Sunday, December 16, 2007

Kimo and the Beautiful Garden

Category: Issue 8, Short Story Winners

‘So now I have my own place inside this enclosure,’ said Kimo to itself. Kimo was a cute little bird, born and living in a large enclosure with many other birds. Unlike most of them, Kimo had not been pinioned because it would make such a fuss whenever an attempt was made to get its feathers out. However, Kimo could not use its wings to get free from the enclosure which had only a couple of doors and the whole of the place was protected with strong gauze all around it. Birds could not break the gauze, though some birds were let out in the open at the discretion of the captors. Outside the enclosure was a beautiful green garden that Kimo could see across the gauze. But it could not be a part of the garden because the captors had enlisted Kimo among the ‘problem birds’-those that did things against the will of the captors.

‘What use are my wings?’ Kimo sometimes thought. ‘They carry me just a little distance, never out of the prison. But when Kimo was taken to a more isolated place in one corner of the enclosure, it was happy to get a new place.

‘Now I can sit in my place and watch the garden at my leisure,’ said Kimo to itself. For Kimo, it was fun!

After a few days, a very beautiful bird was let inside the enclosure, close to the corner where Kimo lived. It was in the morning when Kimo and the new bird happened to be walking along the same line.

‘My name is Kimo,’ said Kimo to the new bird. ‘What’s yours?’

‘I am Morso,’ answered the pretty bird in its melodious voice. ‘I will be your neighbor.’

‘That’s nice!’ Kimo was happy. ‘We can eat together and play quiz.’

‘That’ll be fun!’ Morso looked happy to find a friend like Kimo. They became good friends and Kimo thought that life could be beautiful even inside a prison. 

Kimo and Morso had a great time together when Kimo was ordered to change its place, one evening after the supper. 

‘I’ll be moving soon to another corner,’ Kimo told Morso with a heavy heart. ‘But I’ll come to see you whenever I get a chance.’ Morso said it would be good to see Kimo whenever possible. Thus Kimo left its good friend and moved to a distant corner the captors had prepared. At first, Kimo missed Morso a lot, getting little time to visit the old place. One day, the captors left the enclosure’s exit open and offered the birds with feathers to get themselves pinioned in order to enjoy the beauties of the garden.

‘My feathers are more precious to me than the garden,’ Kimo persisted in its view. ‘These are my feathers that carry me to Morso. And what good is the garden when Morso is here inside?’ Kimo chose to stay inside, visiting Morso whenever possible. They supped together and played quiz.   

It was many days after their last meeting when Kimo flew to visit Morso and found the corner empty.

‘Where’s Morso?’ Kimo asked one of the neighbors.

‘Morso has been taken outside into the garden,’ told one of the neighbors. ‘It won’t come inside again.’

‘This can’t be!’ Kimo’s heart was rent. Tears welled up in its eyes. ‘Were Morso’s beautiful feathers plucked out by the captors?’

‘No,’ said the bird. ‘Morso’s feathers were beautiful but did not help in flying. Morso was a bird without flight so the captors did not need to get Morso pinioned. They just took it out to make the garden more beautiful with its presence. Morso too was happy while leaving this place.’ Feeling sapped, Kimo could hardly fly back to its place. Looking at the corner where they had been together gave Kimo pangs right in the heart. That night, Kimo could not sleep at all. It knew that it would never be able to see Morso again. Life had suddenly become a sad story, an unbearable burden to carry.

In the morning, Kimo came to know that the captors were going to open all the enclosure’s doors for one last time. The stipulation remained unchanged: getting pinioned for exiting the prison.

‘If I give my worthless feathers to the captors,’ thought Kimo, ‘I may be able to get to my friend Morso in the garden. What good are my feathers except carrying me about in the enclosure? Let me a live a free life out in the garden with my friend Morso and enjoy the luxuries of the outside world.’ But then some darkness suddenly came over Kimo as the thought of losing its feathers struck its mind.

‘These are the feathers that carried me to Morso,’ said Kimo to itself. ‘How can I reach Morso or anyone or anywhere if I lose them?’  He thought and thought for hours. The time for closing the doors of the enclosure was approaching. Kimo was looking at the garden through one of the open doors with wistful eyes.

‘This is the last time I am asking you Kimo,’ said one of the captors. ‘Are you going to give us your feathers so as to enter the beautiful garden?’

Kimo looked at captor, then at the garden outside, and then inside at the enclosure where the rest of its life might be spent. A surge of some unknown feeling rushed up Kimo’s heart. Instead of answering the captor, it flew with all its might to the remotest corner of the enclosure where the voices of the captors could not reach its ears. 

Posted by Prometheus on 12/16 at 10:01 AM | Permalink
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