Monday, September 6, 2010

The Parakeet

It was in a large bush in a park next to Navy Pier downtown. Darren pointed it out and I moved closer to it.  The whole flock of sparrows that had been in the bush also, all hopsome and chirping, flew away, leaving the parakeet behind. I moved closer, and though it hopped another few inches deeper into the bush, it did not fly away.  I spoke to it, the way I'd heard bird owners speak to their pets, and it tilted its head, listening.  I held out my hand, finger outstretched, imagining that it would come to me and I would save it.  But the parakeet did not jump onto my outstretched finger. It called, a call that seemed so familiar.  I realized it was the sound a sparrow makes, the parakeet had learned a new language. I hoped it would survive the winter. I hoped the sparrows continued to keep company with the yellow and lime green little guy. I thought about fitting in. I thought about adoption.  I thought about captivity, and escape, and the prices of freedom. I thought about how beautiful the small bird was, and also too the hundred sparrows around it, and I got on my bike and rode away.

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