© Copyright 2018 by Kemuel Emmanuel
I couldn’t help but remember how her story began.
One quaint morning, maybe not too quaint, Dorothy was born, a newly hatched chick she was, taking in the air for the very first time. Looking around, she saw some yellow, beautifully moving around. Opening her mouth, she unintentionally learnt the act of expression, letting out the expression of happiness, one returned equally from the yellow others, and in that instant, she knew she was amongst family. The concept of time, she knew not, as they engaged each other’s company, enjoying the feel of their bodies, rubbing against each other, as they relished the brightness there was.
Although, transferred to transport cartons of hundred each, Dorothy still felt at ease with her fellow yellow as she walked about. Walking round the expanse of the carton, she expressed her happiness, chirping as she went, joining the others, as they explored every inch of the carton.
As they chirped away, all of them saw it, something, maybe mama, stretch out and pour some stuff into the carton. Raining al over, Dorothy didn’t know what it was, but it sure did appeal, edging her natural instinct to kick in as she began her education formally, learning her second lesson, the act of feeding.
Going near the nearest grain, she pecked upon it, relishing every taste of it. What was it, she did not know. Where it came from, she didn’t care. All she cared about, was taking more pecks, and in no time, her and her family were pecking at the residual dust particles. Raising her head, she seemed to have had her fill, as for some reason, she couldn’t explain, she was content, happy and achieved. Walking back into the expanse of the carton from where she stood, she felt an anomaly, a course of nature she didn’t know about, as she let her instincts kick in yet again, and the result was the dropping of a pellet behind her, her third lesson, the ability to excrete waste.
Looking at it, it looked much like what she relished before, but for some reason, wasn’t appealing to her. As they enjoyed their happiness, the world around them much to their oblivion, was about to change.
‘Dan, could you load the truck with five hundred cartons? Pick five workers to aid you.’
In a little over two minutes, Dorothy and her family heard loud chirps, not the usual joyous ones they all heard before, and in that instant, they were learning their fourth lesson, fear. Cuddled together in a niche, they looked frantically in all directions, quiet in their study, as they all awaited their fate, and they saw it coming.
Slowly coming over their home was something large, guided by the same hands that brought them their second lesson, food. Slowly, whatever was coming edged closer and closer till the brightness, the abundant there was, varnished to usher darkness, not stark though in its description, as they chirped in fear, learning their fifth lesson, a cry for help. Waiting amidst their chirping, it all dawned on them that this was their fates, as one by one, each individual chirp died down to complete the sixth lesson, accepting of fate.
Looking through the holes by the sides of their carton, they saw blackness approach from one side slowly, till they all felt it.
Jerked from their positions, they all came alive, chirping as the carton was being elevated, translating to a larger box, an open one they all saw, much larger than theirs, and in it were smaller boxes with holes that led to darkness. Seeing this, their fourth lesson automatically introduced their seventh lesson, survival, as unknowingly, each spread out their individual wings as they jumped around the carton. Getting no response thought, they continued restlessly, till they had a touchdown. Satisfied that they were able to get something done, they all settled down at a corner in the carton, ushering the eighth lesson, the act of rest. Cuddled up at a corner, all hundred felt their eye lids grow heavy, much too heavy to leave open as they individually let theirs close shut, relishing the peace and tranquility there was.
‘Sir, all five hundred cartons are loaded’, came a voice Dorothy thought she heard in her sleep.
‘Go and meet Dara, you know her right?’
‘She will fill you in on the delivery details.’
Still half awake, half beyond, Dorothy opened her mouth slightly, as she let out some relief, cuddling herself even more, as she relaxed into profound tranquility, enjoying the calm there was.
Moments was all she knew as even she hadn’t grabbed the concept of time, as later, a voice, much too loud woke them all up into fear, as the truck began its journey. Seeing no need to chirp, they all went quiet and cuddled themselves once again, enjoying the warmth of their bodies.
Maybe, forever was how long they slept, for they were all awoken as the truck jerked to a stop, waking them all into chirping again. Aloud noise followed suit later and they went on again, chirping in frantical tunes. Joining their comrades, their comrades, Dorothy’s family joined in the status quo, participating in the festival of chirping, and wallowing themselves in a supposed cry for their rights. Maybe, Dorothy was tired, or maybe, she saw no sense in all of the fuss, as she stopped chirping, looking around to see her environment, as the once dark carton, had some rays of light penetrating the open holes. Looking on, she saw a black stretch, upon which strange homes (as they were all like hers, box, as she saw any boxed thing so) moved on it. In addition to the strange homes moving at varying speeds, she saw another strangeness, long was her best description, moving at a much slower speed, much slower than the moving homes. As she studied, a moving home pulled up at the back of the truck, and something opened. Bending her head in amazement, one of those strange things came out in a strange attire.
‘This thing is sure strange,’ she chirped to her family, as she studied on. Instead of the feathers she expected on the thing, as she had come to know it function like her, it wore multi-colored things. All the strange tall things weren’t like her and her family, homogenous in dressing and appearance, but each she saw had a certain uniqueness to their appearance.
‘Interesting,’ she chirped to herself.
In that moment, her box was lifted, trailing that strange thing as they moved on, chirping as loud as they could.
‘Good afternoon sir. I booked two hundred birds sometime last week,’ the strange thing began.
‘Name and receipt please.’
‘Mrs. Juliana, and here is your receipt,’ the strange thing made a movement that looked like ours when we raise our feathers.
‘Okay, Mrs. Juliana.’
‘Yes,’ the strange thing answered.
‘Pick two cartons from those’, the strange thing pointed to the location of our home. ‘Take two cartons’.
Feeling our home being lifted, my family went at it again, chirping as loud as their youthfulness could allow.
Dropping us momentarily, the strange thing opened something on its strange moving home, and dropped our home inside, closing the opened strange thing. Opening another strange something, the strange thing let itself in, adjusting, before a low sound filled the air around us, as we experienced movement, and at that instant, sleep was all we could do, as our chirpings died down.
Stopping, the strange thing opened the strange something, and carried our home into a bigger home, as we saw through the sides of our home. Settling us down amidst our chirping, it opened our home from one side, and let us out into a much larger home. Another home was opened, and more like me, came rushing out into our new home.
Standing, we all experienced yet another lesson, the ninth lesson, the feeling of cold, as we all cuddled at a corner, brooding ourselves into sleep, enjoying the coziness. The strange thing was sure strange as she left and returned with more strangeness, dividing our large home to make it smaller. Going out and coming in, the strange thing brought something bright into our home, and the tenth lesson was kicked in by our instincts, the ability to explore, inquisition. As we went close to it, it was surprisingly much more cozy, teaching us about warmth, our eleventh lesson. In addition to the bright things, four of them, it brought two other things, very red in color, as it radiated beautiful warmth. Trying to get close to it was futile, as it was way high above our reach, but we were loving the feeling it brought to us.
Looking at the strange thing under a new judgement, we termed it our ally, as whenever it came, it sure brought something that made us chirp for joy.
Moments later, the strange thing brought something, round it was, and laid it, three of them, on the floor of our home. Trusting the strange thing whole-heartedly, we ventured into the round things, and we never regretted it.
Eating to our fill, we relished the meal, satisfying that feeling that was driving us insane. As we ate, we couldn’t help but drop our pellets. It was the most beautiful feeling in the world. The strange thing, having left, returned back with another round thing, and dropped it. Curious, we all went ahead to discover a feeling know as thirst, the twelfth lesson, as we quenched our thirst, after which some went on to continue pecking up food, others went to sleep, while I and a select few looked on at that bright thing, way above us, heating us, and turning into ash afterwards.
Time seemed to fleet away faster than usual, as Dorothy and her family grew from being day old chicks, to two, and eventually a week. They were enjoying their new home, relishing every need being provided for them, and enjoying the company of mum, as she diligently took care of them, a gesture my siblings and I noticed, and termed the chicks, her children, a relationship she loved.
On the eight day of their stay, mum went to greet her children good morning, only to see a new beginning for Dorothy.
Looking on, Dorothy and five others were continually being fascinated and drawn by the strange warmth turning into ash, and they all resolved to get answers as to what it was, and how it felt up there. Stationing themselves round the source of warmth, Dorothy and two other agreed to get the feeling first, and relay it to their comrades who looked on.
Leaping into the air, Dorothy and the others edged closer and closer to the warmth, and then it struck Dorothy hard, she shouldn’t have dreamt to feel the feeling up there, for as she was edging closer, the warmth was no more soothing, but suffocating. Wanting not to get answers again, she let her instincts kick in, but it was too late, as she landed on one leg on the red-hot source of the warmth. Responding at the nick of time, her instincts kicked in, as she flew out, and crash landed on the floor, chirping in pain, as she learnt her thirteenth lesson, the feeling of pain. Looking up with the little ounce of strength she had, she saw as her two other comrades chirp in profound pain till they could chirp no more. Gathering her, her family all chirped their condolences, as she lay there on the ground, fretting in pain, until she could chirp no more. As she lay there, her family nudged her into their midst to keep her warm, as she slept on in tranquility.
Moments later, their ally came into their home, and after removing her two dead family members from the source of warmth, now cold though, cast an eye of pity on Dorothy, as their ally picked her up. Opening her eyes, Dorothy looked into those emotionally filled eyes of her ally, her families ally, and for some reason, could read the feeling portrayed in those large eyes. Dropping her down, their ally resumed her chores of feeding them and changing their water.
Getting up amidst her hurt, Dorothy tried to participate in the feeding like she always did, but was no match for her able bodied family members. Several trials saw her fail as she gave up, and leaped to a niche, amidst the pain, and retired herself to her fate. As she sat, brooding, she felt the loving hands of her ally, lift her up, and carried her to the nearest feeder. Making way amidst the crowd, her all let her down gently as she began satisfying her appetite. Being held in protection by her ally, Dorothy ate on, and then stopped suddenly to look at her ally with a stare of a thank you.
‘Don’t look at me, eat. You can thank me later’, her ally said to her.
Eating to her fill, her ally took her to the drinker and ensured she drank to her fill before letting her down at a niche in their home.
Day in day out, mum made sure she aided Dorothy in her feeding till she was strong enough to hop around freely.
‘Hey, you must survive’, Dorothy heard her ally say, and she wasn’t going to let her ally down.
That day, Dorothy made a discovery about life, and hence, made a declaration to herself. She resolved to defy all odds, and compete against all odds, and against her rivals to survive, for Dorothy had come to know one thing, those she once considered family were only but rivals in her race for survival. She came to this world alone, and will leave alone. Her supposed family cared for her when she was up, but when she was down, they all deserted her. In those time, she recognized her true family, her ally, and was determined to beat all odds, and survive, for Dorothy said to herself,
‘I must pave a way for my survival’.
And as I looked at her, I saw not the will to survive, nor did I see the determination to live. I saw way past all that into her true purpose of fighting. In her, I saw a belief of the future, I saw HOPE.
I am somewhat a new writer and I go by my pen name, Kemuel Emmanuel. This is my first trial at nonfiction and sincerely, I don't have the slightest idea of how I score. Anyway I do hope I make a lasting impression. Attached is the story once again. Thanks again for giving me a shot at airing my voice, the only I have as a writer.