a new version
By Leechard (Cheng Wing Lim)
Each chick, when first entering the world, has got only one mouthful of air.
A very smart Egyptian Prince Akhenaten discovered it.
He found that inside every egg, there was some air. Is there any egg without air inside? He examined every kind of eggs on earth. He had opened numerous eggs. Snakes, birds, turtles, and at one time, he found a large ostrich egg. He opened it without hesitation. All the eggs on earth, and all the eggs on earth he could found, have some air inside.
What is the use of this air?
Prince Akhenaten could not stop thinking.
The Prince believed this air is for the first breath of the chick.
Someone has given you life, plus a mouthful of air, what are you going to do?
And Prince Akhenaten said, you must use all your strength because you have very limited sources for life.
There are warm and bright yellowish colors outside. The hopes are there. The chick must break the shell. They must break it. The shell, like a spell, could be hell if not broken. The chick has no thought, but only action, the action to peck. Peck and peck. Peck and peck. Once you have broken
the spell, you will find a world outside.
But happiness lasts for only a few moments only.
The chick discovered happiness has been gone.
The chick discovered that he has entered another shell. A cage is just like a larger shell.
The chick observed silently. This is a very big and crowded cage. Many of his cage-mates live here.
They are all very happy and noisy. They need to do only two things in the cage: Eating and sleeping. They always mock about the chick, saying that he doesn’t know how to enjoy. Good food, good sleep, what is there to complain about?
But the chick soon found out the ultimate truth here. He knew that sooner or later, he would share the same fate with all other chicks. People will come, and send them to the butchers.
Suddenly, some vague idea emerged in his mind: Why should I live here? What am I going to do? What am I staying here for?
These are the questions he could not answer. He wants to know more.
He dreamed to see the world, the unknown beautiful world.
He dreamed and dreamed. He wanted to have a little glimpse, only a little glimpse outside the large shell.
Other chicks laughed at him. They said it was an impossible dream.
How long has the time past? No one knows. But he had found a little crack in the cage. He had found an exit. He squeezed himself out. He had used all his might. He managed to fly to the roof. He could see the world now.
There was a very large plain, with unlimited view. It was the first time he could see sunshine. He saw the sky and other birds. A golden beam spread over the cloud, reaching the endless earth. And he has found the sunshine on his own body, too.
He turned his body, enjoying every inch of sunshine upon it.
He was so happy, he started singing. He sang loudly.
His song was an alarm, bringing in the man.
Within a few minutes, the man caught him. The man was about to send him to kitchen.
Other chicks were happy.
They said, this is what you choose for yourself.
But the chick said:
I have seen the world; have you seen the world?
Won't you be killed sooner or later also?
The story has a second ending.
The man felt puzzled. He thought, there must be something special about the chick. He did not kill the chick; instead, he made the chick a morning calling chick. He allowed the chick a position, made him stick to it. He wanted the chick to give him a wake-up call every day.
Stick to it? Now the chick could use his mind more freely then before. The chick would search for meanings, would he stay and stick to the chicken post?
The story has got a third ending.
The chick escaped the cage, without being caught, nor being made a morning calling chick. He has become a wild bird in the hills.
And the chick was running like hell.
The chick has no wings actually. His wings have not been grown fully.
He could only run, with his wings flapping behind.
He ran and ran. He ran and ran. Until the moment he could not breathe any more.
In a very secret hideaway, he inspected his wound. The mocking laughs have not been gone. He could still hear them. And his cage-mates were now having their free lunch. They reminded each other cautiously: Do not behave like the wild chick. They were so happy, and they all despised the chick. The called him names, the wild, the fly, etc. The more they laughed at the chick, the more secure they felt for themselves.
The chick decided to learn to fly. This was the only way out for chicks. There were no teachers around to teach him.
The method was to flap his wings. He flapped and flapped. He flapped and flapped. It was the very motion the chicks have long forgotten.
It took a very long time for people to realize:
The only way out is to try your best.
And finally, he could fly. He was no more a cage chick.
He was a bird. And a bird is not a chick.
He flew over the valleys, over the hills, over the fields. Under the morning sunshine, he was relaxed, and free.
From time to time, we could see beautiful feathers flapping above.