A Cage Unnoticed
A Cage Unnoticed3 mins 307 3 mins 307
I found a small pigeon lying in my balcony. His head split open, wings broken and plumage ripped apart; it was barely alive. When he saw me, he retreated far back into the corner of the balustrade and looked away. The following few days I heard him cry out for help to his friends, but no one ever came. Eventually, the screams stopped. He had surrendered to his fate.
I tried to feed him every day, but whenever I went to him, he would retreat into the corner of the balustrade and look away. Sometimes I felt it was fear, sometimes I felt it was a shame. I didn’t stop however. I would go to him and try to feed him, if he didn’t eat I would leave him his food in little cups. When I returned the next morning, sometimes I would find the cup empty; sometimes I would find his food rotting at the bottom of the cup.
I would talk to him for hours, try to console him, tell him stories of people who overcame their misery, who persevered in dire situations, while he would sulk, cooped up in the little corner that he had picked out on my balcony, never even looking at me, out of courtesy, while I talked to him. Sometimes I would hide from him and see what he does when he is alone. I saw him look at the sky, through the railings, longingly. I saw him open his beaks to call out when he saw his friends flying by and then I saw him stop himself and look down.
So I sat by him the next day and asked him why he had stopped calling his friends to come see him..
For the first time since his arrival, he looked at me and said, “Just because I am starving, I can’t expect from my friends to stop eating; just because my wings are broken, I can’t expect them to stop flying; just because I am in a cage, I can’t expect my friends to give up their freedom; and just because I am dying, I can’t expect them to give up living.”
I was shocked by his response. And I asked, “But I give you food every day, and you don’t eat. I come and talk to you every day; you retreat into the corner and ignore me as if you are scared. I try to give you hope that one day your wings will mend and you will fly away from this cage, but you never listen. Why?”
“Hope begets despair. There is no despair if there is no hope.” He replied, “I am not scared of you, I am angry with you because you won’t let me die. I don’t believe you when you tell me, that one day my wings will mend and I will escape this cage because it’s not true. Even if someday, my wings mended and I was able to fly away, I’ll always be in a cage. These rusted iron bars would never melt away.
This cage is far more real than me or you. You just don’t see the bars yet.”