On my daily walk going nowhere in particular other than through the fresh air, this majestic bird chirped at me, “Please, I beg you, free me from my captivity.”
“But you are in every bird’s idyllic home—paradise—where food and water and sunshine are everywhere.”
“True, those are freely abundant, but I wish to travel and see the world whispered about by the finches and squawked about by the scaup ducks. They have the life, not me.” The bird lowered his tone, and I drew nearer. “I have seen my brothers and sisters make the same pleas, but once cut free, they were forced into a worse prison of a narrow tube of stale water with no sunlight, but I can tell you are different than those who’ve passed by here before. You can transform my stem into wings, can you not?”
I worked to hide my smile and replied, “That may be true, but what will you give me in return?
“A beautiful song.”
I withdrew my pocket knife, and as I slashed his thick stem, a whistle grew into a clear note, into a trill, into a melodious warble…and off he sailed…for the high price of his first song that I deemed a fine trade.
Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.