Story: The Free Joy
Writer: Manik Permata
Synopsis: Bluey, Gweeny, Coco and Neenee met Joy a few days ago, when Joy stopped by the window where Bluey and Geene’s cage was hanged by. Joy was panting, but her face was really happy. Why? What did Joy tell Bluey, Gweeny, Coco and Nenee?
“Wow, we have papaya today, my friend!” chirps Bluey, a blue parakeet excitedly. A green parakeet standing next to it nods as excitedly. “You guys should try this sometime” chirps Bluey again, this time to the fish in the aquarium at the corner of the room, Coco and Neenee.
“No thanks, this fish food is still the best of all” says Coco, making a lot of bubbles as he speaks.
“Ever” adds Neenee.
“If Joy comes, she will be sooo jealous” chips Gweeny the green parakeet again.
Bluey, Gweeny, Coco and Neenee met Joy a few days ago, when Joy stopped by the window where Bluey and Geene’s cage was hanged by. Joy was panting, but her face was really happy.
“Hey… buddies… how you doing? Nice cage you’ve got” said Joy, catching her breath. Bluey and Gweeny stared at each other. This lady bird just came from nowhere.
“I’m Joy Canary, by the way. Whew… what a hot day, isn’t it?” Joy kept chirping.
“Hi Joy, I’m Gweeny and this is Bluey” said Gweeny.
“And we’re Neenee and Coco!” Neenee yelled from inside, making the water in the aquarium wavy.
“Oh hi guys,” replied Joy happily. “That’s just what I need, water! Can I fly in and a sip from your bowl?” Joy asked the clown fish.
“Sure, we never run out of water anyway” the fish replied.
Joy flew back to the branch of the tree just outside the window.
“You flew here just to find water? You have no water at your house?” asked Bluey.
Joy smiled. “No. I don’t have a house. I’m a free bird. I sleep on any tree I want. Sometimes if I like the area, I might make a nest and stay for a few days. But now I’m on my new adventure. This area is new to me. It’s such a hot day to fly around. Lucky to find you guys here.”
Bluey and Gweeny never know how it feels to live like that. They like their lives so much, they have a place to stay, to sleep, yummy food to eat every day, clean cage (no matter how messy they make it at the end of the day), humans to sing to, what more could they ask for? Coco and Neenee have the same thought.
Why is Joy always so happy even though she doesn’t seem to have a plan of where to go or what to do the next day? But they always wait for Joy to come by, as Joy always has interesting story to tell. Yesterday Joy told them she saw some children fed the ducks in the park, and the ducks got upset before Joy flew around above them and caught some of the bread crumbs from the children. But the children laughed at her action. That felt so good, Joy said. Then Joy sang to those children and the children got happier.
The two parakeets and two clown fish didn’t know what park was, but Joy explained it to them. It sounded like a good place, Gweeny said yesterday. But Bluey wasn’t interested in going there. If ducks and strange humans were there, what other creatures could be there too? The thought is just too scary for Bluey.
This afternoon while the parakeets are enjoying their second papaya, Joy comes.
“Oy Joy! Look what we have!” Bluey chirps, showing off their piece of papaya. “Have you tried this? Come and try it” Gweeny offers her.
“Thanks mates. I’m so full; I could literally explode if I touch that papaya” Joy replies.
“You know what this is?” Bluey is surprised.
“O yeah, I tried my first papaya long ago in that area over the lake. A few houses there have them on their little garden. I tried some on the tree, but I think the bats tried them before me”
Bluey and Gweeny envy Joy, but they don’t know how to express it. They stare at Joy, waiting for another story from her. These last few days, it’s like they’re waiting for a bedtime story, a fairytale, from a world they never knew.
This afternoon Joy tells them a story of her morning that she was flying around singing to herself, when she heard a crack of a branch near her. Then she saw some boys was playing catapult. They were shooting the trees around her. No! They were shooting Joy. Joy tried to avoid the shot but she was panicked. Until suddenly another canary came and showed her how to get out of there and where to go.
“Now I have a new friend, his name is Rory. He is building a nest over there now and I’m helping him, maybe I would stay there for a few days too. So I thought I should come and say hello to you guys”
“You live surprisingly well, for a homeless bird” said Coco from inside.
“I’m not homeless. This entire universe is my home. Come on, we have wings. We have no limit of space. And you guys have fins, the wide ocean is almost as big as this universe” Joy says.
“But isn’t this a good life we have? Home, food, room service. Humans even clean our poo for us” Bluey says.
“Of course it’s a good life you have. But don’t you want to know what’s out there? Don’t you want to know what those wings of yours can do? Or how far can you go?”
Bluey and Gweeny don’t know what to say.
“And Coco, Neenee, don’t you want to know what you can find under the sea? Find new friends, fresh water, endless space. The corals are real, you know. I know a few friends who said so” Joy continues.
Coco and Neenee also don’t know what to say.
“But isn’t that a lot of work? A lot of things to worry about? Food hunting, building nest, avoiding bad humans. We don’t have nine lives” Gweeny says in a worried voice.
“Those things you mentioned are parts of the adventure and the fun. It’s easier than you think, the food is everywhere, and the trees are everywhere. Humans are everywhere too; who knows you meet the sweet ones and they give you crumbs for totally free.”
“Gweeny, that sounds like fun” Bluey says, tempted.
“And risky” Gweeny replies.
“But, now this tank seems boring, after hearing everything from Joy” Coco says.
“Look guys, I know this place of yours is comfortable, and you have wonderful humans living with you. But isn’t this getting too comfortable that nothing is excited anymore? Get out of the comfort zone, and live this life freely. You guys are meant to fly. And you two are meant to swim with no glass wall.”
“What about our humans? They will be sad to see us gone” says Neenee.
“Well I’m sure they’ll be happy if they see you happily live your new lives.”
The next day, Joy and Rory help the two parakeets and the two clown fish escape from their comfort place, into this outside world full of wonders. And Joy was right; they enjoy their different kinds of fun every day. Leaving the comfort zone is not that scary after all.
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