The Birds Set Free

Read the story below. Read aloud then answer the questions that follow.

Notes for reading: Preview the text to be read. Before you start reading, ask yourself, what does the author want me to think or feel? Do I agree with the author? While you read pay close attention to the details presented in the text.

A man was walking one day through a large city. On a street corner, he saw a boy with a number of small birds for sale, in a cage. He looked with sadness upon the little prisoners flying about the cage, peeping through the wires, beating them with their wings, and trying to get out. He stood for some time looking at the birds. At last he said to the boy, “How much do you ask for your birds?”

“Five dollars apiece, sir,” said the boy.

“I do not mean how much apiece,” said the man, “but how much for all of them? I want to buy them all.” The boy began to count, and found they came to fifty dollars. “There is your money,” said the man. The boy took it, well pleased with his morning’s trade.

No sooner was the bargain settled than the man opened the cage door, and let all the birds fly away. The boy, in great surprise, cried, “What did you do that for, sir? You have lost all your birds.”

“I will tell you why I did it,” said the man. “I was shut up three years in a French prison, as a prisoner of war, and I am resolved never to see anything in prison which I can make free.”

Discussion and Comprehension Questions

Pretend you were one of the birds in the cage. Retell the story above in your own words.