The Caged Bird

The bird in the cage had lived there for a very long time. Often it would look through the bars of the cage, out of the window to the meadows and trees beyond. It could see other birds flying free in the open air and often it would wonder how it would be to feel the sun on its back, the wind in its feathers, to swoop and soar and catch mosquitoes in flight.

When the bird thought of these things it could feel its heart beating with excitement. It would sit tall on its perch and breath deep into its belly, sensing the thrill of possibility.

Sometimes another bird would land on the window sill, resting from its travels, and look inside at the caged bird. The traveller would put its head on one side as if quizzically asking itself how such a thing could be. A bird in a cage. Unimaginable.

And it was at these times that the caged bird felt most miserable. Its little shoulders slumped, it felt a lump in its throat and a heaviness in its heart.

One day, the owner of the caged bird accidentally left the door of the cage open. The bird looked through the door. It saw the birds swooping and soaring outside, the sun on their backs and the wind in their feathers, and it felt a stirring inside. The caged bird noticed that the window was open, and its heart beat even faster.

It considered its options.

It was still considering them at sunset when the owner returned and closed the door of the cage.

Taken from “The Magic of Metaphor” by Nick Owen and credited to David Werner and Bill Bower

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