By Ashraf Naushshi

 

Temperature was almost freezing on that cold winter morning. He looked at his

wrist-watch. Still there were a few minutes to eleven o'clock. Sunshine was

everywhere but he felt freezing when an outflow of cold wind came to where he

was standing with his small bicycle. Some relief came to him only when cold wind

stopped. Rays of sunshine gave him some sense of warmness. He could see an

empty road before him. At least for the time being it was empty and he did not

see any vehicle as far as he could see.

Trees, plants and bushes, in lines on both sides of the empty road, were the only

things he could see. There was no vehicle on the road but it could come from

nowhere any moment as usually happened on that road. He wished for no vehicle

there, at least for an hour. The road should remain empty, he thought wishfully.

Bicycling could be wonderful only in the absence of speedy and carelessly driven

vehicles.  

He was a 13-year-old boy with a bicycle standing beside a road. It was a Sunday,

a day off school so no studies. A wonderful day for spending sunshine hours in

bicycling on the road passing through the small town he lived in. Weather was so

cold in morning that he waited till noon before coming near the road for a bicycle

ride which he was about to start. Besides cold weather another reason for not 

starting his bicycle ride was his wait for his friend of almost the same age and

bringing his bicycle also, to go with him. It was not eleven on his wrist-watch

before his friend reached there with his bicycle. His friend did not come towards

him but waved his hand from a distance before starting his bicycle ride seeing

the road empty. In a moment both friends were paddling their bicycles on the

empty road.

He was behind his friend trying hard to paddle fast but his friend was paddling

faster. A race started between them. Both boys had been paddling and racing for

almost half an hour on the empty road when a car came from their behind suddenly

passing them speedily. Almost at the same moment his friend saw something flew

before him and dropped in a bush beside the road. His friend waved him to stop and

applied brakes to stop his bicycle near the bush. He too applied brakes and quickly

reached near his friend. His friend was picking something from the bush. It was an

injured bird. Speedy car disappeared in the dust which was caused by its fast speed.

The driver or any people traveling in that car did not know, because of its speed,

that a small weak bird had collided with their car.  

Both friends saw a minor injury on the left wing of the bird. They quickly reversed

direction of their bicycles and paddled fast back to their small town. Soon they were

in town nursing the injured bird. They dressed its injured wing with an ointment.

He knew that the bird was unable to fly for a few days so he thought better to keep

the bird with him till its healing fully for flying. After a few days when the bird was

fully healed for flying, he went to his friend's house taking the bird with him. Both

friends tapped the bird's wings and let it flew in the air. The bird flew away in the

free air leaving a feeling of happiness for both the friends.    

 Published in Young Nation Magazine on July 22, 2017