maxwell walked past his parents in an orderly fashion. Honestly, I much rather preferred Wednesday, rather than Maxwell. Wednesday ran into her room, kicked off her shoes, and ran amuck in her dirty socks. She climbed onto the couch and switched on the TV. She looked up at my cage and walked towards it. “Oh dear, Daphne, She cried. Your cage is dirty!” She took out a bag of sawdust and bird feed. She opened my cage and put her hand in. I hooked my sharp claws into her hand. She did not feel the pain.

That night, I dreamt of seeds that tasted like honey and bird baths the size of swimming pools. Suddenly, there was a knock on the window. I unlocked my cage with my beak. When I hopped to the window, I saw a handsome finch with a curious look in his eyes. I whispered to him; “Come in through the mail slit. It’s built into the door.” He flew away from the windowsill and came into the house. I flew done from the window and introduced myself. “Hi, I’m Daphne Finch,” I said. The bird replied, “Hi, I’m Tony. I am not a finch like you. I’m actually a Kentucky Warbler.” I blushed.

I asked him why he was here. He lifted up his left wing and showed a big red bruise. I took him to my cage and nursed him with vinegar and olive oil. When morning came, I gave Tony some water to drink and bread and seeds to eat. Suddenly all the alarm clocks in the house went off. The children stormed downstairs, with their parents trailing behind them. Wednesday walked up to my cage and said, “Morning’ Daphne.

It’s a Saturday and we can go play outside after breakfast.” She peered into my cage and noticed Tony lying down on a soft bed made out of rare Eurasian cotton. Wednesday giggled and called everyone to come and see. “Look, she said, it looks like our sweet little Daphne has a boyfriend!” My mistress picked up Tony and dressed him up in miniature birdie clothes. They picked me up too and put me into a dress.

We were put into the ‘romantic suite’ birdbath. While they were gone, Tony started laughing and said, “Don’t you know what’s going on here. They are treating you like some tweeting doll. Don’t you know that we birds are supposed to be FREE! Moreover, here you are eating out of a solid gold bowl, while the rest of us are competing with pigeons for bread crust.” Tony was right. There was more to life than being a pet.

Tony told me that he was planning to leave before he was dressed into a tuxedo. That night, Tony decided to wake me up and take me with him. We packed seeds in small sackcloth. We snuck out through the mail slit. Tony led the way as we flew over the fence. Suddenly, I dropped down to the ground and started yawning. “I’m tired Tony, I said. Can we sleep in a world known hotel or under the watchful eye of a super star”. Tony laughed and led me to a tree. It had a couple of rambled half-destroyed nests.

I screamed (high pitch chirp) with disgust. We had to sleep in a foul old raven’s nest instead of a royal golden cage made by the monks of Timbuktu. Tony told me to stop complaining, “We’ll continue our journey first thing in the morning, so make the best of it. Here, we’ll use these leaves as blankets and these strips of straw as pillows”. I finally settled in and fell asleep. At 6a.m in the morning, Tony and I were awakened by the frantic screams of a little girl. I knew exactly that it was Wednesday’s frantic screams.

I guess she saw that I had escaped. “Don’t worry about it Daphne. We’ll be in the fresh free countryside in no time,” said Tony. It was almost lunchtime when we reached town. There were buses, trucks, cars, and motorcars. We decided to stop and rest in an abandoned hawk’s nest. The smoke from the exhaust pipes of the cars had blackened the nest where we were resting.

A few new friends.

At one o’ clock in the afternoon, Tony and I were awoken by a terrible noise. We found a strange gray warbler looking at us curiously. “Hey there ‘Paws’, I’m Rainbow the gray warbler. I was born in Canada.

My father raised me to become an excellent thief but I had other ambitions. I wanted to be a star! My parents were against the whole thing. I kept my acting and singing career at will. Finally, my parents kicked me out of the nest. I decided it would be best if I stole a few rings to make my fortune in this world.”

Rainbow pulled out a golden ring that sparkled like diamonds. Tony flicked it away and said that we should get along with our travels. Rainbow explained that she knew a good whopper of a bird who could get us to a place called ‘Bird Town’. She did not explain much about the town though. We stopped by a General Store to look for a few things.

A group of bird-watchers took pictures of us. On the shoulder of one of the birdwatchers, there was a green parrot name Percy. He watched us going in and out of the store, carrying small packs of gum and crisps. Suddenly, I heard low whispers behind the tree we were perched on. It was my master and mistress. I heard my mistress say, “We’ve got to find that stupid bird.

I read your father’s will and it said that he was passing his fortune to, not his son, but his most trusted companion, DAPHNE FINCH!” When I heard this, I was shocked and a little happy. To think my original master, Ferdinand Wilson V had left me his entire fortune. I turned round to tell Tony and Rainbow the good news, when I remembered that my ex-master and mistress were behind the tree looking for me! I quickly grabbed Tony by the wing, and flew him to another tree. Rainbow soon followed us, wondering why we were in such a hurry.

Tony was wondering the same thing. As soon as we reached the highest branch, he asked me why I did that. “Tony, that’s my master and mistress down there! They must not find me. I think they want to get rid of me because, my previous master wrote that he would pass on his entire fortune to me.” Tony and Rainbow stared in disbelief at me.

I explained all that I had heard and told them about my rich family. Rainbow said that we had better shake a tail-feather and find the travel-bird. Just then, Percy the parrot flew up to us and asked, “(Squawk) Hey, you’re the thieves who stole that food from the shop. What do you want? I hope you know my mistress is a famous bird photographer.” Rainbow clawed the parrot’s beak with her sharp talons. “Listen, parrot, my comrades and I would like you to help us. With my knowledge and your incessant noise, we could make it to Bird Town alive!” I think Percy was really moved by this because the next minute we were flying to a nearby garden. I was relieved to find that we were going to a clean source of water. I bent down to drink from the pond water, when an ugly green toad popped up and said, “Hey man, I live in this here water, so don’t go drinking my tadpoles. Ya dig?” I jumped up, shocked to see an ugly frog in the water and to hear it talk. Just then, a group of fish swam up to the surface and said, “Oh mercy me, who are these three? We suppose they must be guests, let’s give them what they request.” These fish were obviously speaking in verse, which I thought sooo romantic. Tony stepped forward bravely and said, “We’re looking for Bird Town. Have you any idea where we are?”

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