Pinky wanted to fly and explore the world.

On the banks of the Krishna stood a peepal tree. It was home to a family of parrots. The two chicks in the nest were called Minky and Pinky. Though the chicks had grown wings, the mother felt it was not yet time for them to leave the nest.

Pinky asked his mother, “When will you allow us to fly out and see the world?”

“Don’t be in a hurry, darling. Wait for just one more week and I will take both of you out myself.”

While Minky was obedient, Pinky was not. “No Mama, how long do you want me to rot in this stinking nest? I want to fly. I want to go to new places.”

One day, when Minky and Pinky were alone in their nest, Pinky decided he would fly away. When their mother returned she was heartbroken to find that Pinky had indeed gone away. Minky tried her best to console her mother.

“Don’t worry Mama, Pinky is very intelligent and he can manage anywhere.”

But the mother cried, “You don’t know how it is today. Men are more cruel. As long as he remains in the forest he will be safe. If he strays into the human habitat he will be killed.”

Lost!

Poor Pinky did exactly that. After leaving the nest he flew and flew and came to the edge of the forest. He was tired and hungry. Not able to fly any further he sat on a telephone wire. Suddenly, he felt dizzy and he fell to the ground. When he opened his eyes he found himself locked in a small cage. Pinky had fallen into the hands of a soothsayer. He had hated his open cosy nest on the beautiful peepal tree but now he found he was confined in a small suffocating cage. The food he got from the soothsayer was just a slice or two of a banana and a few peanuts once in two days. Tears sprang to his eyes when he thought of the frequent trips his mother used to make to bring him and his sister delicious fruits and nuts.

What was worse was the training. He was taught to pick out cards and say a number of tongue twisting words. The soothsayer sometimes starved him, sometimes tortured him by pricking his underbelly with a needle.

A month passed by. Pinky longed to go back to his family. One morning, the soothsayer cut his pinions and Pinky lost all hope. Pinky was now resigned to his life of imprisonment.

Around this time the soothsayer decided to move to the next town. Carrying the cage on his shoulder he set out one fine morning. At noon he stopped under a banyan tree and decided to have a nap.

“Are you Pinky?” said a voice.

Pinky was startled. He saw a squirrel.

“Forgot me? I am Tum Tum, your neighbour. How wonderful to meet you again.”

“I am sorry Tum Tum, my mind has become such a mess since I left my nest and fell into the hands of this cruel human being

“Pinky, don’t worry. I am here and your sufferings are over. I will set you free.” Tum Tum began working on the bars of the cage. Tum Tum was no ordinary squirrel. His parents were from the Malaysian jungles. They had escaped from a touring zoo. Tum Tum was a kind of over-sized squirrel. He sawed off the bars of the cage and Pinky staggered out.

“ Tum Tum, my wings are gone. How can I fly?”

“I know, I know. Just climb on my back and clink to my fur. I will take care of the rest.

Tum Tum jumped from branch to branch, tree to tree with Pinky clinging tight.

When Pinky reached his nest, his mother and sister were speechless with joy.

“How can we every thank you for this Tum Tum?” asked Pinky’s mother.

Tum Tum hugged Pinky and said, “Don’t worry about your wings. They will grow by and by.”

It began to drizzle as Tum Tum his bushy tail bobbing up and down ran down the trunk.

“”Thank God. I am home at last!” said Pinky.

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