It was another day for me at the farm. Though it was a new experience for me today, as I and some of my other class mates were designated to the poultry section of the farm. You see, I have specifically avoided going into any of the poultry halls to have a look at the birds for the sole reason of experiencing it newly the first time I’ll be assigned there. Fortunately, today was that day, and just before the farm manager assigned us to specific halls, he had given us a general work of cleaning one of the halls for poultry birds.
With the excitement of doing something new, for the first time after much anticipation, we cleaned the hall – although with the help of one of the workers in the farm. After we were done, the manager called us as assigned us to specific halls of duty where we will either pick eggs into crates and sort them into three different sizes after we were done. We are supposed to do this routine at twice (Noon and at around 4pm).
It was time, and as I walked into the hall assigned to me, I could already hear the hens increasing the volume of the sound they were making as though they had something interesting to tell me, and I couldn’t hear them unless they spoke louder. As I picked the already laid eggs, I couldn’t help but wonder what must be running through the minds of the hens. Do they even have minds?
After picking about 56 crates of eggs at noon,, I had to join the workers in sorting them accordingly. And I less than 2 hours, we were done with all the work we had to do. At 4pm the eggs to pick weren’t that much, so I actually had time to look at the hens. Boy was it an expression on their face. Some looked like they were angry at me for not listening to them earlier, and with what you could call anger on their face, I thought about the life, how they are caged like prisoners, and are fed for the sole aim of producing eggs for as long as they can. And when they had stopped being useful to the cause, they are simply replaced.
I thought about a time where women were married for the purpose of childbearing, a time when all they were good for was cooking and bearing babies for their husbands, and if this setting can be unpleasant even for a hen that doesn’t have much of a choice. Did women felt imprisoned by the shackles of societies’ patriarchy? Was this the reason the fight for gender equality sprouted and has since then flourished.
What was freedom? As I was in the hall, one of the birds was out of the cage, and as I looked at it, it seemed like a the happiest of them all at that moment. As she walked graciously towards me like I was an ally helping her breakout out of jail. Happy as she was determined. I stood in its path. And just the I could see the confusion on her face as she bent down submissive to fate. I suppose she was confused how the saviour had turned the captor.
I teased her, gave her hope by moving out of the her way, and she responded quickly by rising to continue her jail break, I stood in her way again, she paused and bent down like she was submitting to fate. We continued the show for about two more times. As her cell mates cheered on and on. I finally decided to let her have a taste of the freedom she so craved. I locked the door, leading outside, and let the hen be, let it walk about savouring the taste of freedom, however brief it might be. I am sure many other birds were jealous at that moment.
This made me thought about life and how we will always crave for something we may never get, and even though we might not get it completely, a taste of it is sufficient to make us happy. Even if it was only for a moment. We deserve to be. I am sure the bed might be sad when it was put back into the cage, but it will cherish that brief moment of freedom it experienced today.
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