Vignette Collection: A Waste of Freedom by Jaded Catalyst

Fandom:Original Fiction Rating:PG
Created:2008-05-01 Modified:2008-05-01
Summary:A free-flying hawk takes to the sky one last time.
A Waste of Freedom

A small group of men gazed dreamily at a hawk soaring over their heads. The men were young and had no official place to call home. They were drifters, loving the open air and enjoying the simple freedoms that life had to offer.

There was no reason for the hawk’s flight. It had eaten well that morning and had no competition for territory. The hawk drifted lazily on the lovely thermals of the warm summer day. It soared continuously without landing, something a hawk a hawk wouldn’t normally do. Rarely did it have such a day, in which I could fly free of all worries and cares. Maybe even hawks needed a break from life, too.

A blessed breeze lifted the hawk higher through the open sky. One of the men held his breath, feeling as though his heart was carried on the same breeze. The men admired the hawk’s freedom. It has always been Man’s dream to fly freely through the air, to brush the clouds and know the true meaning of fresh air. It is a dream that men have pursued and failed, left only to admire from afar. The young men imagined how happy the hawk must feel, living a dream that many others will never reach.

No. A hawk knows no happiness. Life is much too simple. Never would a hawk waste energy gaining altitude for a 200 mph dive, just to feel the thrill of falling at a deadly speed; that is a human emotion. A hawk doesn’t know happiness, only the satisfaction of a successful hunt. The hawk doesn’t know sadness, only the knowing hunger clawing at its stomach from no recent kills. A hawk will never experience love or hate. It only knows its instincts: “Kill or be killed. Get rid of all those in your path.” Its rivalry is over food or a mate, not for love, but for the survival of the species.

Now, the men pitied the hawk. It was a waste of freedom. It would never know the gift that his has been granted. A pity.

One of the men watched the hawk dip low, barely over the man’s head, and skims the ground before rising to meet the sky once more. As it gained altitude, it began to fly past a nearby hill. Before it had a chance, a gunshot pierced the air and the hawk fell to the ground, never to fly again.

The young men laughed and hopped into their car. They had not a care in the world and drove off to enjoy their lives in freedom, leaving the body of the hawk behind them.

A pity, I’m sure. Such a waste of freedom.

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Review by Melitot 2009-07-10

Sad, but oh so true in its conclusion.
And it's my opinion that hawks, like eagles and every other animal on this earth, do feel what freedom means ... (more)

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