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Wednesday
Oct282009

I need my cage, cried Finch

 

Here’s an example of a story inside a story. Or it could stand alone.
 

“Finch's Cage.”

After seeing Tao I wandered downhill and found a “new” side street. I needed some thick cold java and wanted to scribble notes about our conversation. I found a run-down internet cafe and sat outside. Here’s the true story.  It’s about a human-bird.

Finch had a yellow chest, red beak and brown feathers. It was outside the plate glass door. It had escaped from its small yet safe bamboo cage in the main room. Someone; perhaps the young mother worried about her wailing infant or her old mother worried about dying alone or her brother worried about dying of boredom had left the cage open.

Finch was outside. It sang, “Where’s my home? What is this beautiful world?”

I sat fifteen feet away watching it. Finch hugged the ground. It looked at green trees waving across the street. It saw the deep blue sky inhaling clear, clean mountain air. It heard birds singing in the trees but it didn’t understand them. Their songs were about nesting, exploring, flying, clouds, trees, sky, rain, warm sun, rivers, bark, worms, snails, and melodies of freedom.

I wondered if Finch would fly away. I hoped so, then again, I knew it was afraid to go. Perhaps it lacked real flying experience, the kind where you lift off quickly beating your wings furiously to get up and get going to escape the weight of gravity pulling you down and then you can turn and glide and relax and soar. However, Finch being conditioned to the caged world of bamboo with a perch, food and water merely looked and listened to the world.

Finch retreated from the possibility of free flight and pecked at loose seeds in a narrow crevice below the plate glass door. It smelled the dark stale room where the cage hung on a wire. It pecked under the frame. It wanted someone to rescue it.

It sang. “Help! Let me in. I want to come home. I’ve been outside and I’ve seen enough. It’s a big scary place. I promise I’ll never try to escape again. I was curious, that’s all. I’ve seen enough. Let me in!”” 

Finch was amazing in it’s beauty. Yellow, red, brown - bright eyed in it’s aloneness. 

Finally an old woman came out and opened the door allowing Finch back inside the room, trapped Finch in a purple cloth and returned Finch to it’s cage. She closed the bamboo door and snapped the latch shut.

“Did you learn your lesson little bird?” she whispered.

Finch sat on it’s perch, enjoyed a long cool drink of water and sang. “Thank you. Now I am truly happy.” 

The old woman didn’t understand this language, muttered under her breath about inconvenience and shuffled down a long dark hallway to a kitchen where she killed a chicken for lunch.