A Golden Bird In A Gilded Cage

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A golden bird is kept as a pet by a kind girl but can't help wanting to be free.

Submitted: May 23, 2016

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Submitted: May 23, 2016

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A Golden Bird In A Gilded Cage

The bird was beautiful. It looked similar to a canary only sleeker, more delicate. Instead of yellow its plumage was a deep golden colour. And its song matched its appearance in every way, being almost magical to listen to.

The golden bird lived in the most luxurious of cages. It was made of a gilded metal of such high quality that it appeared to be gold. There was a comfortable perch and a place to roost should it wish to do so. The food she was fed was the highest quality bird food available and it was supplemented with a most delicious variety of fruits and seeds.

The girl that took care of the bird was kind and gentle, devoted. She would talk to her; sing with her, stroke her feathers gently with one finger. The bird would be allowed to fly around the room, to settle on the girl's hand or shoulder. But the bird was not happy.

One day the girl moved the cage next to the window. Through the window  the bird could see a whole other world. A world where so much seemed to be going on. A world where other birds were flying freely about, flitting and diving as they wished. The bird came to realise that it was trapped, kept from living life to the full, and she became sad.

No longer did she sing along with the girl. No longer did she enjoy the diet that had seemed so delicious before. When out of her cage she barely bothered to stretch her wings. She would perch on the window sill gazing mournfully through the glass.

Then there came a morning when the girl was distracted, careless. She rushed from the room, leaving the golden bird out of her cage and the window slightly open.

The bird landed gently on the sill. The gentle breeze and the sounds from outside called to it, almost daring it to take this opportunity of freedom. The golden bird took one step, then another. She was now right opposite the opening. A hop up and she was through, balanced on the sill outside of the glass.

The bird heard the girl rush back into her room, suddenly remembering what she had forgotten to do. The bird heard her calls, gentle at first but then becoming more panicked. Its chance for freedom was now or never.
She took one regretful look back and then she stretched her wings and flew.

But what was this invisible force that was trying to toss her around? She was having to struggle to move in her direction of choice, her tiny wings beating frantically and tiring very quickly. The golden bird had never experienced wind before and saw it as an invisible opponent.

The birds that had looked so free outside were not friendly or happy. They were busy; bustling, searching for food, for nesting materials, sometimes singing as they went. And some of them were huge and frightening, especially the big black ones with hooked talons and cruel beaks.

The golden bird tried to approach some of the smaller birds to ask about the life of freedom, but they looked at it as though it did not belong and shunned its advances. Not one bird took the time to be pleasant; to offer advice, to be friendly, and she was left feeling very much alone.

It had been a while since she had eaten and her tiny stomach was empty. She let herself drift gently to the ground where she started to search for tiny seeds, crumbs, anything to satisfy her hunger.

But there were huge metal beasts that came thundering past, scaring the bird into the hedge. She had never seen anything move so fast and make so much noise as it did. The girl had never spoken of such ferocious beasts. They seemed to confine their mad charges to the grey ground at least.

The golden bird spotted a patch of green grass that seemed to be a promising place to search for nourishment. She was unused to having to peck around at the ground as her food had always been plentiful.

She was so caught up in her search that she did not notice the four-legged creature stalking up to her, belly to the ground. She did not notice until the last minute when it pounced and she only just made her escape in a flurry of frantic fluttering. The cat was left staring angrily at nothing more than a golden tail feather.

Life outside was proving to be too much for the tiny bird. She did not have the knowledge or the experience to be able to exist in it. It was all just too much. She was an outsider and she always would be.

The golden bird heard a voice that she recognised, the voice of the girl that  had cared for her so lovingly. The voice that she had spent so many hours happily singing along with. The window was open, the girl was leaning out calling to her.

The golden bird opened her wings and flew up, up towards the window and back to her gilded cage. Back to her life of comfort and food and joyful singing.

But the joy was no longer there. The golden bird was swamped with a feeling of not belonging anywhere. She could not exist in the world outside, but neither could she accept being trapped. She tried to find her voice again but it had been swallowed up by her disappointment.

The golden bird grew tired and sick until one day she knew what she had to do. She closed her eyes, spread her wings and let herself drift away.


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