Many thanks to Sakshi Gopal for kindly allowing the publishers to reproduce his poem, which he has also set to music.
This story, in the form of a poem, relates to the notion of the atman, the real self within, and the need for spiritual nourishment. This song has been sung with mime, using a gigantic bird cage with a model parrot (whose head turns, and who eventually falls off his perch, dead). It is possible to use it in a similar way in school.
Exquisitely the cage was wrought with pillars carved in jade
And perches made of ivory, all beautifully inlaid.
With semi-precious stones and pearls that glittered in the light
Reflected off the golden floor – a truly royal sight.
She saw it though the door way as she passed by on the street,
Standing in the corner of the shop of antiques.
She went inside and said, “My man, that cage is very nice.
But tell me – where’s it come from? And I want to know the price”.
“The Queen of Sheba owned it once”, the man replied with haste.
“A very rare and fine antique for people who’ve got taste.
A bit of polish here and there will bring it up a treat.
But don’t forget the bird inside – he also needs to eat”.