* One morning *
I do not seem to remember how I happened to land in this place, or maybe I have somehow willingly chosen to forget how I landed here. Now that the two others, who have been added to the space that was formerly alloted to just me, begin to narrate their tales about how each one was put here, I couldn’t help my mind from trying to imagine how I actually happened to be in this place in the very first place.
Maybe it was just another normal day and I was still a baby. Maybe it was when these people broke into my house, killed my parents, and took me as their prisoner. Maybe that is how I landed here. I had this space to myself till quite a long time. But after the unexpected addition of two others, it somehow seems to be too small a place for the three of us to adjust. I have always been taciturn; I believe that one should only talk when necessary. This is the reason why I have never been able to make friends. Being confined in the same place all alone since I was a baby, I didn’t have many opportunities to make friends, either.
It has been a long time since I was taken captive, and many a time, I have found myself thinking about the fact that I happen to like this place. Our captors give us adequate food and shelter. In return, we just have to present ourselves amiably to our visitors. After sticking to the same routine for a long time, I have begun to think that it is pretty liberal a trade-off. I have even started liking all the attention I receive from my visitors. If anyone would ever ask me where my home is, without a thought, the name of this place would be the first to come out of my lips. I have come to be so accustomed to this lifestyle that I am pretty sure I would not be able to adapt myself elsewhere. The place where I was brought to as a captive, now seems like my haven.
* That night *
I wake up with a start. The only thing I can hear is cacophony and all I can see is smoke. I try to make out the silhouettes of the new occupants of my space. But, they found me before could find them. One of them shouts near my ears, “There has been a fire! Everyone is fleeing. We should hurry too. Freedom awaits us.”
Confused, I look up at his face. I want to scream back, “I do not want freedom. I like it here.”
Maybe they presumed that I was too shocked to even move, and the next moment, each of them tries to flank me on either side and coaxes me to fly. I try to flap my wings, and soon, our troika is well above the flames.
I could not bring myself to steal a glance at the sight below for fear of ruining the memory I had of the place which I had thought of as my home and my haven.
* The next morning *
When I wake up, I find myself perched on a huge tree. There are trees all around me and the rays of the sun are dancing all over this place. Last night, I was too tired to think of where I was flying to, and so, I merely followed the trail of the other birds.
I blink my eyes numerous times to let myself get used to this alien place. I see the other birds flying overhead, and one of them beckons me to come along with them.
“Come, let’s go find some food,” he says.
I never had to ‘find’ food throughout my life. Food has always been ‘given’ to me – first by my parents when I was a baby, and then by my captors.
Nevertheless, I follow the new flock of birds. I notice their ways of finding food, but I never really got successful in feeding myself.
After many unsuccessful tries at finding food, water or a proper shelter for myself and earning sympathetic glances from my fellow birds, a realization hit me hard. I would never be able to adapt to the life out of my former home – the bird sanctuary I was in. For me, a life in the wilderness wasn’t the definition of freedom, and it would probably never be.