Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Why The Caged Bird Sings

An old priest once told me this story.

One day, a man came across a young boy carrying a banged up birdcage. Inside the cage were two small birds.

“Where’d you get the birds?” the man asked.

“I caught ‘em,” the boy said.

“Really? What are you going to do with them?”

“I don’t know,” said the boy. “Play with 'em, I guess. Shake the cage, dangle a string through the bars, tease ‘em, feed ‘em worms, I don’t know.”

“What are you going to do with them once you get tired of them?” asked the man. “You can’t play with them forever.”

“When I get tired of 'em? I don't know. I guess I’ll feed ‘em to my cat. He likes birds.”

The man asked, “How much do you want for them?”

The boy looked surprised. “What do you want these birds for, Mister? They’re nothing special. They ain’t worth anything.”

“How much do you want?” the man repeated.

The boy was still surprised. “Look, they’re just field birds. They ain't good for nothin'. They can’t sing. You can’t eat ‘em. They ain’t even pretty to look at. You don’t want these birds.”

The man repeated: “How much do you want?”

The boy eyed the man closely, and said, “How much you got, Mister?”

The man looked at the birds for a moment, then took out his wallet and handed the boy all the money in it – he wasn’t sure how much. Then, he bent down to lift the cage as the boy counted his money.

He walked into an alley between two buildings, and set down the cage. He knelt, opened the cage door, and tapped on the bars, hoping the birds would fly away.


Blogger Gone Away said...

Oh, you're a wise old bird, Palinurus. Give us an ending that asks us the question. And did they fly? Did they accept the offer of freedom? It does not matter, for freedom can be offered but acceptance or refusal of the offer is always in the hands (or wings) of those who are caged. There are none so blind as those who will not see...

3/22/2005 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ned said...

We are imprisoned. We are buffeted on all sides, tempted, tormented and our captor's plans for us have nothing to do with wanting us. We don't seem like much, worthless, without merit. But God pays everything He has to offer us freedom, Jesus. He takes the keys to our cage, to death, hell and the grave and he opens the way, provides the escape, and hopes we will accept our freedom.
Wonderfully allegorical.

3/22/2005 09:04:00 PM  
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