The New Year’s Gift
Little Johnny was very happy today. It was because he was going to market with his father on New Year’s Eve to purchase various things, all of his own liking.
The market was quite lively and all the shops were decorated with light bulbs of different shades.
Just then, Johnny noticed a shop where a good number of birds were kept in a cage. They were repeatedly hitting their beak on the cage trying to get out. Many of them were bleeding.
Johnny felt pity for those birds. When he could not control himself any longer, he went over to the shopkeeper.
“Why have you trapped these innocent birds?” he asked him. “Why don’t you let them free? It is not fair to restrict anyone’s freedom.”
“I don’t enjoy this,” the shopkeeper replied, “but I don’t have any other source of livelihood. I also need money to feed my family.”
Johnny looked at his father who put his hand inside his pocket.
“What about all those things which you had planned to purchase, Johnny?” he asked.
Johnny felt puzzled for a moment, but he had decided that the freedom of those birds was more important than any celebration. He reached out and held his father’s hand.
“Dad,” he said, “I can enjoy New Year’s Eve with my friends, but these birds will enjoy it better in the free sky.”
His father handed over the money to the shopkeeper,
“You can set these birds free,” he said to him, “and from tomorrow onwards, you can join me at the shop. I will convince the owner to give you a respectable job.”
The shopkeeper felt happy and handed over the cage to Johnny, who opened the bolted cage door. All the birds started flying out one after another. Johnny started clapping.
“Dad, now they will also enjoy the new year with their family and friends. I am thankful to you, there could not have been a better gift for New Year’s,” said Johnny, relieved.
“You deserved that my dear,” said his father as he hugged him.