Happy and Free From Care

By Goldie Peacock

When the cage door finally opened, the bird didn’t fly anywhere. Why would it want to? This was a gilded cage, after all. The bird had Wi-Fi and haute couture bird outfits and bird-sized versions of the type of furniture you see in the New York Times Style Magazine. Surrounded by gilt and with no guilt about it, the bird had no reason to leave. It shook its little head at the wildlife rescue worker. She shrugged, left the cage door open. She was used to the birds she freed taking more than a minute to venture out. The bird knew this, thought but I’m not like those other birds. I majored in Psychology. I volunteer at a bird crisis hotline. This situation is different. I love my home and I want to stay here. Sure, I’m in a cage, but I’m not, you know, “caged.” There’s nowhere I’d rather be. It’s not as though the bird had been treated cruelly—its eccentric owner had simply died, leaving no next of kin. The wildlife rescue worker said something about the bird needing to get food, but little did she know it had a smartphone and a GrubHub account. Sitting back now in its miniature Eames chair, the bird turned on Netflix and sighed with satisfaction.

Goldie Peacock writes stories, essays, and poems. Their work appears in HuffPost, (mac)ro(mic), Sundog Lit, Powders Press, Red Ogre Review, Roi Fainéant Press, Ripe, MIDLVLMAG, and more, with more to come. As a performer and art model, Goldie spent over a decade bouncing between frenetic movement and absolute stillness before chilling out and becoming a writer. They live in Lenapehoking (Brooklyn), as well as on Instagram and Twitter @goldiepeacock.

Artwork by Lesley C. Weston (Digital Pen, Ink, & Watercolor)

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