The Green Bird
Author: Malek Chouayakh
Translated by: Hind Harb
ـ 1 ـ
Shadi bought a box of clay. He took out a piece, and rubbed it and rubbed it until it softened in his hands.
ـ 2 ـ
Shadi was happy, the clay can now mould into shapes
‘I will make a colourful parrot and it will tell me stories’. , He thought
He made a parrot and asked it to speak, the clay remained silent.
‘This parrot is voiceless, ugly and dump. A parrot that can’t sing, hum or tell stories’
He was silent for a moment then added
‘The bird is right, it’s peak is just like that of a roster.. I will make a roster.. No.. No.. It will wake me early in the morning. Rosters are annoying and this clay is awful.
He moulded the clay
‘What should I make? I will make a penguin that swaggers in its walk. A penguin? No.. No.. I don’t want a penguin, I hate the colour black.’
Shadi put the clay aside. He went to his little library and took out his encyclopaedia on birds. He began flipping the pages and learning about the world of birds. He put the encyclopaedia aside and sat on his bed looking at the piece of clay in his hands.
‘Why won’t you speak clay? Don’t you want me to mould you in my hands to a beautiful bird with colourful feathers whose peak sings the purest melody? Speak clay.’
ـ 3 ـ
Shadi pulled the sheets over his legs and looked at the green piece of clay.. It’s a green bird.‘Speak lovely green bird. Like you I’m alone.. I’m bored of homework, my backpack bent my back in half. I have no friend to speak to. I need a friend to keep me company. I love you lovely green bird. I love you so much.’
A tear slipped on Shadi’s cheek, the green bird flinched and made a little peep,
‘Don’t cry Shadi.. Wipe your precious tear.. I will be your friend. I’m a green bird, green like the wild and green fields. A free bird flying in the summer breeze, singing to the roses, trees, water wheels and rivers. A bird that loves all birds; the singing hummingbirds, the vain peacocks, and the eagles flying at the eye of the sky. A bird that loves life with all its colours and music.’
‘Do you love the dump parrots, green bird?’
‘Parrots are my friends. They are funny, elegant and clever.’
‘Do you love the screaming rosters?’
‘The roster is my friend and companion.’
‘I won’t ask you about the penguin. He lives far away in the north, walks on the snow showing all his white shirt and black jacket as if he’s going to a ball.’
‘Amazing, this penguin sounds amazing.’
ـ 4 ـ
The piece of clay fell off of Shadi’s hand into the floor. He opened his eyes. Where is the parrot? Where is penguin? Where is his fried the roster? He looked at the palm of his hand but didn’t find the green bird. He looked outside the window. Maybe he flew in the air, but the window is shut.
Shadi swiped the sheets aside, and jumped up. He went to his little library with a million ideas in his head.. And, carefully, began building a beautiful green bird from the clay.
He will make a roster that shouts ‘COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO’ in the morning, and a cute penguin, either blue or brown. He will not feel alone anymore, he found friends that will keep him company.