Earlier this month, a plane, SkyWinds 126, was making one of its first trips when it collided with a bird. This resulted in an engine failure, and thus an emergency landing took place. The plane was abandoned in an old hangar at a far end of the airport.
Presently the plane is undergoing restoration and is soon going to be ready to fly off the ground again. Meanwhile, up in the sky a flock of wild sparrows were flying east. One bird was lagging behind due to her slow pace. She was mocked by the others and left behind. She notices a plane flying high above her in a speed that couldn’t be matched by any member of her flock. This gave her an idea and she followed the gas clouds formed by the plane hovering around the airport.
Without being seen she enters an old hangar. She perches down on the top of the abandoned plane and observes the surroundings. She flies and goes under the plane to get a closer look. She hops onto the wheel and confirms a thought. She flies out of the hangar to collect some twigs while four men enter the hangar. “We need to fix this guy up soon and get him flying”, said one. “Yeah he is too young to be lying here”, said the other while the rest nodded in agreement. Despite of being immobile and depressed to his state the plane shows a hint of smile on his face.
(Parallel story of the dream and the bird in the hangar.)
While the plane dreams about his flight, the bird returns with some twigs. He dreams of flying high in the sky, the bird hops on the front wheel and begins arranging the twigs. He then dreams of flying above a flock of birds, the bird settles in the nest that she builds and smiles to herself. He hits a bird, and the bird flies and perches on a high post in the hangar. The dream ends and the he finds that he is alone in the darkness of the hangar. His face is filled with terror as he looks around. His eyes follow a single feather slipping over his windshield.
The ground staff and engineers enter the hangar and start the renovation. The entire day passes by while the plane undergoes restoration, but his eyes never leave the feather. Where did this feather fall from?? Where is the bird? Meanwhile the bird waited till the men left the plane alone. At night, once the men were gone, the bird flew over the plane and landed on the top of the plane’s left wing.
Startled with the new weight on his wings, the plane shouts, “whose there?”
His eyes search for a response, “Why are you here?”
The bird flew down and faced him near the windshield. “Hi, I’m Charlie, and I am here to take you away from this old rusty shed”
The plane tried to get away from her “Why would you do that? It’s because of you that I am lying here in the first place.”
“Why would it be because of me?”
“My engine failed mid air because I hit a bird.” His eyes expressed the pain that he’d felt.
“If it was because of me then I would have been roasted to death inside your engine. But I’m here now and I want to help you.”
“Why?” He made no attempt to hide his suspicion.
“Because I feel sad looking at your condition here while you should actually be flying high in the sky.” She wasn’t too sure if he bought her excuse.
The plane looked down and with self-pity and said,” yeah, you are right. But what is in it for you?”
The bird, now a bit thoughtful before answering says, “There is this place far-east where we usually go to around this time of the year. This place has everything you can think of. It is under high security and has enough supplies for us to survive. You can fly to the highest point before retiring to one of the wide spread shelters unlike this rusty one above you.”
(Both dream about this same place differently)
There is a hint of interest in the plane’s eyes, encouraging the bird to describe this place even more.
“There is ample sunlight to bask your wings in. At night the small light bugs illuminate the entire place and guide you.”
Almost sure that the plane was now convinced to go to this place, the bird continued, “The best part is that there are no men to tame you, you are the pilot of your own flight and you choose where you w…”
“LETS GO!” exclaimed the plane. The bird smiled and hopped on to the nest.
It was dusk and there was some time for sunrise, before the men returned to the hangar. The engines began to roar and before it could attract any worker’s attention the plane was out of the hangar and on its way on the runway. He chose a small isolated runway to avoid any attention. As he lifted his front wheel off the ground there were already a bunch of men chasing the un-manned plane.
After reaching a certain height, they witnessed the sunrise just in front of them. The silhouette of the plane resembled a small bird flying towards the wide rising sun. They few over wide fields, drying rivers and small hills that gave shelter to clusters of houses. The sun slowly came above them and below them were hills, vast land with wide spread trees. The bird motioned the plane to prepare for landing. She looked pleased and thought of how she’d reach there before her flock. The plane looked down but didn’t see the vast land that could pass off as a runway, the high peeks that he could fly, just as he had imagined. Feeling cheated he flew over the spot and went ahead ignoring the bird’s frequent cries.
The bird got out of the nest, her eyes glowing with anger. She held on to the wheel and shouted, “Hey! We had to land back there, near the lake. Where are you going?”
“You lied to me; you never told me that we were going to a bloody park. What happened to the runway, the shelter larger than the one I left behind?”
Struggling against the wind, the bird shouted, “I didn’t lie to you, Look back, there was enough space to create your own runway, the massive trees provide enough shelter for you and me and more birds.”
“I’m turning around and returning to the airport.” He takes a quick turn, when the bird loses her balance and fall off the nest. She flaps her wings rapidly to stay in air.
She tries to return to the nest, when due to the strong force, she gets pulled by the engine. She manages to let out a scream and hangs on to the edge of the engine. The plane sees the situation from the corner of his eye and fears for what would happen next. He had to do something quick in order to stop a major accident from repeating itself. He feared for his own life and for the bird that put him in this situation in the first place.
His thoughts are cut off by her screams as she struggles to hang on. He switches off the right engine and tilts to the right. He was losing height. He called out to the bird, “Quick try flying back to the nest.” There was no response from her. “We don’t have much time.” He cried. With the weak flaps of her wings she went towards the front wheel while the plane managed a steady position. Both their eyes showed Fear and struggle at the same time. Once the bird sat safely in her nest, the plane started his right engine again and prepared for a safe landing.
By now they were already approaching the place they were supposed to go. The bird was lying with her eyes closed. He tilted in front and glided through some low lying clouds. The vast land was in view, with trees lined on one side and a lake on the other side. As the wheels touched the ground and screeched to a halt massive dust clouds were formed around them. As the dust settles down, the scenery becomes clearer. The plane’s eyes are wide open as he starts viewing the place differently. He notices the barren strip of land that could be the runway, the trees with wide spread branches and the sun shining brightly above them. He hears the other birds and sees a flock flying over the lake. The bird above the wheel opens her eyes and looks around. She flies straight towards the wind shield and squeaks excitedly, “Why did you land here? I thought you were on your way back to the hangar.”
To this the plane smiled and replied, “I figured, this is the place where you can live freely, test our speed and fly wherever you want to. What more would you want?”
The bird suddenly felt guilty for not telling him the real reason of bringing him here. “Actually the real reason I wanted to bring you here was because I wanted to reach here before the others from my clan.” Confusion spread over the plane’s face. “Others?”
“Yeah, well, we were migrating from west when I was struggling to keep up with the speed. I was laughed at for lagging behind. That’s when I thought that if I could travel with someone as fast as you, I could reach before them.”
The plane listened to her but was distracted by his surroundings. He wanted to go beyond the trees and see what was behind them.
“When I saw you lying in the hangar, I could feel your depression and isolation, hence I hoped that through my description of this place you’d want to come here too and be free.”
Sudden sadness spread over his face. “But I’ll be alone here too, as I am the only one of my kind.”
“NO”, she squeaked with secretive smile. “Go and explore this place, you’ll never be alone here.”Saying that she flew away and sat near a flock of birds beside the lake. The plane went ahead slowly, not knowing what to expect. Through the clearing he went to a field that was shadowed by the trees. His eyes were wide with shock because of what he saw in front of him. There were aircrafts of all sizes and ranks lying on the ground. Some had their engine on and were on a run while others were just lying around. He smiled as he went onto the centre of the field. He felt like he had come home.