The prodigal bird

It was a Christmas season of 2018. People were hurrying here and there, to buy Christmas decorations for their cottages and concrete, cemented flats in the city of Shillong. The star of Bethlehem was a “Must”. They must have the star to hang up outside their porch.
Inside their homes, people were baking home-made cakes, although some were bought from the bakery shops. In one such rented flats and at such a busy, noisy time, arrived a Christmas gift of two very healthy, glowing roosters or cocks. A male relative took the roosters to the top of the terrace. He tied them with a long rope to the standing pole, made a make-shift cardboard shelter and gave them rice, vegetable peels, corn and plenty of water. No time to think about a tasty chicken curry. Too busy. Also, the purpose is to keep the cocks, not kill them.
When Christmas Day was over, family members went upstairs to look at the big birds. Shock of all shocks! One was missing! They cried because they thought that he was stolen! It is human nature to suspect anyone, related to household duties. Never mind. A week later, the same male relative came trampling “Thump, thump, thump” downstairs from the terrace, announcing the good news that “he has returned”. Brain of all brains! How has the younger cock loosen himself from the rope and by what secret path has he taken to go downstairs unto the road? Brain of all brains!
Oh children, believe me he escaped like a thief. He was greedy for a better food, and an independent life, with plenty of teen-age chicks in other people’s backyards. Yet no one loved him or fed him. Instead, they beat him with sticks and bamboos. In fact, he nearly swiped with Death, from the speeding cars on the road. Then the skin and bone rooster realised that the card-board coop or home, and the simple meal plus the care, warmth and love of the master and the mistress of the house were far more precious than rubies.
The skin and bone rooster flapped and shook his wings crowing “ ‘Ee,Ee,Ee,Uud’, ‘Ee,Ee,Ee,Uud’ I find that greed brings only sorrows. No more! ‘Ee,Ee,Ee,Uud’ ”.Wearing a sad face, he climbed up the secret path to the terrace known to him only. Crestfallen! he softly entered the card board coop and slept soundly. What a prodigal, ungrateful bird! The teenage cock should have realised that choosing to be a highway bird, could lead him to be a drug addict, an AIDS victim, a drug peddler and a good-for-nothing. What a naughty, naughty bird! Never follow his example. Believe me, you will land in trouble. Follow the example of the first cock who believed that Humility and Contentment bring peace. When you grow up, have a special courage to face difficulties in life, by earning honestly. I mean, not to be lazy but to work hard to bring happiness and security in your life. Bye Love!

(Contributed by Cassandra Syiemlieh)

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