What Were We Made For?

What were we made for?
When I was a little boy, not so long ago, I regularly visited my Grandparents house with my sisters and cousins; the house was big and so was the garden.
There were many trees in the large garden and in the spring lots of birds made their nests in them. Occasionally there would be a family tragedy in one of the feathered families.  A small bird would fall out of a tree and could not get back to its nest, or a bird would end up with a damaged wing and be unable to fly.
My cousins, siblings and I loved this situation, we would rescue such a bird and take it to my Grandfather, he knew about these things He would disappear into his Tardis like garage, and reappear with an old cage into which he gently placed the lost or wounded bird. We would then add some water to the cage and find some way of feeding the bird, usually with bread soaked in milk, the occasional worm, and they also seemed to like cat food! We kids learned to feed the bird with a match stick with tiny morsels of food on the end.
Obviously we got very attached to the bird in the cage, it became a family pet.  We enjoyed watching it grow, and get stronger, and loved feeding it. Often the bird would become quite tame and sit on our hand and take food from us. We carried out similar bird rescues  many times; the trouble was it always ended the same way.  There would come a day when my Grandfather would say,
“OK this bird is now strong and well and it’s time to set it free.”
And as usual us kids would also cry out, “No Grandpa, this bird likes us it wants to stay with us, it doesn’t want to be free!
Grandfather never listened, he would take the cage to the top of the garden with a bunch of kids in tow and putting the cage down on the grass he would then open the cage door.  Often at this stage a funny thing would happen, the bird would hop out of the cage, as it had done before on many occasions, onto our hands; then the bird would hop around the lawn and to our surprise, go back into the cage.  Its funny how we are drawn back to familiar things, even a prison or a cage.
Grandfather would then give us a lecture on what birds were made for, “Birds are made to fly, birds are made to be free, and birds are not made to be in a cage,” and so on. 
We kids of course responded with ,“but this bird likes us, this bird wants to stay with us, please let us keep it Grandpa.”
As I remember those birds it does set me thinking about what we humans are here for?  What are we made for?  What things we should be free from? What should be leaving behind but find that we still go back too?  What is the environment that we should fly in?
Grandfather would then do something that would make us kids cringe and cry out, “No Grandpa! That’s too cruel!

He would cup the bird gently in his very big hands, move to the centre of the garden, swing his arms low, then as hard as he could he would swing his arms forward and up into the air, releasing his hands at the highest point and throwing the little bird as high into the air as possible.  The little bird would often flutter down, catch the air in its wings, and then begin to fly. Sometime it would fly around the garden a couple of times, perhaps sitting for a few moments on one of the branches in our apple tree, then to our dismay it would fly off to join the other birds;  gone, as far as we kids were concerned, for ever.
Grandfather would console us by saying, “It’s where it should, be free to fly, free to be a bird, and birds are not meant for cages.”  And neither are we!

For Adrian’s Blog
Edited by: Technicolor Text
13th May 2011
W. 711

You may also like...