Gus Yearns for Freedom

“What lovely weather!” exclaimed Gus, the grasshopper, while on his usual morning walk.

Along the way, his eyes fell on a glass bowl placed on the window of a house. Some fishes were swimming in it.

“What are these fishes doing inside a bowl? Don’t they usually live in a pond or river?” Gus wondered. He flew up to them to ask.

“Hello!” the fish greeted him cheerfully.

“May I ask what you are doing in this bowl when you could be living happily in a big pond?” asked Gus.

“We are happier in this bowl!” replied one of the fish.

Gus was surprised. “How is that possible?” he asked them.

“In the bowl, we don’t have to go looking for food. We are fed two times a day by the humans. Moreover, we don’t have to worry about predators. All that my friends and I do is play, eat and sleep all day long,” said another fish.

“It does sound like all play and no work. It must be fun to live like that,” thought Gus.

He bid the fish goodbye and was about to fly out when something caught his leg. It was a human! Gus was quickly trapped inside a glass jar and placed by the window.

Gus tried to get out, but the jar was too heavy and strong. He was dazed at first, but soon calmed down.

“Perhaps, it won’t be so bad. I may have a good time like the fishes and best of all, I will be served food right here,” he thought and became cheerful.

Gus was lazing inside the jar and looking out when he saw a honey bee hovering nearby.

“Good morning, Miss Honey Bee. I am Gus. How are you doing?” he greeted her.


“Good morning, Gus. I am Holly. You do look quite cheerful for someone stuck inside a glass jar,” said Holly.

“Yes. What is not to like about it? I will get free food, good views and don’t have to worry about being eaten up by some slimy frog,” said Gus.

“That’s true. But don’t you miss the freedom of going wherever you feel like and eating whatever you want?” asked Holly.

Gus became irritated. “You are asking such a question because you are jealous of me! I don’t blame you. You have to work all day gathering honey and take orders from your queen. But I can sit here doing nothing other than singing and watching the scenery outside,” he said.

“Why are you getting angry at me?” asked Holly offended. “I was just asking to know how you feel. What you do is up to you. Anyway, I have work to do. Goodbye!” she said curtly and flew away.

Around afternoon, Gus was fed some grass and leaves. They were not fresh like the ones he had in the fields. But he was hungry and had no choice.


After lunch, Gus lay on his back looking outside. The day dragged on and so did the night. He missed the soft bed of grass that he slept on. He looked endearingly at the garden outside the house when he noticed a centipede walking by.

“Hello, Mr. Centipede!” Gus called out from the window, hoping to chat.

“Hello! Sorry, I do not have time to stop and chat. I am already late and have to reach home before my kids go to bed. And my wife is waiting with hot dinner,” he said, continuing to walk swiftly.

The mention of home and family made Gus miss the comfort of his house. He missed his friends Betty, the butterfly, Lola, the ladybug and Cary, the caterpillar.

“Holly was right. I do miss being free,” Gus thought sadly. He could not sleep that night.

Early next morning, Gus was woken up by a familiar voice.

“Gus! Wake up!”

Gus opened his eyes and saw his friend Betty fluttering outside. He felt elated to see her!

“Betty! How glad am I to see you!” Gus cried in joy. “How did you find me?”

“Yesterday, Lola, Cary and I were waiting for you all evening at the spot where we meet every day to chat. When you did not show up, we went to your house to check, but you weren’t there too. That’s when we began to worry. It was already dark by then, so we couldn’t go out looking for you.

This morning, the three of us set out in different directions to search,” explained Betty. “But how did you get stuck inside this jar?”

“I was talking to the fishes when a human trapped me inside this jar. I thought it would be fun being inside, not having to do anything, but it’s not so. I miss my home, my friends and most of all, I miss being free. Please let me out,” pleaded Gus.

“I have an idea,” said Betty. She murmured something to Gus.


After a while, the human in the house woke up and came to window to feed Gus. But Gus was lying limp at the bottom of the jar.

Thinking that the he had died, the human removed the lid of the jar to check. In a flash, Gus got up and flew away.

Betty was waiting for him in the garden.

“Thank you, dear friend,” Gus said to her. “I am so happy to be free again!”

The two then flew home together.

Real Freedom

Anisa the Butterfly was in an elated mood. She was enjoying the pleasant weather and flying through the park.

Suddenly, a bumble bee appeared in front of Anisa. Anisa got afraid, and changed her way. She turned around and saw that some more bumble bees were following her.

She tried to fly faster, however the bumble bees reached her.

Two of them blocked her way. “Why are they following me? What do they want from me? Have I ever done any wrong to them that they are here to take revenge?” Millions of such thoughts started crossing her mind.

She remembered her friends complaining of the troubles caused to them by those bumble bees. They were suffering because of the harm caused by the bumble bees. She slowed down as the bumble bees approached her.

The bumble bees surrounded Anisa. She was startled and couldn’t speak a word. One of the bumble bees went ahead and caught hold of her wing. Anisa found it difficult to move. All she did was look at the bees with helpless eyes and wonder what they were going to do with her. She looked around but there was no one who could rescue her. The bumble bees made fun of Anisa and laughed at her. Anisa was on the verge of crying.

After troubling Anisa by surrounding her and blocking her path for a while, the bumble bees flew away.

Anisa breathed a sigh of relief. She was no more in danger, however she kept thinking about the incident over and over again. She also kept brooding over the fact that the other butterflies were facing the same situation daily.

She thought, “Why is it that we do not have the freedom to be safe like others? Why can’t we fly wherever we want without anyone harassing us? Is this what the society is made for?

Why can’t our society think of taking appropriate steps to curb these practices?”

Anisa was weeping inconsolably. She had intended to enjoy the pleasant climate but ended up spoiling her day instead.

There was a tiny rose plant who had witnessed the entire episode. He looked at Anisa and called out to her, “Why are you weeping? Come here. Sit on the rose petal.”

Anisa sat on one of the petals. She immediately fluttered her wings and got up from there.


“Why did you get up?” asked the plant.

“These thorns hurt me,” replied Anisa.

The plant smiled and asked, “How are my flowers?”

“Very beautiful! Very soft! Very delicate!” replied Anisa.

The plant said, “So when these delicate flowers can protect themselves, then why can’t you?”

“What do you mean?” asked Anisa.

“You have to change with circumstances,” replied the plant, “These buds were as delicate as you are. They too were troubled by others. They learnt to defend themselves with the thorns. One should change according to the need of the hour. You are delicate, beautiful and soft, but you should become strong when someone tries to take advantage of your innocence.

You will have to fight your battle alone. Don’t depend on others to come to your rescue every time. Be strong and courageous. You cannot live a helpless and a dependent life. The wind changes its direction, the climate keeps changing, time too changes continuously. Similarly, you have to adapt to changing circumstances. Have strength and courage to fight the injustice. And that will enable you to experience real freedom.”

Anisa realised that she had to help herself and find solutions to her problems.


She said to the plant, “Thank you, friend. You have shown me the right path. I have no complaints against anyone now.”

Anisa said this and flew high in the air with happiness and cheer. Her flight indicated that she was confident enough to defend herself and had no worries. She was indeed free!