I am a bird // a short story

I am a bird. I have spent much of my life in the skies. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do in this endless gouache of blue and white.

At first, flight was magical. I could soar to unimaginable heights. I could shrink the world into a canvas and appreciate from that exclusive space the meticulous strokes and brushes of nature. More than that, I felt free. There was something about flying, so light and quick across clouds, like the swift hands of an artist, that excited the spirit yet calmed the mind. But that is no longer the case. I have grown bored of it all.

Sometimes, whilst in the air, I would look down and observe those strange beings seemingly bound to the earth by their weight. They have neither wings, nor feathers, nor talons, nor a tail, nor a beak. But they have limbs – long, sturdy and dexterous, with little claws at the end. I see them climb trees, run across fields, wield objects, write symbols, paint pictures, and all these with the aid of those trusty limbs. How delightful it would be if I too had limbs like theirs.

Perhaps, if I think hard enough and let my mind consume the world, the skies will solidify, and my feathery wings turn into hairless limbs. Perhaps, with an ardent enough belief, I shall be able to convince myself that I had, upon seeing a bird streak across the sky, climbed down my favorite apple tree, dashed across a brown field of barley, pulled out a wooden stool, and begun to write in the language of those strange beings. And I thus started: “I am a bird.”

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