The thing about birds is that they fly too high. They’re too used to the idea of freedom that the thought of sitting in a cage while a human laughs at the way they ruffle their feathers—it’s haunting.
This is a story about two birds: one of whom has always been free to roam the skies, soaring on her light blue plumage, and the other who has never known freedom because she was in a cage since the day she was hatched. She has light blue plumage, too. In fact, both birds are the same species, and both birds look exactly the same. Right down to a little brown spot on the left side of their orange beaks.
But the thing is—they never knew about each other. Not till the day when FreeBlue was flying by a small street of houses and happened to catch a flash of something blue under the sun.
Something blue among all this brown grass and grey cement? FreeBlue thought. I should go see!
FreeBlue swooped down and approached the flash of color. It was a bird! A bird just like her, but trapped in a cage! And she was—
“You’re trapped!” FreeBlue exclaimed, and looked around. “Who did this to you!?”
“Trapped?” CagedBlue sang, “Whatever do you mean? I’ve never heard the word before.”
“How long have you been in here?”
“Oh, here? Where I live, you mean? Why, all my life, I suppose! I can’t ever remember not being so safe!”
“Safe?” FreeBlue was shocked. “Who put you in here?”
“I … I don’t know,” CagedBlue kept singing. “I’ve just always been here, and occasionally the humans come out to talk to me and give me food and water.”
“Talk to you—” FreeBlue scoffed. “You’re just entertainment for them.”
“What’s wrong with that?” she was mildly surprised.
“Well, you’re a bird. You have wings. You’re supposed to fly!”
“I … I don’t know what you mean. Fly?”
FreeBlue stretched out her wings and rose into the air. CagedBlue gasped.
“That’s beautiful!” she chirped. “Where ever did you learn how to do that?”
“It’s nature, of course,” FreeBlue couldn’t believe it. Did this bird really not know that she was made for flying? She landed back in front of CagedBlue’s prison and pecked at the flimsy lock on the door.
“What are you doing?”
“Saving you, of course. Come on!” The lock gave way and FreeBlue pulled it open. An expression of fright came over CagedBlue’s face.
“No,” she sang softly. “I can’t go out of here. It’s dangerous.”
“It’s in your nature. You’re supposed to fly.”
CagedBlue looked uncertain. She took a step forward and stretched a wing out of the cage.
“Come on, then!” the other bird urged.
CagedBlue hopped on to the edge of the cage.
“I … I can’t … fla?”
“Fly. Don’t worry. Just jump, stretch your wings, and flap them, up and down—like this—and your instincts will take over!”
CagedBlue hesitated. She loved how FreeBlue looked while flying, and stretching her wings—and she seemed so happy.
All right,” CagedBlue gave in, “I’ll fly.”