Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus for the English speaking world) was a man who cherished his ‘libertad’.
He did what he had to do in order to fulfill his dream – finding a new way to the treasures of India.
The mere fact that he discovered a completely different India than the one he was looking for doesn’t change anything about the relationship between he and the concept of freedom.
Yet one of the first things he did when he reached the shores of South America was to catch some parrots, which he eventually brought home with him.
I’m not going to argue here about the fate of the people ‘discovered’ by Columbus nor about that of the black slaves brought later to work on the islands and continents discovered by him. I’ll refrain myself to the fate of the parrots of this world.
Two of them are permanent, even if unwitting, guests of Casa de Colon – a lodging Columbus has used during his stop overs in Gran Canaria.
As we entered the patio the pair was climbing back into their enclosure, after being ‘encouraged’ (squirted with water) by a janitor.
‘Now tell me, do we really deserve something like this?’
During the half hour or so that I spent there they ‘escaped’
at least four times,
only to be either unceremoniously carried
or even herded back to their ‘playing pen’,
where their only entertainment was to engage the visitors with their antics
or to ‘shave’ wood from their ‘feeding tables’.
Now, really, is this the proper way to treat a ‘mocking bird’?
We figured out how to make an egg stand on its head and we can’t yet understand that there will be no real liberty for any of us until all of us will be ‘free as a bird’?