There is a story I’ve been told. Its about a giant who lived on the top of the mountains and was very happy and full of freedom. The little people in the valley were jealous of him.. and schemed and plotted to find a way to trap him. One day they had a bright idea.. and full of cunning invited him to their village for a ‘celebration’. The giant really didn’t want to come down form the mountain.. and said ‘Oh no, you go ahead and have your celebration.. I am happy here and don’t want to come to the valley.” But the little people cried and insisted – and over and over requested the giant to come. Finally he agreed.. but only for an hour.. then he would go back.
Down he came.. and when he arrived the people were overjoyed and welcomed him and invited him to stay to eat.. and then when he was finally persuaded, they asked him please to help them for a short time in their fields. He protested, but gave in – feeling a little sorry for them. Now when the work in the fields was complete they showed him to a huge bed.. quite comfortable – that they had prepared for him. “You must be tired” they said and invited him to lie down and rest. “Just till morning .. then you can go.” The giant gave in once more – but during the night he woke to the sound of hammering and clanging of iron to find that the people wre building a cage around him. “What are you doing?” he cried.
“Oh we are simply protecting you from the wild animals in the night.. relax, go back to sleep..see here is the door where you can easily go out.”
Each day passed as the one before – the giant being daily persuaded to stay just a little longer..until one day he had forgotten all about his home in the mountain and his freedom. Every day he toiled in the fields and at night returned to the cage, thinking now that this was his true home.
One day a bird came and sat on his cage and began to sing. It sang a song of freedom, a song about the mountain tops, about the skies and about flying and dancing on the wind.
The giant was at first annoyed at the sound and asked the bird to go away. But the bird came each day and sang its song of freedom. The giant didn’t listen – he continued to live on in his cage, only coming out to work for the villagers.
The bird continued to sing its song.
And then – it stopped coming. The bird had died – and the giant missed the sound of its song.. but he continued to hear that song in his head. And suddenly he heard the song.. missing the bird – he began to really understand what that bird had been saying all along. The song of freedom. And the giant stretched up one arm.. andthe cage shook and fell apart.. he stretched his other arm.. and the rest of the cage collapsed around him. And now he stood, realising his freedom. He was angry with the villagers for their deception – and strode away up the mountain – the song of freedom ringing in his ears forever.
It can take many years for the song of freedom to be heard – sometimes it is never heard – but it is the task of the bird to simply keep on singing the song whether it is really heard or not.
Please keep singing your song.
With thanks to Satish Moon who shared this story with me.