25 January 2012

Colourful Little Angry Birds

By Gregg Anthony Atijon

Here’s the scenario. A slingshot ready to be armed; a flock of birds of various kinds ready to be flung; and a structure of various materials which houses green pigs. The goal is to throw the birds toward the structure to annihilate those green boars that stole their eggs.

Yes, the scenario is all about Angry Birds, the famous computer game that is currently a rave for all ages. Whether it is played on personal computers and laptop or on mobile phones, kids and kids at heart can’t help but be addicted to this game.

But that’s not the kind of angry birds that I’m going to talk about. I have a totally different story in mind.

Last week, during the celebration of the feast of San Sebastian in Lipa City, I couldn’t help but notice rows of vendors along the streets selling peculiar items. I looked around and observed the line of stalls selling food, clothing, kitchen utensils and more.

One stall caught my attention: a cage full of coloured chicks.

Those coloured chicks looked appealing to the kids who were the target customers of this fowl business of a different nature. The kids hovering in front of the stall were so excited to get their hands on the colourful little birds. For me, I’d rather see them in a different place other than where they were.

Displeased by what I was seeing, I left the place and went to meet a friend at the McDonald’s restaurant in front of the cathedral. We went on to finish our tasks for the day and then visited the houses of friends to celebrate fiesta with them.

In one house, there it was… I saw a kid holding a small cage in hand. Inside it was a red chick probably bought from the stall that I saw earlier in the day. It was chirping loudly as though crying for help from unseen other chicks.

The child put the cage down on a mono block chair and went off to play with other children. I found myself staring at the chick inside the cage because I adore cute little things. As I continued to stare, I a wave of pity started to sweep all over me.

It was banging itself against the walls of the tiny cage so hard and trying to squeeze itself through the holes in a pointless attempt to escape. Just looking at it, I could literally feel its frustration.

While I felt compassion for it, there was really nothing that I could do. First of all, the chick wasn't mine. Secondly, even if I was to help the chick get its freedom, there were still many more of them that were probably doing the exact same thing. All I could do was just to look down helplessly at it and cluck my tongue.

After I left the house, I passed by the stall of the vendor again. As I took a final glance at the colourful chicks inside their cage, I could not help but think that every one of them wanted to get out of that prison. Although there is also something macabre to each of them growing up to its full size in a poultry farm and later to be sold to the chicken dealer for food, to my mind there is more dignity to that than being dyed and sold as a toy.

That artificially coloured chick that was struggling to break out of its cage earlier in the house that I was in, I could see with my own eyes that it was one angry bird. I bet all the others inside the vendor's cage were as well.

Fiesta Season
Lice! All Lies!




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