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I have a deep and abiding love of birds. I can’t stand to see them in cages and have on many occasions considered freeing them, knowing I would be risking arrest. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never quite had the courage to do it because I don’t want to end up in jail or court.
When I mention this, people often say that a bird in captivity for a given amount of time has no ability to survive in the “wild.” Assuming they are capable of flight, I can’t help but suspect that their instincts would take care of them but even so, I know I’d rather live one day free than spend my entire life in a cage. I’m pretty sure every other animal would, too.
One of my fondest fantasies is that I will one day befriend a wild bird, (ravens and crows are usually the object of this fantasy because they are so smart and, in my opinion, beautiful.) In my fantasy, a crow drops by my house every day and we spend a little time together on the patio, I feed him by hand, he sits on my knee or shoulder, and I tell him how things have been going since we last visited. It’s a simple desire but one I’m guessing will never happen. If I sat motionless in one spot for months and months, holding a piece of baloney over my head it might happen, but I have deadlines to make and bills to pay.
When I was younger, I seriously considered getting a parrot but I was smart enough to read up on them before committing. Consequently, I read what parrots are like in captivity and realized I could not deal with taking its freedom or the profound responsibility that keeping a parrot entails. For the most part, without the kind of constant attention a human toddler requires, they go insane. Still, I find them fascinating in every way. As most people know, they are the closest things to dinosaurs that exist today. Without their feathers, it’s pretty obvious. Without my feathers, I’d just look like a skinny, hairless ape.