Highly Commended Story - Everybody Loves Freedom
“Everybody Loves Freedom...” by Avighna Nambiar, GEMS Our Own Indian School, Dubai, UAE, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Avighna Nambiar is a grade 4 student at GEMS Our Own Indian School, Dubai, UAE. She is a simple and fun loving girl having an immense interest in drawing and painting. She also loves music and likes to experiment with the blending of songs on her own. Avighna aspires to become a doctor to serve the humanity. However, she also wants to utilize her talents to be known worldwide as an artist or a singer.
Everybody Loves Freedom...
It was a bright sunny afternoon. As usual, I came back from my school, threw my bag in the corner of the room, changed my uniform, had my tea and snacks and started playing with my younger brother. Soon it was 5 pm and I knew it was time for me to start off for my art class.
I took my bag having the necessary art accessories and set off towards the Arts Centre. On the way, there lies a short stretch of huge lush trees. The beauty of the area is not just because of the trees, but also because of the chirping sound of numerous birds such as sparrows, parrots and humming birds who probably had made the trees their home.
I always had the habit of standing there and admiring the greenery, the trees, the birds, their chirping sound and the nature’s beauty in general. Like every other day, I stood under a tree, enjoying and admiring the beauty when I suddenly saw a group of boys running towards the trees and making a lot of noise. Initially, I did not realize what they were up to, however, upon careful observation, I realized that they were carrying catapult with them and were aiming at the birds with stones. Everything happened within few seconds. The boys succeeded in aiming a parrot who fell right into the thick bushes nearby. The boys shouted joyfully at their success and ran towards the bushes to grab their catch. However, even after a long desperate search, they weren’t able to locate the bird.
I stood there motionless and speechless witnessing whatever happened within those few minutes. Tears started rolling down from my eyes. I wondered what the boys received after killing the bird and its small world.
With a feeling of frustration, the boys left the place. And with a broken heart, I slowly walked towards the bushes to check if the poor bird was lying anywhere escaping the boys’ sight. It was getting dark making it difficult for me to look out further. Unfortunately, I too was unable to locate the bird. With a heavy heart, I stopped my search and decided to go back home and started walking when my feet suddenly touched something soft. I looked carefully in the bare light and to my surprise it was the poor parrot which the boys had targeted. I immediately took it in my hands. The bird was bleeding near its temple and was slightly fluttering its wings. I understood that it was alive.
Without wasting further time, I rushed to the nearby Veterinary Clinic. The doctor examined the bird and started with the necessary treatment and medication. I brought the bird home, provided a cosy place for it in my room. I strictly followed the medication prescribed by the doctor. With continuous care and support, the parrot was back to normal and became a part of my family. I bought a nice golden colour cage for the parrot and fed its favourite red chillies every day. I named the parrot, Mithoo.
I and my brother started teaching Mithoo few words. Within no time he learnt to wake us up with his “Good Morning” and would wait to welcome us home while coming back from school. Mithoo had also become a favourite being in our neighbourhood. Children would come home just to play with him and hear his talking.
One Saturday afternoon, as a regular practice, I was sitting and reading a story book in my garden. The story was about a parrot who came in his master’s dream and was pleading him to set it free as it was not happy with its restricted life even though it was getting all the comforts. After reading the story, I sat quietly for some time. I said to myself, “Maybe Mithoo also feels the same way as the parrot in the story. Maybe he too wants to fly high in the sky, play with the branches of the trees and eat the fruits from the trees.”
That evening, I took Mithoo along with its cage, came into the garden and opened the cage. He flew away. Although I was grief struck, within my heart I was relieved, as I felt I had done justice to the poor bird.
Few days passed by. As usual on a Saturday afternoon, I was sitting in my garden reading a story book. Suddenly, I fell something on my shoulder. When I looked, I saw Mithoo perched on my shoulder looking into my eyes as if trying to convey his gratitude. Then he flew back to the trees in my garden. From that day onwards, Mithoo regularly came and sat on my shoulders and was always seen among the trees in my garden. I understood that Mithoo still loved me and the only thing he needed was his freedom.