4. Sky (1)

In May, in the morning, the weather is beautiful.
Down over the eleventh-floor balcony of the condominium, trees in and around the courtyard are full of green leaves rustling brightly.
Oka-san is very busy with drying clothes at the next door balcony.

さわやかな五月晴れだ。Hey, my cage is open!
Oka-san cleaned this carefully a little while ago. She exchanged water and food.
She, then, must have forgotten to close the window.

Wait. She didn't forget it. It must be from her motherly consideration for me that she lets me fly in the sky just once. Yes, definately!

Fly in the sky. It has been my dream.
I have to thank Oka-san for her consideration. I should never show my embarrassing fly.
Oka-san from the balcony will surely be surprised to see my flying. She will be glad, crying,
"Wonderful, Pea-chan!"

First of all, I have to eat before I go out. I eat enough millen grains and drink water, and then warm up.
The feet are my trouble, but the wings are my pride. They are good to flap and also good to close. Really charming. My preparation is OK now!

Oka-san is still busy with drying clothes, singing to herself her favorite song "To Mary on Fifth Avenue". A little out of tune, but she is very happy.

♪♪ If you go to Fifth Avenue,
Please visit Mary's home for me.
I wonder how she is getting along.
...... ♪♪

I hop on the crosspiece of the open window from the perch, step on the balcony railing after making sure around once again, and then jump toward the courtyard with my wings wide open!

I could fly more easily and swiftly than I expected.
It is my first time in the sky. But it took only a couple of seconds until my wings mastered how to receive the mild wind necessary for the flight in the air. They soon got used to the new environment.

Well, which way should I fly?
Sparrows, usually coming to our balcony, are flying away like an arrow. Pigeons are flying slowly and awkwardly.
Is my flying funny? Other birds are tilting their heads watching me.

I looked back a moment.
Oka-san is very small in my eyes, still continuing to dry the clothes. Why doesn't she notice me? If she does, she will surely cry, "Pea-chan is great!".
Wait, I have to devote myself to flying now.

I see a large tree in the playground of the courtyard. Let me get down on it and take a rest. It is easy because the wind dies away. Going down fuwari, fuwa-ri.
I landed on the branch on the top fuwa-ri. I can manage it with my inconvenient feet.

Several small birds like me are staying below. They look cheerful. How I wish to understand their words. I want to cry, too.

"Inko no Pea-chan dayo. Oto-san daisuki!" (I am Pea-chan, the parakeet! I like Oto-san!)
Birds around look up at me.
I continue to cry.

"Oka-san daisuki! Peachan genki-dayo!" (I like Oka-san! Pea-chan is lively!)
Birds cry together with me.
"Chu chu chu chu,..... Chu-, churi-, chu chu chu."
They seem to be saying, "We are your friends."
They must be glad for me to join them as a friend.

Children with footballs are getting together in the courtyard. They are awfully noisy.
Birds have flown away all together because of the children's crasy noise.
Where are the birds going? I'll follow them.

The birds got down at the corner of the other open space. A playing slide and swings are installed for children.
I came down on the treetop of ginkgo. Some of the other birds flew down on the branches near me, and talked to me continually.
I am alone right now, but will be able to join them closely. They must be saying, "Let's play together."

Looking down, I can see some other birds eating something delicious on the side of a sandbox. What ever is it?

I flew down from the branch fuwa-ri with my wings wide open. I could reach it easily.
What they are eating seems to be bread crumbs or something. It does not stimulate my appetite, compared with what Oka-san always makes for me.
Shall I eat a little? Bad taste!
Well, did Oka-san finish drying the clothes? I look up toward our condominium.

Ah, strange?! There are many, many windows of the same type. I intently stared upon our building "E" of the twelve-story condominium. That is ours.
There is no Oka-san anywhere on the eleventh floor. It may be better to say she is too faraway.

This twelve-story condominium, where totally 1,100 families live, has six buildings from "A" to "F", and they encircle the courtyard. Too large and too many, ....., the balcony of our home is too small.
I cannot notice anything. I am really at a loss.
I suddenly felt lonely. What shall I do?

Many birds have come together, several pigeons among them.
I rather don't like pigeons. Their voice is "bo- bo-" and their eyes look around restlessly. Their bodies are large and fat, ..... Not knowing it, they are talking friendly to me.

I cannot walk in satisfaction, because both my feet are not good. All of the birds are aware of it, and they feel sorry for me. Some of them bring bread crumbs, and some others small bugs and various unknown food.
They undoubtedly welcome me as a new comer.

A football has rolled fast here as briskly, and the children are following the ball at a rapid pace.
"Chu chu chu, chu chu chu!" (Dangerous! Get away!)
They flew up and away in all directions.

I flew up desperately. Up and up.
I am flying over the street lined with ginkgo trees down below and see several birds perching on an electric wire. The top of one ginkgo tree is winding around the wire, and there are many birds perching on it because it's in the cool shade.

I am going down there to join them like a parachute, fuwari fuwa-ri.
Arranging the wings just over the electric wire, I stop on it fuwa-tto. I could manage a soft landing.

Birds around are clapping, looking at me. They are talking to me pleasantly in loud voices.
"Chu chu chu chu, ju ju, churi-, chu chu".
How I wish I could understand their words!

The wind strong a little bit has blown from the south, buwa-.
All of the birds are unconcerned, but regretfully I cannot stay on the wire as it is.
Both my feet have slid weakly. Oops!

I'm in a panic. I have to fall down with my wings flapping unconciously in a loud noise.
They got surprised, but there is nothing they can do for me.

I could barely stop on a small branch under the ginkgo trees across the road.
After a little while another wind attacked me. As I expected it this time, I made use of the wind and went down fuwa-ri, fuwa-ri. I landed on the sidewalk behind the condominium.

Looking up, I can see the birds staying on the same wire with no care of the wind.
I have become accustomed to my weak feet, but I envy them.
They must be worrying about me, but I have no way to get back there.

Reading Part 4 (12:53): on
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