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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: A Psalm 119 Parable

There lived a flock of birds - small birds - in a large cage. The birds could fly for hours within the cage, yet when they approached the walls they had to turn around, for the cage was set in the middle of dangerous wilderness, and roaring lions reached through the bars of the cage, looking to devour the helpless birds.

But these were not the only birds in the wilderness; other birds flew around outside of the walls of the cage, mocking those inside the cage for their lack of freedom. But, inevitably, without the safety of the cage the "free" birds were devoured by the lions. Still, some of the birds in the cage began to feel that it wasn't fair that other birds could fly wherever they wanted (including into the cage, although few did) while they were limited to the confines of the boundaries of the cage - not even the boundaries, since the lions attacked all who even came near the walls.

Often a foolhardy bird - often young, sometimes old, but always tempted by apparent freedom - would leave the walls of the cage. Many were immediately struck down, many more were attacked, but rarely did a bird of any age make it far beyond the walls without trouble. Even those who safely crossed the boundary did not last long without encountering danger and harm. Often birds who left would eventually return, but they were rarely the same, shaken from their experiences, scarred from their ventures, sometimes even broken and near dead.

But one thing remained constant: those who stayed away from the boundraies - not only from the bars themselves but far from where the lions could reach - lived brilliant lives, more than content simply with the gift of flight, and thankful for the gift of the cage, which they knew was not made of walls of restriction, but of protection. And they lived in safety, and at ease, without fear of harm.




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earlybird_8 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 29, 2010 at 7:33 pm:
Very thought-provoking. There's a fable about a seed that refused to take a risk and grow and was eventually eaten by a chicken that concludes with the complete opposite moral. Did you come up with this yourself?
 
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