By Jamie Board
Little Pi stares at the window, every day. She watches the other birds fly, swoop, and chirp as much as they can. Some play in the neighbor’s water fountain, some pick at the fresh ground for food. Others sit on rooftops and tree branches, cawing while the gentle breeze shakes them at their feet. But the birds are not the only ones who are having their fill. Tiny humans are running around, they smile and laugh. Pi is not so fortunate.
I look away from the window. The metal cage around me brings me back into reality. I sit on my swing in silence.
How can I sing when there is nothing to sing? I think to myself.
The house is dark and at times can be as dark as the shadows. The only light that comes in is the small opening from the curtain in front of me. At times I see faces at my cage but most of the time I am alone. I yearn to be outside like everyone else.
I only have one friend who keeps me company in the afternoon. His name is Buttons. Buttons has a daily routine of walking around my cage after he has had his morning nap.
I see Buttons strutting towards my cage and jumps onto the small red chair by the window. He twitches his left furry orange ear to say, “Hello.” Then follows with, “How are you today?”
I sigh. “I’m itching to get out of here.”
“You know we’ve tried to pick at your latch.”
“But maybe we can try again?” I ask, feeling hopeful. Buttons licks his paw to groom himself and looks at me.
“Yes. I guess we could try again.” he purrs. His tail twitches as he moves closer to the cage. I hop down from my swing and stand by the metal door. Buttons begins to use his fangs to try to move the latch, but it keeps rising up, then falling back into place. I try to use one of my feathers but it is too small for the latch. We pause to think and it feels like an eternity. What can we do?
“BUTTONS! GET AWAY!” Shouts a voice we do not expect.
We both jump and shake in fear of the angry tone. Buttons immediately takes off, mumbling a “Sorry”. A tall shadow moves across the room and I am met with a giant face. I feel myself tremble and my heart feels like it’s going to burst! The face relaxes and the human walks away.
Buttons has not come back.
I take a deep breath and calm my feathers. I pick at the seeds in my feeder, thinking about what to do next. I jump back onto my swing and look at the window, sighing. Someday. I look away and slowly begin to close my eyes but as I begin to close them I notice something. My eyes connect with the metal door again. Something is different.
I hop down and waddle my way closer to get a better look. What’s different? I search and search..and..AH HA!
The latch! It’s unlocked! My feathers fluff in happiness. I stop for a moment to look around, seeing if there is anyone there. Moving away from the door I walk around the cage and spot Buttons cleaning his food dish.
“Buttons!” I call urgently. He looks up immediately, slightly frightened with his ears backwards. He must be thinking it is the humans again but I quickly say, “No, no, it’s me!”
His body relaxes and he slinks towards me. As he jumps onto the red chair, he asks, “What’s going on little one?”
“Look!” I say as I point with my feather tips towards the latch on the door. Buttons takes a closer look and meows in joy.
“Well, would you look at that!”
I could feel a question coming up from him. Yes, how could it have happened? Suddenly it dawns on me.
“It must have happened when you jumped at the sound of that scary voice!”
Buttons nods, his tail twitching. I can tell he is in heavy thought.
“Ok, so now we need a plan to get you out.” He says.
“Yes and it has to be today, otherwise the humans might notice and put it back!” I say, shivering at the thought. “I can’t stay here another day.” I add.
The energy in the air grows stronger as we look around for ideas.
Buttons suddenly pounces the floor, “I have an idea!”
I look at him, waiting intently as he speaks his thoughts.
“Here’s what going to 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 getting out the front door so that you can fly out!”
I jump with joy, “That’s a splendid idea, Buttons!”
“I just have one thing to ask, Pi.” Buttons pauses, “Can you try to open your cage door?”
I think for a moment. It shouldn’t be that hard, however I am small.
I take a deep breath, puff my body, and gave a small push to the cage door. The door makes a small creak sound and opens.
Buttons nods and says, “With a bit of a harder push, my plan should work fine!”
I chirp with joy and wait for the plan to go in motion. Button nudges the cage door shut with his head and jumps down to the floor. He walks over to the front door, sits there, and begins to meow.
It’s taking awhile but eventually we hear footsteps.
“Ok Buttons, you want to go out?” the female human asks.
Buttons adds a purr-meow and the human falls for the act. She begins to unlock the front door and opens it nice and wide. Buttons looks at her and rubs her leg. That must be my cue!
I take some steps back, take a deep breath, and just let myself run. I charge against the door and it springs open! Creeeeak! I open my wings and flap as hard as I can!
Oh no! I’m starting to fall! I flap even harder, pushing myself back up into the air.
I’m not going to make it because it’s taking too much time to get myself away from the cage. The human looks my way and starts to shriek. But Buttons suddenly jumps on the human! She freaks out and lets out a loud, “YEEEEOOOOOOOWWWWWW!”
Buttons must have really clawed her up! And he just gave me some extra time! Better use it quick! I use all my energy to swoop forward and I am able to squeeze pass the door and to the outside world.
I can hear the human shouting but it doesn’t stop me. I turn my head around and I can see Buttons at the window, waving his tail good-bye. I wave my wing and focus back on my destiny. I am free. I am finally free!
The sun was shining brightly and the wind was comforting. The trees danced and the air was fresh.
Pi flew as far as she could. She did not care where she would go but she sang as loud as she could for the world to hear her song. This is her freedom and now she has something to sing about.