When I was younger, there used to be times when misguided little birds would accidentally fly inside the house. The thought of those tiny sparrows straying in from the open skies to the four walls of my home continued to interest me. The bird would hop from the shelf to the television, then on to the chandelier, and then fly in circles trying to find an open window.
All I wanted then was to catch the bird and keep it in the house. I wanted to put it in my pink doll’s house and act like I had a live doll. It seemed like such a good pet to have; this bird that had wandered into the human world.
The bird would peck at tables, alight on the fridge and examine these objects with so much curiosity; it fascinated me. It seemed like a child’s dream.
My mom would always open a window and let it zip out. She’d tell me she wasn’t ready to host a houseguest covered in feathers. Plus, who’d take care of it?
I would whine, feeling like something had been taken from me.
Until two months ago, when a freckled brown sparrow whirred into my room through a frayed part of the mesh screen. It flew to my dresser, knocked over a jar of beads, pecked at a necklace, and tried to put its tiny head through a bronze hoop.
My little sister wanted to keep it. She promised to feed, clean, and pet it, if only i’d let her keep it!
But, what would it eat? How would it eat? Where would it perch? What if it would be lonely? What about bird diseases? And what if it died? And most of all, it couldn’t live in the human world, with our gizmos and gadgets and alien possessions.
I looked at my sister’s drooping face, opened the window, and let the bird fly out to the sky.
And now I understand.
Sometimes I wish I could have been a child forever.