By Jamie Board
Little Pi gazes out the window. Every day, she watches the other birds fly, swoop, and chirp till their heart’s content. Some play in the neighbor’s water fountain and some pick at the ground for food. Others sit happily on the rooftops and tree branches, cawing while the gentle breeze shakes them at their feet. But the birds aren’t the only ones who are having their fill. Tiny humans run around. They smile and giggle. Everyone is so free. Pi, however, is not so fortunate.
Pi looks away from the window. The metal cage around her brings her back into reality. She sits on her swing in silence. How can I sing when there is nothing to sing about? Pi thinks to herself. The room around her is always dark. The only light that comes in is from the window in front of her cage. It seems to act as a barrier that separates her from the outside world. Sometimes the humans that keep her, visit her cage to check on her food and water. But most of the time the humans stay away due to lack of interest. Pi often feels lonely and aches to be outside like everyone else. Pi has only one friend who keeps her company in the afternoon. His name is Buttons. Buttons has a daily routine of walking around her cage after he has had his morning nap.
Pi sees Buttons strutting towards her cage and jumps onto the red chair by the window. He twitches his orange left ear to say “Hello”. He then follows with “How are you today?”
Pi sighs. “I’m itching to get out of here.”
“You know we’ve already tried to pick at your latch.” says Buttons as he grooms himself.
“But maybe we can try again? She asks, feeling hopeful.
Buttons licks his paw while glancing at her and then sets his paw down. “Yes. I suppose we can try again.” he purrs. His tail twitches as he moves closer to the cage.
Pi hops down from her swing and stands by the metal door. Buttons begins to use his fangs to try to move the tiny latch. They watch as the latch rises but their hearts sink as it falls back into place. Pi tries to use her beak but she has no luck. Buttons and Pi pause to think.
“BUTTONS! GET AWAY!”
Pi and Buttons jump and shake in fear at the angry voice. Buttons immediately dashes off, mumbling a squeezed “Sorry”. A tall shadow moves across the room and Pi is met with a giant face. Pi trembles and her heart beats so fast, it feels like it could explode at any moment. A smile cracks across the giant face and the human walks away. Buttons does not come back.
Pi takes a deep breath and tries to calm her feathers. She picks at the seeds in her feeder, thinking about what to do next but draws a blank. Pi jumps back onto her swing and looks at the window, sighing once again. Someday.
She slowly shuts her eyes but then something catches her attention. Her eyes connect with the metal door. Something is different. Pi hops down from her swing and waddles her way closer to get a better look. What’s different? Pi studies the door as carefully as possible and…AH HA! The latch! It’s unlocked! Her feathers fluff as she twirls herself, chirping at her discovery. Pi stops for a moment and looks around, making sure no humans are near. Moving away from the door, she walks around the cage and spots Buttons cleaning his food dish.
“Buttons!” Pi calls out urgently. Buttons looks up immediately, slightly frightened with his ears folding backwards. He must be mistaking the call of his name for the angry humans. Pi quickly says “No, no! It’s me!”
He looks over at the cage and his body relaxes and slinks towards her. As he jumps up onto the red chair, he asks “What’s going on little one?”
“Look!” Pi says as she points the tip of her feathers towards the latch on the door.
Buttons takes a closer look and lets out a high pitch meow. “Well, would you look at that!”
Pi can sense Buttons was beginning to ask himself the same question she’s thinking right now. Yes, how could it have happened? Suddenly it dawns on her. “It must have happened when you jumped at the sound of that human’s scary voice!”
Buttons nods, his tail twitching while he was deep in his thoughts. “Okay. So now we just need a plan to get you out from this house.”
“Yes and it has to be today, otherwise the humans will notice and lock me up again.” Pi says, shivering at the thought. “I can’t stay here another day.” She adds. The energy in the air grows stronger as they look around for ideas.
Suddenly Buttons pounces onto the floor. “I have an Idea!”
Pi looks at him, waiting for him to spill his thoughts.
“Here’s what will happen. I’m going to scratch at the front door and meow. The humans will see that I want to go outside. When they open the door, you must quickly push your cage door open. In the meantime, I will take my sweet time going out the front door so that you can fly out!”
I jump with joy, “That’s a splendid idea, Buttons!”
“Can you try to open your cage door?”
Pi thinks for a moment. It shouldn’t be that hard. She takes a deep breath, puffs her body and gives a good push against the cage door. The door opens with a small creeeeak.
Buttons nods with satisfaction. “With a bit of a harder push, my plan should work fine!” He nudges the cage door shut with his head and jumps down. He walks towards the front door and sits on the floor and starts to meow. He scratches at the door as one of the humans walks over.
“You want to go out?” coos the human.
Buttons lets out a purr-meow and the human falls for the act, practically melting at Buttons’s feet. The human begins to unlock the door and opens it nice and wide. Buttons looks at the human and rubs their leg while giving Pi a quick wink. That must be my cue!
Pi takes a good step back and then charges towards the cage door and it springs open! Pi quickly opens her wings and flaps as hard as she can while she exits the cage. Oh no! She’s starting to fall! She flaps her wings even harder, pushing herself up into the air. Pi fears she won’t make it since she lost time trying to get better momentum. The human looks towards Pi and starts to shriek. Buttons’s eyes widen and quickly throws himself at the human. The human lets out a loud cry as his claws make contact.
Pi uses all her strength and swoops forward and makes it out into the outside world. She can hear the human making a big fuss but it doesn’t stop her. Pi turns to take a quick glance and sees Buttons outside waving his tail. Pi waves her feathers in return and then focuses back on her destiny. Pi was finally free.
The sun was shining brightly and the wind felt comforting around Pi’s body. The trees danced and the air smelled so wonderful. Pi flew as far as she could, not caring where her wings would take her. A melody bursts from her lungs and she sings as loud as she can for the world to hear her song. This is her freedom and now she finally has something to sing about.