Shreya Siddhant

Free as a bird| Story by Shreya, 13, Mumbai

Do you enjoy stories about self- growth? 13-year-old Shreya from Mumbai writes about a tame bird who is left to fend for herself by her owner.

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The weather was pleasant, the wind was calling the leaves to come and play with her.

I hoped after playing the leaves would come back, but they did like to stay under the soft covering of a white blanket woven with the mothering hands of our Earth. I was on the roof of a house looking over the preparation done by both humans and animals for winters. Squirrels collecting food, then a cat at a distance yawning for the winter sleep. But one thing I noticed was that there were fewer birds around, as if they suddenly disappeared, I wondered if I could find the place where they had their winter sleep and where they filled their stomachs. I was deep in these thoughts.

When a bird just like me landed on the same roof, only a little farther away, I turned back and decided to talk with the bird. ‘Hello!’ I said. That little one, busy eating his food, took a glimpse of me and ate all that was left. Giving a burp, he replied, ‘Hello, who are you?’

“I…I am Spark, and you?”

“I am Max, nice to meet you!” he replied. He gazed at me for a while, making me feel awkward. He dubiously stepped toward observing my feathers, “You don’t look from this area and obviously you’re not a free bird roaming day and night!”

I was confused by his words, which he (Max) understood. With a laugh, he continued, “Oh! Spark, I meant that you don’t look familiar. Likewise, I know most of the birds like us who live here, I have not even heard of you here.” 

“I am not new; I used to live with my master there behind that lake,” I pointed south to where the lake was.

“That’s why I don’t know you, but where is your master?” The smile on my face turned down, and sorrowfully I replied, “He doesn’t want me anymore! He has got another one more beautiful than me.”


Max consoled me. My whole childhood was spent with my master; he used to love me very much.

“So where will you be migrating? Winter will start soon.”


“Migrate? But why?” my innocent soul asked.

Max was shocked by my words, “Why migrate? Is this a question? How can you survive in these harsh winters, Spark?”

I didn’t understand what Max was talking about. When I was with my master at his home, even in winter he never told me to migrate. “My master didn’t ever tell me about migration!”

Max was too confused by my words, “Spark, when you were at your master’s home, it had a shelter, but in this open air, the winters are very harsh.”

“When the snow covers all land, you won’t be able to find food for yourself. You will die starving; we birds migrate to other regions where there are no winters so that we will get our food.” 

I understood what he explained, “I got it, but I can’t fly very high and won’t be able to tolerate the strong winds above.”

“Well, if you don’t mind, may I help you and travel along with you?” Max replied. I was very excited at the offer. He taught me how to fly high and bear the winds, and he also showed me the route and how long it would be.

This training went on for two days, and at last, I was prepared for my first migration towards the East. Early in the morning, we started on our journey. We both soared high up in the crystal blue sky, surrounded by soft bunches of cotton-like clouds. Beneath me, the land looked tiny as my nails on the claws, and cold air rushed all around me, the air seemed to play with me but I didn’t want to stop. There was an exotic view of the dense jungle towards the South, the view of Huge Mountains to the West and a mighty, glorious sea towards the East. 

We flew across the sea that was all shades of blue and green with clear water. Fishermen were fishing near the shore and far away in the middle of the sea school of fish wandering between. It had been hours since we took our flight and were completely tired out. So we both landed near the cliff.

And luckily we found food for ourselves too, “This world is so beautiful, being free like you is better than sitting idle in the cage.”

Max too agreed and after taking some rest, we took off again. Days passed by and at last we reached our destination, after crossing plains, seas, forests, and villages.

The place that we migrated to was a beautiful village where the sun shone brightly. the trees had dark green leaves on them and the people who lived there seemed kind and polite. They were busy doing their work, and the children playing around won my heart. And my life started happily once again, as a free bird, with my friend Max.

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