Bird Talk

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I awoke with a start.

The bird was staring at me with one of its bulbous eyes. And I was staring back. 

“I am asking you, what are you staring at?” the bird repeated. That was what awoken me from my trance of staring at the flock gathered in front of me.

The birds were fluttered when a lovely couple jogged past, but settled down as quickly as they were disturbed. That same bird continued staring at me with those impassive eyes. 

“I am not staring at you,” I replied. “I am just… staring.” 

“So then, why are you staring?” the bird tried again. 

My jaw worked open for an answer but in the end hung agape for a moment. I managed to answer, “I was thinking of how free you birds are.” 

“And what makes you think that birds are as free as you thought?” the bird asked. 

“Because you can fly. You go wherever you wanted and no obstacle stand in your way. You experience freedom when you fly, soaring high into the sky and throwing off the burdens of earth. Gravity could not bog you down, for when you fly, such trivial concerns bother you not as you have torn free of them.” 

And I grew impatient. I retorted, “Enough of your questions. You are but a figment of my imagination, for birds do not talk.” 

The bird stopped looking for something interesting in the gap between cobbled tiles of the jogging track, and replied, “We are not as free of burden as you thought, for we have to be on a constant lookout for predators. And the sky is not as free of obstacles as you suggested, for we are in constant danger of your gigantic metal birds. And we are not as free from gravity as you imagined, for we fought constantly against it in order to get to the skies.” 

“And one more thing. If I am but a figment of your imaginations, then what I asked are but questions on your mind. So what you just did, was asking yourself questions which you yourself just answered. Clearly the irony is not lost on me.” 

And the bird turned and flapped its wings, leaving me behind me gaping like a fool, pondering its words.


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