The bird had been trapped in the cage for so long, that it didn’t even know it was a cage anymore. The birds keeper didn’t even shut the door, so sure was the keeper that the bird would never fly away.

But day after day, the little bird looked out the window, and saw other birds flying, and singing and going off on adventures in flocks. The little bird told itself that this was too dangerous, much safer in this nice little house of bars, because the keeper told the bird every day how, if the bird flew away, such terrible things would befall it.

Yet, the songs of the birds outside beckoned to the birds heart, and the birds wings ached to open up. One day, when the keeper was out, the little bird built up its courage and flew out of the cage. At first, the bird was exhilarated, it had left the cage! Then, though, the fear crept in and the bird kept checking behind it, sure the keeper would be flying towards it. But the keeper wasn’t and when night came, the little bird stopped in a tree.

All night the little bird could hear the keeper calling for it, could hear the keeper getting madder and madder. The little bird was terribly scared, scared of the noises in the tree, scared without the cage, scared to go on, scared to go back. Eventually though, the bird found sleep, and refuge for but a wee moment, to dream of a life with no cage.

The next morning, the bird flew from the tree, but being new to this outside world, the little bird hit a branch and damaged its wing. It called to its keeper, for it had no one else to call to, but the keeper ignored it, and the poor bird had to slowly, painfully make its way back to the cage, little hippity hops across the ground.

The little bird eventually found its way back to the cage, and dutifully climbed back on its perch. It’s heart filled with sadness, because it had tried to escape, but it was not meant to be, and now the keeper not only kept the cage door shut, but locked it and hid the key.

Worst of all was that the keeper closed the window and drew the blind, least the little bird ever be tempted to leave the keeper again. But unbeknown to the keeper, in the little birds heart, the song played on, and the feel of the air under its wings lived in its little mind – the one place the little bird could be free, the one place the keeper could never cage, inside the little birds dreams.

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