A folktale by Rumi
THE FREE PARROT
A merchant’s home in Persia, a long time ago.
Had a parrot in a cage, a golden cage that glowed.
The merchant loved the parrot, he was a special kind
He talked wise words and sang sweet songs
He soothed the merchant’s mind.
“I’m travelling to India”, the merchant one day said.
What can I bring dear parrot, perhaps a golden bed?”
Said parrot, “ Meet my family, tell them I am fine,
Ask them to sing and talk. They sound quite divine.”
After all his travels, after all the trade
Merchant walked to a garden,
Full of trees and of shade.
He declared to the parrots, “My parrot is doing fine,
She lives in a golden cage, the golden cage is mine.”
A parrot on his shoulder, began to shake with dread
She squawked, flapped her feathers, and fell down quite dead.
The merchant was sad, sailing home that night,
He told his dear parrot of her sister’s plight.
The bird said “oh!” and fell to the floor.
Not a breath; she didn’t move anymore.
Sad the man opened the cage,
Holding his bird, in his palm,
Suddenly up she flew away
He gasped with joy and alarm.
“Wait,” he said, “I’m glad you’re alive!
But tell me dear bird,
What’s this trick with your tribe?”
“My sis in India didn’t die after all!
She told me to escape this golden wall.
A golden cage is a cage still.
Its not like the open skies!
It’s not freedom or free will…
Thank you, Merchant and good bye!”
Hey Kids, Rumi was a famous poet in ancient Persia and wrote many wise stories for people to learn from.
Do you think that the parrot was smart and quick witted in the end? How can we become as observant and think quickly on our feet?