Tuesday, April 06, 2010
So I'm sitting on my usual study spot on the bed, half-studying, half day-dreaming, when a sudden sound grabs my attention. It's a high-pitched chirp, reminiscent of a familiar sound. I look out my window and wonder, could it really be her? I mean it could be, Marianne did always have that something extra, that certain boldness you will not find in any bird. Looking at the bird, so confusedly excited she appeared, fluttering up and down on the different levels of the grill, I felt more and more sure that this could be Marianne. She looked different, dirty, like the city pollution got to her, but somehow I felt like it could be her. The extended tail and kind-of-orange beak was so characteristic of her, and the jumping around was an added effect. It was rather believable that she would have such amazing navigation skills. After all, she did escape on her own.
Here's the story behind Marianne and Johnson, or rather Mumu and Jumbo as I fondly addressed them, or Cran and Berry as my mom christened them:
Last year, one afternoon after college, while me and my friend sat at our usual bus stop, where we had to wait for no less than half an hour or more, I happened to spot a shop. A shop that sold all the basic strange animals like fish, birds, parrots and rabbits. We crossed the road, and started to explore these weird little animals when the impulse struck. "Let's buy a bird!", I cried enthusiastically. We went up to the cage and scanned the area for prospective pets. "Australian birds", our attendant proclaimed, and we thought to ourselves amused, "Yeah right and those there are Russian rabbits?" Ha.
Fifteen minutes later we settled on two of these 'Australian' birds. One female, one male, because a single bird would get lonely of course. The female was particularly frisky. She gave the attendant a hard time in being captured. The male one, however was pretty tame and easily grab-able. Although the female one was so vivacious and bright, she was a year older to Jumbo here. Jumbo was the quiet fat, oh-my-god-is-he-still-alive types, while Marianne was the jumping-all-over-the-place restless one. A contrast, and that's why we assumed they'd be a pretty cute couple. We took them carefully home and I hung them up outside after going through a rather scary ordeal of placing their food and water in the cage. This was to be a surprise for my mom and my was she surprised. The next few weeks went by gleefully, my feeding them in the morning, their chirping away happily. It could be possible that Marianne was growing more restless day by day, but it sure did not seem so. Johnson seemed to have taken to Marianne's charm and soon we would find them sitting together on the swing chirping away to glory.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and so was their freshly ignited little love affair. One morning I woke up to find Marianne gone! The cage was wide open and one bird short. Johnson lay there peacefully and the thought long lost came back to me, is he dead? Nope he wasn't. A sense of sadness engulfed me. She did it after all then. Escape from the clutches of the evil crazy girl prisoner. I swear I felt like that girl in Finding Nemo right then. I carefully closed the cage, marveling at how smart Marianne must have been, to unlock the cage and fly away to freedom. I almost wished I was there to see her doing it. I think I would've been proud. Then I looked at Johnson, sitting peacefully in the food bowl. Probably sad too about being abandoned by her. I thought to myself, maybe they had a tiff of sorts, and he decided to stay on. Or maybe she'd come back for him. The next morning I purposely left the cage open, and sat there looking, waiting, hoping he'd make his move too. But he didn't budge. He sat there, unaffected, too comfortable being my prisoner perhaps, or probably because he was so cutely dumb that he didn't realise there was a way out. I did strange antics, tried to show him the door by rigging the cage this way and that. But he stayed there complacent.
As the days passed, thoughts of finding him company crossed my mind, thoughts of taking him back, thoughts of setting him free in the wild, all came to me. After all, how long could one live alone? A week passed and one day, I sat there resolved-ly, this time I'd set him free. No more could I live with that guilt of harboring a cute innocent dumb bird. I opened the cage, and has luck would have it, I blinked and next thing you know, he flew out, jet speed out of view. I felt like a huge burden had been lifted off my chest. And later I wondered about his safety. What if something happened to him? What if the devious Bombay crows ganged up on him and captured him? My friends reassured me that it was the right move. Birds are meant to be on their own, that's what wings are for. Now if only we had wings!
Ha ha doesn't this story seem like it could inspire the next big Pixar movie?