|Volume 1, No 4, Fall 1991|
continued from the previous issue.
"No, no," the bird cried, "I must know at once!"
"I do not know what happened," said the merchant. "I told them your message. Then, one of them fell down dead."
Suddenly the merchant's bird let out a terrible shriek and fell on her head to the bottom of the cage.
The merchant was horrified. He wept in despair, "Oh, what have I done?" He cried, "What Have I done? Now my life means nothing. My moon has gone and so has my sun. Now my own bird is dead."
He opened the cage door, reached in, and took her into his hands gently and carefully. "I will have to bury her now," he said; "poor thing is dead."
Suddenly, the moment he had lifted the bird out of the cage, she swooped up, flew out of the window and landed on the nearest roof slope.
She turned to him and said, gratefully, "Thank you, merchant master, for delivering my message. That bird's reply instructed me how to win my freedom. All I had to do was to be dead. I gained my freedom when I chose to die."
"So now I fly to my Beloved who waits for me. Good-bye, good-bye, my master no longer."
"My bird was wise; she taught me secret," the merchant reflected. "If you want to be with the ones you love, you must be ready to give up everything, even life itself. And then, by Allah, you will win your heart's desire."THE END