it was a beautiful boring sunny day. no wind, no breeze, no humidity. kind of boring cause most days in makarska are like that, especially in spring. my street was silently peaceful. it was a weekend and everybody enjoyed their home-made launch, desert, wine and a nap.
our family ‘blake carrington’ house was leaned against pine trees woods. the fragrance of pines and resin always shouted loudly at me to join them. my friends and I managed to build a camp right on top of several pine trees, some 5-6 m high up that even guys from Avatar would be jealous of. we had several camps but this one was ‘the classy one’. it was build for the purpose of our meetings or running away from bad ugly guys living in the eastern part of our street.
the pine trees woods was also a home of hen-houses. in croatian it’s called kokošinjac (what a funny lovely word, shame one doesn’t hear it any more so often.) yup, still in 80s, lots of grannies loved having their own ‘kokošinjac’ – those eggs are far more better than ones bought in a supermarket. not to mention free run chickens. it’s funny, today one pays extra for such luxury while then, a luxury was to buy a chicken in a supermarket.
anyway, i liked observing chickens and while doing that, i’ve noticed that those wannabe birds almost never use their wings. well, they do use them in a dispute or in a fight but no use for flying whatsoever. the chicken’s main preoccupation was to poke about all day long or sit on eggs. for me that kind of life was so sad. such a waste of wings potential. and that’s how i got the idea to teach one little chick to fly. i had some previous experience in flying using big umbrella or plastic sheet to resemble parachute. it didn’t quite work out well but i knew it was just a matter of time when a flying suite will be developed. more than 20 years later, this suit is now called a wing suite.
anyhow, i’ve decided to teach a little chick how to fly so it can join other beautiful birds in the sky. living a dull yet ok life in a hen-house, poking around all day long until someone comes and picks your unborn kids (eggs) or you for a launch was, as written previously, a very sad life. that’s what i thought.
on that beautiful boring sunny day, i went to woods to fulfill my mission. i knew already which hen-house holds my pupil. when i entered chickens were nervous, coming on to me, cackling and waving their so called wings like crazy. but my mission was way too serious to be bothered with assaults and intimidation. i picked one chick out of several. it was beautiful. it wasn’t afraid that much, had lovely eyes and its wings looked a bit bigger than in all others. i saw that proportion of its wings vs. its body is quite ok. if he/she now starts with its training, those yellow wings will become stronger and grow in time and as they grow bigger the chick will be able to fly to higher heights and get to see how wonderful world actually is. and he/she’ll find new friends – true birds – that will teach him/her about things plain chickens could not…
so, i started with the flying training. i throw yellow little chick gently into air and he/she instinctively started to flap its wings, flaying around for a few seconds, then falling down. i was amazed cause my theory was proving correct > the chicks can fly if they are thought from young age. i continued throwing him/her in the air and little chick would cackle flapping its wings, trying to fly at its best. in blind eagerness and passion to make little chick fly, i lost a touch of a reality. after many, more or less successful flights, my little yellow chick stopped flapping, stopped cackling, stopped moving, stopped breathing. i took my yellow pupil in my hands and like a thunder, revelation of my ‘mission’ hit me in the middle of my skull and spread all through my body: i have killed my yellow fellow chick.
i fell on my knees. the shock was immense.
among the fragrance of pines, surrounded by trunks and branches, no one could see me so i started to cry like a newborn. the pure raw pain of hurting and killing an innocent, beautiful creature was unbearable. during cathartic crying, the weight of raw pain was lifted a bit and i saw what i did:
– first: in ignorance, I’ve killed an innocent living creature
– second: i was forcing my will against experienced nature’s laws
– third: i was stupid and proud
after the crying catharsis, i pulled myself together and kindly asked my fellow chick to forgive me. then, i needed to make a funeral and bury my fellow. i’ve found a place close to little chick’s hen-house, dug a hole, placed her/him gently in it and covered it with earth. i’ve also made a small cross and pounded it into the ground above its grave. i said some prayer my granny thought me, about angels and stuff and remain sitting by that tiny grave. when it got dark, i said goodbye and told her/him we’ll meet sooner or later and then we’ll fly together.
at night i was reminiscing how that yellow chick actually manage to fly. then i understood something important: little fellow was brave and it actually thought me, not vice versa.
the little yellow fellow made perfectly clear that it’s ok to be a chick:
– there is a reason why some birds do fly and some birds do not fly
– the ‘wanna-be birds’, those that don’t fly, are quite happy poking around all day long and sitting on their eggs
– one should never interfere with someone else’s life (unless directly asked for help)
– projecting and forcing own wishes on others is a crime that usually ends up in death, either physical or emotional
– nature’s laws are nature’s laws and I, as a human, am also a part of it (not the law)
when this story and its revelation occurred, i was 6 years old.
ps. žutanjak / zutanjak is yolk in croatian. i choose that name for this blog to honor my yellow fellow chick
pps. just kidin’ > zutanjak stands for my stray dog Žućo