9. Learning English through Short Stories
Imagine you are a pet bird in a cage. One day your owner left your bird cage open.
Write a story from the bird’s point of view.
Brave New World
As far as I could remember, I had always been in a cage since my birth. When I was two years old, Mr. and Mrs. Jones adopted me as their pet bird because they thought I could sing well. The Joneses were a good old couple who did not have children. Every morning, they would go to the Chinese restaurant in the neighbourhood, tasting their favourite Jasmine tea and eating dim sum. They would bring me along and show me off to their friends who applauded my charming songs. The couple would be very delighted and I would be very proud of myself. I was then fed with delicious food as a compliment. I was living a comfortable and happy life.
One day, Mr. Jones passed away. Mrs. Jones was full of sorrow and sadness. I couldn’t sing either. “My dear songbird, one day not far from now, I will be gone too and no one is going to look after you. It is time for you to learn to stand on your own feet and fend for yourself,” sighed Mrs. Jones. Then she left the cage wide open. I was too afraid of the outside world to leave the cage which had been my home ever since my birth! I didn’t even know how to fly, not to mention how to live on my own. But on second thought, I came to my senses, “Mrs. Jones is right. One day, I will have to leave this comfort zone and will be all by myself.” Plucking up my courage, I flipped my wings, ready to brave the storm in the whole new world. After several failed attempts, I finally took off and began a flight. I flew against the strong wind in search of a natural habitat where I could feed and rest myself. However, along the way, there were so many high-rise buildings ahead of me that I was flying in a precarious position and almost lost my balance. Suddenly, a large eagle swooped past me and knocked me down. I fell 50 metres down, nearly hit the ground and got injured. Luckily, a sparrow came to my rescue and I survived the fall. “What are you doing here? Don’t you know that it is the territory of the big brother eagle? You would have died! Where is your home?” The sparrow asked me. “I am homeless now. My owner has just abandoned me. I have nowhere to go.” Hearing what I said, the sparrow led me away from all the skyscrapers, up into the wide-open sky and towards the North. “This was the farthest distance I had ever flown!” I thought. “Now, here we are! Mai Po Nature Reserve. This is the homeland and haven for many different kinds of birds and species. We live together in harmony and happiness. Don’t worry. You will have sufficient food to eat here. We all live off the wetland, the grasses and the trees around. Let me introduce you to all my friends.” said the sparrow.
“Hello, everyone, I am songbird. I was born to be a pet bird living in a cage. My owner has just abandoned me and I have to find a new home. Would you please allow me to stay here?” I pleaded. All the species shook their head and were shocked to hear that I was a pet bird and spent almost all my life in a cage. “Poor you! You must have been much deprived. We will teach you how to be a real bird. Welcome to our family!” said a seabird.
Each passing day, I was taught how to fly without crashing against the others, how to use my beak to catch small insects for food and most of all, how to enjoy the natural environment. I still sang. But I no longer sang for those who took me for a toy. I now sang for all the spectators who came to appreciate bird-flying and the nature. I had never felt this bliss of freedom and happiness. I was terribly mistaken that a comfortable life in a bird cage was what I wanted. Life with freedom was much more satisfying indeed.