For the last few weeks I have been struggling with letting go. Assissi is a fieldfare, a wild bird worthy of the outdoors. My feelings have swung from wanting to keep her to knowing that she must be, against my own personal preferences, set free.
The problem is, she is a sorry excuse for a bird. She does not fear humans, who can in so many ways harm her--she follows me around, hopping after me and sliding occasionally on the hardwood floor, her little claws clicking along frantically; she likes to sit on my shoulder; she once followed my dad outside to watch him put away the tools in his toolbox, and he found her sitting on his shoe; when I watered the lilac seedlings she grew very interested in the forming pool of water and promptly took a bath (a daily habit she keeps to this day, though the forms of bathtubs vary)--and being deprived of her kind's song she sings like the songbird she was never intended to be.
In the wild she would never find her soul mate for lack of a proper song, the mating call of her kind. I find myself asking whether it is better to live forever in a cage or to die quickly in freedom?
She prefers to stand on one leg and close one eye, like a pirate.
She sits on the computer while I work.
Because I am selfish I have wanted to keep her, but I know it is unkind to put a creature destined for the great, open skies into a cage. Therefore, I let her fly as she will, and she hops in and out of the cage, exploring the woods and trees and grass around the house; and she comes back to see if I'm all right and politely asks for worms. I have decided that if she so chooses she may leave.
I cannot claim to be magnanimous. I am selfish enough to entertain the thought of keeping her. However, the decision to keep or let go was taken from me when she one day, not long ago, flew away. She has not returned and I have not seen her since. These are some of the last pictures I took of her.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.