My cousin told me this story.
Her tone, her expression, her concern when she was narrating it made the tale so poignant for me, that I had to share it on my blog. But I don’t know if I can capture the essence of the story with my words.
My cousin’s friend lived in the tenth floor of an apartment complex. She and her husband were retired and their children lived abroad.
Her husband bought two green parrots to keep them company.
He did up the whole balcony of their flat into an abode for the birds. The man put up cane trellis against the balcony to keep the birds enclosed inside. Then he hung swings, branches and clay pots from the ceiling for his feathered friends to perch. He also kept a nice big cage for them to rest . The couple took care of the birds lovingly. The entrance to the balcony from their hall was closed with a mesh door.
It was a heavenly abode for the birds. The only thing that scared the woman of the house was that the gap in the cane trellis was a little big, more than one inch in width and she feared that the birds might escape by squeezing out through the gaps.
But nothing like that happened. As for the couple, they loved to sit at the mess door and watch the birds.
What a lovely sight it used to be.
The birds rubbed beaks and chased each other around the hanging pots.They hung upside down from the branches and played all day long.
In fact they seemed like two newly weds in the first flush of love.
The retired couple would invite people home, just to show off their pets. This went on for a year.
Then one of the birds fell sick. It would not feed, it would not fly. Especially it would not play with its mate.
The healthy parrot did its best to cheer up the sick bird. It nudged, it rubbed its beak, it made tender sounds against the sick bird’s head. But to no avail.
A few days later, the sick bird died.
The living bird trotted about on the floor near the dead bird for a few hours, still trying to revive the friend.
The sad man and his wife went to bed that night meaning to clear the corpse the next day.
The next morning they woke up to a silent house. No chattering of parrots welcomed them.
They walked into the balcony. Only the dead parrot lay in a stiff pose on the floor. The other parrot was no where to be found.
What the woman of the house had feared all along had happened.
The bird had squeezed itself out through the gaps in the trellis.
It had flown away!!
My cousin and her friend would wonder, why the birds had not attempted to escape before. The gap between the trellis was large enough and the outside tempting enough for at least one of them to have made a bid for freedom.
Was just their love so binding that it kept them imprisoned inside their adopted home and why did the other bird leave immediately after the companion had died?
My cousin relating the story to me asked in a voice filled with wonder, awe and so much sadness that it moved me.
“Akka, do parrots also have feelings like us? Do they also love as deeply as we humans do?”
While I wondered,
“Was the free bird safe?”
Story by Gulsum Basheer @ talkalittledo
PS: Akka in Tamil language means sister.
Image by Gird Altmann at Pixabay
Image by GRELOT71 at Pixabay