Two birds alighted on the branch of one of the trees at the roadside. They did not sing to greet the morning sun, but instead exchanged perplexed and worried looks.
“Where shall we fly?” one of them asked the other.
“Our sky is full of planes.”
“The only space left for us is inside cages.”
“We’ll lose our wings.”
“And we’ll forget how to sing.”
The two birds stared up at a black plane traversing the heavens at enormous speed and then exchanged worried glances again. To them, the city seemed like a greedy mouth with huge teeth. They swallowed sleeping pills and fell dead to the solid cement pavement below.
-Syrian author Zakariyya Tamir, “The Enemies,” 1957.