A Chinese legal activist, Teng Biao, announced on the twitter on December 31 that a Uyghur political prisoner, Nurmuhemmet Yasin, died mysteriously in China’s prison in last year. https://twitter.com/tengbiao
However, this news seems to be unverified and untrue. According to Radio Free Asia’s report, Nurmuhemmet Yasin’s relative visited him in July last year, indicating that Nurmuhemmet Yasin is still alive in China’s prison.
These tweets and news on Nurmuhemmet Yasin help promote the circulation of his literary work. Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Uyghur Pen Society, thank to Dr. Dolkun Kamberi’s introduction and translation, have presented some of Nurmuhemmet Yasin’s writings.
This “article” is not intended to comment on Nurmuhemmet Yasin’s literary works. Rather, by providing some recent photos taken in Xinjiang/East Turkistan, especially in Nurmuhemmet Yasin’s hometown of Maralbeshi County (巴楚), this article serves as a pictorial description of “bird cage”, a metaphor that Nurmuhemmet Yasin might refer to Uyghurs’ survival conditions in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region. It also calls for the greater attention to China’s oppression of and restrictions on the Uyghurs in their homeland in general and to numerous Uyghur political prisoners and wide-spread prison in Xinjiang in particular.
Wild Pigeon (English Translation)
Dream or reality?
Here I am, seemingly in flight in the deep blue sky. I cannot tell if I am dreaming or awake. A bracing wind cuts into my wing—my spirit is soaring and my body is powerful and strong. The glow of morning seems endless, and sun streams brightly, beautifully on the world. Such beautiful landscapes! I climb ever higher as my spirits soar.
The strawberry fields disappear from view, and the world is suddenly broader, like a deep blue carpet spread out beneath me. This is a wonderland I have never seen before. I love this place as I love my hometown—with all my heart—all of it so beautiful beneath my wings.
Now houses and neighborhoods appear below, along with living, moving creatures—they must be the humans whom my mother warned me to avoid. Maybe my mother has grown old. They don’t look dangerous to me—how could such creatures, who crawl so slowly on the Earth, be more powerful than birds who soar through the skies?
“Mankind’s tricks are legion; their schemes are hidden in their bellies; be sure that you do not make carelessness your jailer.”
Perhaps I am wrong, but they don’t look so terrible. My mother has always told me they are treacherous, scheming creatures who would as soon trap and cage us as they would look at us. How can that be? Perhaps I am not bright enough to understand this. Suddenly I am overcome with the desire to see and know these humans, and I fly lower, hovering above them and seeing everything more clearly. And always my mother says to me: “Mankind’s tricks are legion; their schemes are hidden in their bellies; be sure that you do not make carelessness your jailer.”
Suddenly I know that I want to see these schemes of mankind. Why would they hide them in their bellies? This is impossible for me to understand.
I descend gradually, hovering in the air above the dwelling-places. The things below are now very clear to me. I can see people, their cows, their sheep and chickens, and many other things I’ve never seen before. A group of pigeons is flying around, with some of them perched on a branch.
I drop down to join in their conversation—or is to have a rest? I can’t remember clearly now. My feelings at the time were quite confused. But I want very much to know more about their lives.
“Where are you from?” one pigeon asks me. He is older than the rest, but I cannot tell for sure if he is the leader of this group. Anyway, I am not one of them, so his position is not that important to me. And so I answer simply: “I am from the strawberry shoal.”
I drop down to join in their conversation—or is to have a rest? I can’t remember clearly now. My feelings at the time were quite confused. But I want very much to know more about their lives.
“I heard about that place from my grandpa—our ancestors also come from there,” he replies. “But I thought it was quite far away—and that it would take months to fly here from there. We cannot fly so far. Perhaps you are lost?”
Was he so old he couldn’t fly that small distance in a few days, as I had done? Perhaps he was far older even than he looked—or perhaps he was thinking of a different, more distant strawberry shoal. If his grandfather came from the same strawberry shoal, we might even be relatives, I think. But to the old pigeon I reply: “I am not lost—I was practicing flying and came here intentionally. I’ve been flying for just a few days, but I haven’t eaten anything since I left home.”
What is a soul?
The old pigeon looks surprised. “You must be a wild pigeon,” he says. “Everyone says we are not as brave as you, that we think no further than the branches on which we rest and the cages in which we sleep. I have always lived here and have ventured no farther out—and why should I? Here I have a branch for resting and a cage for living, and everything is ready-made for me. Why would we leave here—to suffer? Besides, I am married. I have a family. Where would I go? My hosts treat me well,” he concludes, pecking a bit at his own feathers.
“I have heard some say that mankind is terrible,” I reply. “They say that if humans catch us, they will enslave our souls. Is this true?”
“Soul? What’s a soul, grandfather?” a young pigeon sitting beside me asks. I am stunned that he doesn’t know this word, doesn’t know what a soul is. What are these pigeons teaching their children? To live without a soul, without understanding what a soul is, is pointless. Do they not see this? To have a soul, to have freedom—these things cannot be bought or given as gifts; they are not to be had just through praying, either.
“Soul? What’s a soul, grandfather?” a young pigeon sitting beside me asks. I am stunned that he doesn’t know this word.
Freedom of the soul, I feel, was crucial for these pitiful pigeons. Without it, life is meaningless, and yet they seem never even to have heard of the word.
The old pigeon touches the head of his grandchild, saying: “I don’t know either what a soul is. I once heard the word from my own grandfather, who heard the world from his great-grandfather. And he perhaps heard of it from his great-great-grandfather. My own grandfather sometimes said: ‘We pigeons lost our souls a long time ago,’ and perhaps this is the soul that this wild pigeon mentions now—and today we possess not even a shadow of such a thing.”
The old pigeon turns to face me and asks, “Tell me, child, do you know what a soul is?”
The pigeons’ debate
I freeze, realizing that I cannot begin to answer the very question my words have prompted. Finally I reply, “I cannot. But my mother tells me I possess my father’s daring and adventurous spirit…Once it matures, I will certainly know and understand what a soul is.”
The old pigeon replies, “That must be your father’s spirit in you now. It’s not only our fathers’ generations we have lost, but the soul of the entire pigeon community has already disappeared. My mother and her family never mentioned the soul to us, either, nor have I used the word with my own children. So perhaps we have already entered an era without souls. How lovely it would be, to return to that earlier time.” The old pigeon smiles, and falls into a pleasant reverie.
“Without your souls,” I tell him, “generations of pigeons will be enslaved by human beings—who can make a meal of you at any time. Even if they set you free, you will not leave your family and your rations of food behind. You do not want to throw away your resting place, and a small amount of pigeon food. Yet you let your descendants became the slaves of mankind. You will need a leader, but first you must free your soul—and understand what a soul is. Why don’t you come with me and we can try to ask my mother?”
“I already have one foot in the grave,” he tells me, “and my pigeon cage is safe.
I cannot tell now whether it’s the old pigeon or myself I want to educate about the soul. Perhaps it is both.
“I already have one foot in the grave,” he tells me, “and my pigeon cage is safe. Where shall I look to understand the soul? I wouldn’t recognize a soul if I saw one, and I wouldn’t know where to look for it. And how will it help me if I find mine? Here our lives are peaceful. Nothing happens, and our lives are tranquil. How can I ask others to give up such a life to find something whose value we cannot see?”
I contemplate the old pigeon’s words—which sound wise at first but, on reflection, are entirely wrong. Suddenly I feel ashamed, embarrassed, to find myself holding such a philosophical discussion with these pigeons, these soulless birds. I decide to go and find my mother.
Strange words replace mother’s milk
At this point, a group of pigeons descends to the branch beside us. I hear them speaking among themselves, but I cannot understand their words. Perhaps they are using their own mother tongue. We also have some such foreigners occasionally flying to our place. Are they foreign vistors? Friends or relatives of the old pigeon? I cannot tell. Nor can I tell whether they wish to include me in their discussion.
“How are you, my child,” the old pigeon asks, pecking at the feathers of a smaller pigeon.
“Not good. I’m hungry,” the smaller pigeon replies. “Why doesn’t my mother feed me any more?” The small pigeon talks on about pigeon food—I think I hear the word corn or millet, or hemp. They use many different names for pigeon food that I don’t know. These tamed pigeons are very strange—so many of their words I don’t recognize.
These tamed pigeons are very strange—so many of their words I don’t recognize.
“Your mother is trying to save all the nourishment for the siblings you will have soon,” the old pigeon replies. “You have to wait for the humans to come and feed us.”
“I cannot wait—I should fly out to the desert and look for myself,” the young bird replies.
“Please listen to me, my good little boy. It is too dangerous—if you go there, someone will catch you and eat you. Please don’t go.” The small pigeon tries to calm its expression. These pigeons all seem to listen to this elder of the group.
Acceptance of a caged life
These pigeons are living among humans who would catch them and eat them, but how they can do this I don’t understand. Have I misunderstood the word “eat”? Maybe it means the same thing as “care for” in their dialect. If this is a borrowed word, maybe I misinterpreted it. And yet this is an important word—every pigeon must know it. My mother tells me to be careful—”don’t let the humans catch you and eat you.” If these pigeons fear being caught and eaten, how can they possibly have lived among humans? Perhaps they have even forgotten that they have wings, and perhaps they wouldn’t want to leave the pigeon cage to which they have grown so accustomed.
“So, how is our host?” the small pigeon begins to ask the old pigeon.
“Very well,” his elder replies.
“But perhaps our host is like other humans, and would catch and eat us if given the chance.”
“That is different,” the elder replied. “The humans keep us in the pigeon cage to feed us, and it is right that they would eat us if necessary; it is a necessity for mankind to be able to catch us and eat us. That is the way it should be. No pigeon among us is permitted to object to this arrangement.”
Who is the enemy?
Now I understand that “eat” has the same meaning here as it does at home. A moment ago I was trying to guess what exactly they mean when they say the word “eat.” Now I don’t have to guess any more.
“But our host has spilled all of our food—and the largest pigeon has eaten it all. I cannot begin to fight for the food I need. What can I do? I grow weaker and thinner by the day. I cannot survive this way for long.”
“You too will grow up slowly, and you too will learn how to snatch a little food from around the big pigeon there. But you must on no account give away anything edible to others. That is how to survive here.”
Pigeons should learn to be satisfied with what they have. Don’t try to argue for what is surplus to requirements.
“But, grandpa—” the young pigeon starts.
“That’s enough, my child. Don’t say any more. Pigeons should learn to be satisfied with what they have. Don’t try to argue for what is surplus to requirements.”
A larger space
At this stage I feel compelled to speak, and I interrupt. “You have cut away at his freedom,” I say. “You should give him a larger space. You should let him live at according to his own free will.” I simply cannot remain silent. To live as the old pigeon suggests would destroy all fellowship among our species.
“Ah, you do not understand our situation,” the older pigeon dismisses me. “To anger our host is impossible. If anyone disobeys his rules and ventures out from his territory, all of us will land inside a cage—staring out from behind bars for months. We would lose the very branch on which we are sitting.”
What exactly is this thing, a pigeon cage? I have no hint, no clue. These pigeons say they are so terrified of landing in the cage, but at the same time they are afraid of losing it. Most perplexing of all is how any of these pigeons could bear to live among men. Have I discussed this with my own grandfather? I don’t believe he ever gave me a clear answer.
What exactly is this thing, a pigeon cage? I have no hint, no clue. These pigeons say they are so terrified of landing in the cage, but at the same time they are afraid of losing it.
Instead I tell the older pigeon, “You sound exactly like one them—one of the men. Taking food from weaker and smaller pigeons and forbidding them to resist. Then you try very hard to cover your bad behavior. How can this environment provide for the growth and health of future generations? You are depraved—ignorant and stupid.”
“Don’t insult the humans,” he replies indignantly. “Without them, we wouldn’t be here today. Take your anti-human propaganda somewhere else.”
How could he fail to see that I meant no harm—that I intended only to help? Perhaps I should explain further.
A dream of destiny
“You have no sense of responsibility—you are condemning others to this existence; you are pushing your legacy to the edge of the bonfire,” I continue. I want to go on, to press the same message even more vividly. But suddenly I hear a piercing sound and feel a vicious pain in my legs. I try to fly, but my wings hang empty at my sides. All the other pigeons fly up and hover above me.
“Look at you, stirring up trouble—now you will taste life inside a pigeon cage,” one of them shouts. “Then let’s see if you carry on this way again!”
Suddenly I understand. The old pigeon drew me in toward him to set me up so his host could catch me. Pain fills my heart. The humans weren’t any danger to me—it was my own kind who betrayed me in hope of their own gain. I cannot understand it, and I am grieved. Suddenly I am seized with the idea that I cannot give in—as long as I can still break off my legs, I can free myself. Using all of my strength, I fly one way and another in turn.
Pain fills my heart. The humans weren’t any danger to me—it was my own kind who betrayed me in hope of their own gain.
“Don’t be silly, child, stand up! What is the matter with you?” The voice is my mother’s. She stares at me and I realize that I am unhurt.
My mother says:” “You had a nightmare.” “I had a very terrible dream.” I embrace my mother closely, and tell her everything in my dream.
“Child, in your dream you saw our destiny,” she replies. “Mankind is pressing in on us, little by little, taking up what once was entirely our space. They want to chase us from the land we have occupied for thousands of years and to steal our land from us. They want to change the character of our heritage—to rob us of our intelligence and our kinship with one another. Strip us of our memory and identity. Perhaps in the near future, they will build factories and high-rises here, and the smoke that comes from making products we don’t need will seep into the environment and poison our land and our water. Any rivers that remain won’t flow pure and sweet as they do now but will run black with filth from the factories.”
Setting out from the strawberry shoal
“This invasion by mankind is terrible,” she says. “Future generations will never see pure water and clean air—and they will think that this is as it has always been. They will fall into mankind’s trap. These humans are coming closer and closer to us now, and soon it will be too late to turn back. No one else can save us from this fate—we must save ourselves. Let’s go outside. It’s time for me to tell you about your father.”
She leads me outside. Around us the land is covered in wildflowers and a carpet of green—no roads, no footprints, just an endless vast steppe. Our land sits on a cliff that overhangs a riverbank, with thousands of pigeon nests nearby. A pristine river flows beneath, sending a sort of lullaby us to where we stand. To me, this is the most beautiful and safest place on Earth. Without humans encroaching upon us, we might live in this paradise forever.
“This is your land,” my mother says. “This is the land of your ancestors. Your father and grandfather, both leaders of all the pigeons in the territory, each helped to make it even more beautiful. Their work, their legacy, only raised us up even higher among the pigeons. The weight on your shoulders is heavy, and I hope only that you can follow in your father’s brave footsteps. Every morning I have trained you, teaching you to fly hundreds of miles in a day. Your muscles are hard and strong and your wisdom is already great.”
“This is your land,” my mother says. “This is the land of your ancestors. Your father and grandfather, both leaders of all the pigeons in the territory, each helped to make it even more beautiful.
“Your body is mature, and now your mind, your intelligence, must catch up. Always, always be cautious with humans. Don’t think that because they walk on the ground beneath us that you are safe. They have guns. They can shoot you down from thousands of meters away. Do you know how your father died?”
“No,” I tell her. “You started to tell me once but then stopped, saying it wasn’t yet time.”
“Well, now the time has come,” she says. “A few days ago, I saw several humans exploring around here. They followed us carefully with their eyes. We must find a safe place before they come here. It was at their hands that your father died.”
A proud heritage
“Please tell me, Mother. How did he fall into their hands?” My mother contemplates—her face is sad.
“One day, your father led a group of pigeons looking for food for us. Usually, they chose safe areas with plenty of food. Your father always led these missions—he was a strong and responsible leader. So this time he led the others out, but after several days he hadn’t returned. I was terribly worried. Usually, if he found a place with a great deal of food more than a half-day’s flight from here, we would move our nest. He would never go so far or stay so long away from home.”
“In my heart I was certain he had had an accident. At that time, you and your younger brothers and sisters had only recently hatched, so I couldn’t leave you to go and look for him. Eventually, after several months, one of the pigeons who flew out with your father returned. This only made me more certain that that your father had fallen into some kind of trap. Then all the rest of them returned safely—one after another. All except your father.”
All the while I expect my mother to wail or lament, but here a brave glint comes into her eye.
“Your father was a pigeon king with a regal spirit. How could he protect the others if he could not protect himself? How could a pigeon who was trapped by humans come back and fulfill his role as pigeon king? The humans trapped him, kept him, and in keeping with the traditions of the royal household, he bit off his tongue. He couldn’t bear one more second locked in that pigeon cage. The pigeon cage was dyed red with his blood. He refused their food and drink, and he lived exactly one week. He sacrificed himself. His spirit was truly free. I hope only that you will grow up to be like your father, a protector of freedom forever.”
“Mammy, why couldn’t my father find the opportunity to escape like other pigeons?”
Freedom or death
“The humans hoped your father would pair with another pigeon, a tamed pigeon, and produce mixed offspring with her. But he could never have children who were kept as slaves—it would be too shameful for him. Those pigeons in your dream were the descendants of those who accepted slavery and begged for their own lives. Child, their souls are kept prisoner. A thousand deaths would be preferable to a life like that. You are the son of this brave pigeon. Keep his spirit alive in you,” she says.
My mother’s words shock my soul for a long time. I am infinitely delighted at being a son of such a brave pigeon, but I feel a surge of pride and happiness. My heart feels strong and proud. With all the love in my heart, I embrace my mother.
“Now you must go,” she tells me. “I give you up for the sake of our motherland and all the pigeons. Don’t leave these pigeons without a leader. The humans are more and more aggressive, using all manner of tactics to trap us. Go now and find a safe place for us, my child.”
My wings are wet with my mother’s tears. Now the meaning of my dream is clear: that I must go forth on an expedition. But by no means, I think, will I fall into a trap set by humans.
I fly farther and farther away, first along the river and then into the area where the humans make their homes. It is nothing like the dwelling place in my dream, but I am careful—flying higher and higher. My wings have enough power. I hear not human debate, but the music of the wind in my ears.
In search of a new home
These humans are not so strong and frightening, I think. If I fly too high, I fear I will miss my target. If I fly too far, it will affect our migration plan. To tell the truth, I disagree with my mother’s migration plan. Our land is on a very high precipice—how can humans climb here when it is even difficult for pigeons? We were here, one after another, generation after generation, living a happy life. Why should we leave now, to run from humans who are weaker than we imagine? Now I am flying over the human settlements. I feel no danger. Perhaps my mother worries too much.
Now the sky is black. Everything around me is going dark, and now the world disappears in utter darkness. Everything disappears into the night, and I realize that I have been flying for an entire day, and I am exhausted. I must rest. I have already explored to the West, North, and South, and still I have found nowhere we can live. I haven’t yet find a good place to which we can migrate.
Perhaps I have flown too high. Perhaps tomorrow I can fly East, at a lower altitude. The stars flicker in the sky. How can anyone who lives in such a world of beauty be afraid? Slowly I descend, falling into a tree. Tomorrow I will awaken, but I don’t know where. Then I will start again, flying lower in the sky. Perhaps then I will be able to find us a new home.
A lyrical voice awakens me, dredges me up from the deep, sweet sleep that belongs only to the very young and to those exhausted beyond measure. A group of pigeons flocks toward me—I hear their voices alongside their beating wings, and I am shocked to see that they look exactly like me. At first they resemble the pigeons in my dream, but when I look closely I can see that they are different.
First, though, I must find out where I can fill my empty stomach. I ask these pigeons where there is a safe place one can find food. They change the direction suddenly, flying away from the dwelling-places. I follow them.
An empty belly
“Where are you going?” I ask a pigeon at the back of the group.
“To the mill house.”
“What will you do there?”
“Look for pigeon food”
“Are you looking for something to eat?”
His eyes are icy as he asks me, “So you are a wild pigeon?”
“Originally are you a wild pigeon?”
“Yes, I am from the strawberry shoal.”
I follow them to the mill house where I see large store of wheat covered with straw. The flavor is really sweet, and I think this storehouse looks good—without any trace of humans. The other pigeons look peaceful and contented. I also start to trust this peaceful environment, take courage, and fill my belly.
This is nothing like what my mother described of the outside world. I reach out trustingly for the wheat in front of me. Suddenly, a fierce power is choking my neck. I try to move away, as fast as an arrow shot from a bow, but find I am choking, and an unknown power is pulling me back, just as fast. I try to hide but I cannot—I am pulled down, flying, circling, without direction.
All the other pigeons scatter upward, and I fear I may crash to the ground as in my dream. I fear I am falling into human hands, but no humans are near. Time passes, but I have no idea how many hours elapse. Suddenly, two humans appear, and I think I have been caught—then the chokehold on my neck relaxes.
Suddenly, a fierce power is choking my neck. I try to move away, as fast as an arrow shot from a bow, but find I am choking, and an unknown power is pulling me back, just as fast. I try to hide but I cannot—I am pulled down, flying, circling, without direction.
“This is a wild pigeon,” a younger-looking human says.
“Hold him firmly—tie up his wings so he won’t fly away,” says the other. Together they bind my wings, grasp my neck, and stare into my eyes.
“Hey, this is a great species—it’s really good luck,” the elder human says, turning me over and over in his hands for a closer look.
‘Set him free’
“This wild pigeon is already useless—set him free,” says the elder. “Set him free. He has already bitten off his tongue. When you catch this kind of pigeon, you have no choice but to set him free. Usually it’s only the leader of the flock who will do this.”
“At least let us keep him for eggs,” the younger human protests.
“This kind of pigeon—he won’t eat or drink if we keep him. He will resist and refuse until death.”
“This kind of pigeon—he won’t eat or drink if we keep him. He will resist and refuse until death.”
The younger human is adamant. “We can’t just let him go!”
“All right then, it’s your choice. You’ll see that I am telling the truth. I once caught such a pigeon and insisted on keeping it—but he lived only a week,” says the elder.
The ordeal of the cage
“I will certainly tame it,” the younger human replies confidently.”
You will never tame me, I think. I will find a way home. I am ashamed of myself for failing to take my mother’s words to heart and then falling into a trap laid by humans. I draw all of my remaining strength and feel for a moment that I might fly free. Instead, I crash to the ground.
“Dirty bastard!” the younger human cries. “At least I bound up one wing—I suppose that kept him from flying free.”
He packs me into a bag, apparently planning to take me with him somewhere. Perhaps he aims to bind both wings and put me in a cage. I see several pigeons behind iron bars, all gathered at one corner.
I see several pigeons behind iron bars, all gathered at one corner.
“You must have been very hungry indeed, or you wouldn’t have fallen into my trap,” says the younger human, as he places food and water in one corner of the iron cage. The instant he sets the food down, pigeons flock at the corner of cage, frantically rushing toward it. At this moment, anger burns through me and I wonder if crashing into the bars would deliver a fatal blow to my head and end this horror.
But my wing remains bound—and I am immobilized. I raise my head slightly toward the sun, thinking that in less than a day I have fallen into a trap set by humans. If my mother could see me now, what would she think? I lower myself to the floor.
Neither eating, nor being eaten
In my dream, I see my mother against a deep blue sky, calling to me. My father appears, tall and stately, and I feel proud of him. They call out to me again and I fly toward them—but they retreat. Again I fly toward my parents and again they retreat. I stop flying, and they stop as well. I am thirsty and call out, “Mother, water!”
A human voice shakes me back to consciousness. “”This pigeon is truly stubborn,” the voice says. “He has been here five days and eaten nothing.” It is the younger of the two humans who first caught me.
“Didn’t I tell you that feeding him would be useless?” his elder replies crossly.
Just let him go. To watch a pigeon such as this die slowly is too pitiful.
“But if he continues to fast, he will die. Wouldn’t it be better if I just cooked him now for broth for my child?”
The elder is derisive. “You’d get nothing much from him now and you’d probably fall ill. Just let him go. To watch a pigeon such as this die slowly is too pitiful”
“Setting him free does us no good,” the younger man replies.
‘Nothing good will come of this’
“Nothing good will come of this in any event.”
“We should have made a soup of him immediately,” the younger man says. As he tries to unbind my wings and place me on the cage floor, I summon all the strength I have left, thinking I might fly up to the sky. But the wire is too strong, and I cannot.
I want to hurtle toward the cage door and escape, but I cannot. This cage is supremely clever in its cruelty, I think, in allowing anyone caught inside ample view of the freedoms denied to him—with no hope of regaining them.
This cage is supremely clever in its cruelty, I think, in allowing anyone caught inside ample view of the freedoms denied to him—with no hope of regaining them.
The air inside and outside this cage are identical, I think, but the life possible on my side of these iron bars might just as well belong to a different universe. Whoever designed such a device was truly an iron fist with the blackest of hearts—determined to immobilize small creatures such as me even though I can bring them no conceivable benefit. By caging my body, they hope to enslave my soul, I think. I want to end my life but I cannot, and this is worst of all. “Heartless humans who killed my freedom,” I want to cry out, “either set me free or let me die!”
A familiar smell comes to me, and then I see my mother—her eyes gleaming, anxious, noting in turn my loosened feathers, my broken mouth, my pathetic, twisted wings.
The soul’s release
“Forgive me, mother,” I start to say. “I wasn’t equal to the trust you placed in me. I am not fit to be your son.” I lower my head, like a condemned criminal in the dock. Why couldn’t I have died before she arrived here?
“You did everything in your power,” she replies. “Now you must end this.”
“But mama, I cannot,” I tell her. “I am a prisoner—without energy, without strength. Much as I would like to die, I cannot.”
“That is clear,” she tells me. “And so I have come to bring you freedom.”
“I no longer deserve freedom,” I say. “I am no longer worthy of being your child.”
“Then I shall tell you again—I have brought you freedom. You are still my brave child—you must not be forced to live like a slave but must be allowed to die bravely, with dignity,” she says, pushing a bit of food toward me.
A high price for freedom
“This strawberry is the poisonous variety—eat it, and it will set you free. Restore the honor of our flock. And remember always that true freedom comes only at a high price. Here, move your mouth closer to me.”
I gaze at my mother for the last time. She seems peaceful, and brave. I stretch my damaged mouth out toward her. My beak, my only remaining weapon—an enemy to the humans, it protected and fed me, and then led me into the humans’ trap. It is broken now, shattered by my failed collision with the iron bars.
Finally, I can die freely. I feel as if my soul is on fire—soaring and free.
The poisons from the strawberry flow through me like the sound of freedom itself, along with gratitude that now, now, finally, I can die freely. I feel as if my soul is on fire—soaring and free.
I see everything clearly now—the sky is still such a deep blue and the world remains so beautiful, and everything is so quiet and still. A group of pigeons gathers at the edge of cage around me, watching me, puzzled and surprised.
Maralbeshi County March 24, 2004
那不，我好像还在蔚蓝色天空中飞翔。是在作梦呢，还是醒着，或两者都不是，我自己也不太清楚。一阵阵清风飕飕的穿过我的翅膀。此时此刻，我是如此的精神焕发。我的全身焕发出无穷的力量。晨霞万里，阳光明媚，普照着大千世界。啊，这是多么美丽的景色！我，更加精神抖擞，翱翔于高空。我眼前的草莓园消失了。这世界变得如此的辽阔，宛如蔚蓝色的地毯，清淅地展现在我的眼下。这是以前，我从来没见到过的景色，也是我从来没见到过的地方。然而，我对此地存满了犹如对故乡的厚爱。所有的地方都显得那么美丽。 突然，在我眼前呈现出，许多居民区和房屋。下面有许多微小东西在懦动。我感觉到，那是我母亲常对我讲起的人类。但是，对我来说，他们显得并不危险。我想，也许是我母亲衰老了。我简直不敢想信, 那些爬行在地面上的可怜生灵，会比飞翔在蓝天中我们更强盛。也许理解这一点，我的大脑是不够用的。反正我觉得人类并不是那么可怕. 我母亲曾经对我说过：„人类诡计多端，阴谋在肚，一不小心，他们就会使你成为人下之囚。‟
我回答：“从草莓滩来。” 老鸽子：“我听我的爷爷说过。我们的祖先也是从那里来。可是，我听说那个地方，离我们有几个月的路程，平时，几天的路程，我们都飞不到。也许你是迷路了吧。” 我对几天路程，它们都飞不到的回答。感到非常的惊讶。我想可能它是衰老了。它说的“草莓滩”和我来的“草莓滩”是否是同一个地方，我作不出准确判断。如果它的爷爷，是从我来的“草莓滩”而来，也就是说，我们很可能是源于一个群体的亲戚。 “我不是迷了路而飞到了这里，而是练飞行，飞到了此地。我可以连续好几天，不吃任何东西飞行。”我回答。它非常惊奇的看了我一下。 “你可能是野鸽子。它们都这样说。可是，我们没有你们那样斗志。我们除了牺息架和鸽笼之外，什么都不想。而且，我从来也没离开过这个居民区。离开这里，又能得到什么呢？如果你想落，有牺息架，如果你想住，有鸽笼，什么都是现成的，有必要吃苦吗？在加上我拖儿带女，要飞，又能飞到哪里去呢？并且，我主人待我方好。”老鸽子用嘴戳了戳羽毛。 “我听说人类很可怕。还说如果人类把我们抓去，便会奴役我们的灵魂。那是真的吗？” “灵魂？”我旁边的一只小鸽子惊讶的说，“爷爷，什么是灵魂？” 我对它连„灵魂‟ 都不知道，而感到非常惊讶。这些鸽子是怎么教育孩子的呢？没有灵魂的生命，又有什么用呢？没有灵魂，使它们堕落到了何等的地步啊？为什么，它们不懂这道理呢？虽然灵魂和自由是不能作为礼物的，也不能祈祷而得。但是，我深深地感觉到，对这些可怜的鸽子来说，一个灵魂自由的地方，是何等的重要。它们好像从来就没有听说过„灵魂‟贰字。 老鸽子摸着那个小鸽子的头，开始说：“什么是灵魂我也不知道。我还是听我爷爷讲的。这是我第二次听到。我爷爷也是从它太爷哪里听到的。可能它太爷，也许是听它祖爷讲的。我爷爷常说„我们失去灵魂已经有好长时间了。‟也许这个鸽子所说的，可能就是，我们已经失去很长时间的那个灵魂。我们现在连灵魂的影子，都没有了。” 老鸽子转过来，面向着我。告诉我，孩子“你知道„灵魂‟是什么东西吗？”
我有一点不知所措。我担心，回答不出我自己所提出的问题。 “不 ！我现在回答不了，但是我母亲说，„你具有你父亲拥有的，勇敢精神，那精神每天都在不断地成熟。‟一旦成熟，我就一定会知道什么是 „灵魂‟。” “呃，也就是说，你父亲的精神是在你身上体现着。可是，不仅是父辈，就连整个儿鸽群的灵魂早已消失了。我母亲从来也没有给我们讲过，关于灵魂的话题。我们从父辈那里也没得到任何启示。如今我又忘了把这话讲给孩子们。所以，我们可能早已跨入无灵魂时代。哎，如果我们能够找到我们所失去的灵魂那该多好啊。”老鸽子澄清在喜悦之中。 “你们就是因为无灵魂，而一代又一代的成为人们的奴役。他们随时会把你们变成他们的食物。他们把你们奴役到了，就是放了你们，你们也飞不到任何地方，只是飞翔在人类的领地上。你们为了不愿丢掉小小鸽食，连你们的后代也断送于人们的奴役之中。你们和我们一样，需要一个领鸽。但是，从你们现状来看，寄予你们太大的希望是不可能的。你们应该首先消除你们灵魂中的奴役。最重要地是搞清楚什么是„灵魂‟。你为什么不跟我一起去，问一问我母亲呢？”我以同情的心理，对老鸽子说。我这样说，是想让老鸽子去领悟呢？还是想让自己长知识，我确实是不太清楚。也许两种心理，同时存在。 “我的一条腿已经跨向坟墓。我拥有如此安全的鸽笼。我又要到哪里去寻求„灵魂„呢？再说，我又不知道，什么是灵魂。找到了它，又有何益。你看，没有灵魂，不是什么也没发生吗。在这鸽笼里，可以平安的生活。再说，推崇没有任何价值的灵魂是何等的艰难。” 我在沉思老鸽子的言谈。它所说的，一听起来，好像是对得，再听起来，又好像是错的。然而，跟没有任何生活信念和灵魂的鸽子，高谈灵魂，使我感到很羞愧。我想，对这个问题，应该去问我母亲。 一群鸽子，落到了我们旁边。然后在相互咕咕的交谈。它们所说的一些词句，我一点也没有听懂。也许它们是用自己的母语在交谈。平时，我们那里，偶尔也有一些这样的外乡鸽飞来。它们是谁？是那老鸽子的朋友呢，还是它的亲戚，这我不知道。它们是要跟我交谈呢，还是要相互聊天，我还是无从得知。 “你好 ！我的孩子。”老鸽子用嘴啄了一下儿一个小鸽子的羽毛，逗着说。
“不好，肚子饿了。为什么母亲现在不喂我了？”它提到了鸽食，好像是提到一个叫玉米的名称。可能它说的是小米，也许是大麻。反正是我不知道的异称。哎，人类所养的鸽子很奇怪。它们用各种各样的名词，来称呼吃的东西，这使我很吃惊。 “你母亲现在为了让你的新弟妹来世，不得不在蓄存营养。你必须要等主人来撒鸽食，行吗？” “不，我不能等。我自己去野外寻食吃。” “好了，我的乖孩子，听我的话。如果你去那里是很危险的，坏人会把你抓去吃了。不要去，行吗？ 小鸽子噘着嘴平静下来。看来，这个鸽群的鸽子们，好像还是很听这个老鸽子的话。这些鸽子跟那些把它们抓去而吃的人类生活在一起，我对此一点也想不通。也许我把„吃‟这个词，理解错了。可能这词和„好好照顾‟有类似词意。如果这是一个外来借词，我很可能把词义曲解了。但是，我想这是每个鸽子必须所知的重要词语。我母亲常常嘱咐我„小心被人抓去吃了。‟然而，现在这个词，在这里好像是改变了词意。如果它们担心被人吃掉的话，它们是决不会还和人类住在一起。而会依靠翅膀，飞向它们所想望的地方。可能它们连自己长有翅膀都忘了吧。也许它们还是不愿意离开已经住惯了的鸽笼。 “那么，我们的主人好吗？”小鸽子开始向老鸽子提问。 “当然好” “可是，它们也和别人一样，把我们随便抓了就吃。” “这可不一样。他们把我们放在鸽笼里养，抓我们吃是应该的。对此，我们当中的任何一个鸽子都不能反对。” 我终于明白了„吃‟的词意和我们那里的用法是一样的，我刚才的猜测简直是多余。 “可是，主人撒的鸽食都被大鸽子吃了，没我的份，我吃什么呢？我日益消瘦，我简直无法生存。” “你也会这样慢慢地长大。从大鸽子那里学会怎么吃食。决不会，把能吃的东西给别人。我们生存的环境就这样，我的孩子。”
“但是，爷爷?“ “行了孩子，不要多说了。鸽子们应该学会满足。不要争执多余的东西，知道了吧。” “你把它的自由，限制的太厉害了。”我打断他们的话。“你应该给它更大的空间。应该让它随意而自由的生活。” 我虽然不愿打断老鸽子的话。但我未能保持自己的沉默。以我之见，这种不平等的环境，会把鸽子之间的友情导向毁灭。 “哎，你是不懂我们的形势。让主人生气是不可能的。如果我们当中的一个欲越他所规定的范围而消失，他会将我们全部关进鸽笼里；连续几个月不会让我们出去。那时候，我们将会把这小小的牺息架也会失去。” „鸽笼‟ 到底是什么东西，对此我显得那样的无知。鸽子们非常害怕关进鸽笼里, 同时又害怕失去它。最难以使我理解的就是那些生活在人们当中的鸽子。我把这种想法好像是告诉了我的爷爷。但是，我给爷爷讲了呢，还是没有讲，现在我已记不清了。因为，我没得到一句反对，或肯定回答。 我说：“你们这些大鸽子与弱者争食吃，并且压制它们的反抗，又努力为此辨解，好像这样做是对的；这种环境，又怎能够适合鸽儿们的健康成长和生存呢？你们堕落到了如此愚昧无知的程度，卑鄙无耻到了和人类一样地步。” “你不要侮辱人类。没有他们，就便没有我们的今天。把你的反动宣传拿到别处讲去。”老鸽子愤怒地说。我对老鸽子对我的好心，如此的生气而感到非解。也许，它没有听懂我的意图，可能需要进一步的解释。 “你们没有责任感。眼看着把自己的后代推进火堆里…”我想继续把我的话描述的更生动一些。但是，一瞬间，随着„当啷‟一声巨响，我的腿镇痛起来。我虽然拼命得拍打翅膀欲飞，可是翅膀悬空了。鸽子们„轰‟的一声飞起。然后，在我的周围盘旋。 “哈，哈，哈，自由之士，你最终会被关进鸽笼里。让我瞧瞧，你还会再说大话吗。”
我感到，已经掉进了鸽套。我突然间明白了，原来老鸽子拉我谈话是为了骗着我，好让它的主人把我套住。我的内心充满了无限的悲痛。危险并没有来自人类，而来自为了很小的利益而受骗的同类们。它们配合人类把我捉住，使我非解，并使我非常的痛心。我心里，顿时起了闪电般的念头，不能落入人的手里。只要我挣断我的双腿，我又会得到自由。所以我用尽全力向两面扑打。 “孩子，站起来，你怎么了？”我睁开眼睛，母亲在眼前看着我。感谢上帝，我还活着，我摸了摸双腿，完好无损。 母亲说：“你在做恶梦。” “我做了一个非常可怕的梦。”我拥抱着母亲，把梦中所见都告诉了她。 “孩子，你梦见了我们后代的命运。人类在逐渐地挤进，我们所生存的空间。想把我们从自古以来就生存的领土上赶出去。他们想夺取我们的领土。让我们的后代变质。想让我们变的，连自己的同类都不认得的低能愚儿。也许在不远的将来，这里会盖起高楼大厦，和许多工厂。那时，不需要的工业产品掺杂着浓浓的工业黑烟，将会把我们这美丽环境污染。遗留在城市的河流中，不会流着像现在这样的清甜泔水，而会流着污水。人类的侵略是非常可怕的。我的孩子，你现在还是不会擦觉。现在这样一个纯净的环境，我们的后代是见不到的。它们一出世会觉得这世界原来就是这样。无可奈何地会落进人们的虎钳。人们在日益地排挤我们。而且已离我们很近了。现在，我们不去另找出路是不行了。如果我们自己不拯救自己；任何人是拯救不了我们的。走，我们出去，现在是讲述你父亲事迹的时间已到。” 母亲带着我，走了出去。我们的周围，完全被野花绿草覆盖着，没有任何的路，也没有足迹，是一望无际的广阔草原。这里是河边的一块悬崖。在这里几千只鸽子垒窝繁殖后代。在悬崖下面流过的清清河水，给我们演奏着亲切的摇篮曲。在我看来，这是世界上最美丽，又是最安全的领土。如果没有人类，我们将永远生活在这个幸福的地方。哎，人类，你们简直是… “这就是你的领土。这也是你的先辈生活的地方。你爷爷和父亲更加美化了这块土地。它们曾是这群鸽子的首领。所以我们在鸽群当中的威信很高。我们肩上的责任也很重。希望你能够成为，父亲般的勇敢之士。我每天早起，带你到几百里之外，训练飞行。教你的翅膀练的更强，肌肉更硬，有智多谋，随时警觉。你现在的体质已经成熟。你更需要在智慧上的成熟。随时惕防人类。不要想，人们只是在地上行走，是不会伤害我们的。他们用枪，可以把你从几千米的高空打下。你知道父亲是怎么逝世的吗？”
“不，您曾说不是时候，而没有告诉我。” “现在是时候了。前几天，我看到几个人在这里窥探。也就是说，他们的眼睛盯上了我们。所以在他们到来之前，我们应该找到更加安全的地方。你父亲也正是在这些人手中丧生的。” “母亲，请告诉我，父亲是怎么样落入他们手中的呢？”我母亲在沉思。我想，她是在伤心。 “那天，你父亲是领着一群鸽子为我们去寻食。平时，鸽子们常常选择又安全，又有许多食物的地方去打食。因为你父亲是领鸽，这重任很自然落到了它的肩上。你父亲那一出去，几天没有回来。我是那样的为它担心。平时，如果需要到半天多的地方去，我们就会挪窝。你父亲到远处去寻食，是不可能的。我的心察觉到，它可能是遇到了意外。那时候，你和你的第妹刚刚出卵。所以我不能够丢下你们，去寻找你的父亲。过了几个月，跟你父亲同去的一个鸽子回来了。那时我觉得我的判断是正确的。我得知你父亲落到了人们所设下的鸽套。后来它生存的朋友们一个个都回来了。但是，你父亲那一出去，就没有再回来。” 我在想母亲会哭出来。然而从母亲的眼里闪烁着勇敢的光芒。 “我父亲为什么没有能够回来呢？”我着急的问。 “你父亲是鸽王，应具有王族的精神。如果它不能够保护自己，怎么能够保护鸽群呢？一个王，落入别人的奴役之下，又怎么能够再回来成为领鸽。它唯一的出路，是绝不屈服于他人的奴役。人们把你的父亲抓住，关进鸽笼之后，根据我们野鸽子皇家家族的风俗，它咬断了舌头。它认为在鸽笼里多关一秒钟都是不合适的。鸽笼被它的鲜血染红了。你父亲没有吃喝人们所赐给的水和食物，生存了整整一个星期。最后，你父亲在他们的手中英勇地牺牲了。这是真正的自由精神，我的孩子。希望你也和父亲一样，永远成为自由的保卫者。” “妈妈，我父亲为什么不和别的鸽子一样，找机会逃回来呢？” “你父亲不愿意让它的孩子成为奴隶。他们抓住你父亲，想让你父亲与别的鸽子相配传代。但是，你父亲决不会让它的后裔生存在带有耻辱性的生活环境中。那是它的良心所不能接受的。你梦见的那些鸽子正是那些把自己的后裔变成奴隶，而讨得一生的鸽子之后代。孩子，它们的灵魂受到了奴役，至今仍生活在人们的手中。死亡会比这种苟活着好几千倍。你是那个勇敢鸽子之子；永远不要忘记那种精神。”
母亲的话，久久地震撼着我的灵魂。我作为勇敢鸽子之子，而感到无限的欣慰。顿时，我感觉到一种非常自豪而幸福的精神从我的内心升起。我心里存满了力量和自豪。我以心中所有的爱紧紧地拥抱着我母亲。 “去吧，孩子，我把你献给了祖国和鸽群。不要让群鸽无首。最近以来，人们用各种方法把我们抓去。你去为我们寻找更加安全的地方，再见，我的孩子。” 我的翅膀被母亲的眼泪能湿了。我明白了，我的梦，就是出征的暗示。我在暗思，我是决不会落入人们所设下的套索。我飞的很远。开始，我是沿着河流而飞。后来，我飞入一个居民区。这不是我梦中所见的居民区。也并不像，我梦见的那么可怕。即便是这样，我还是小心翼翼，在高高地飞翔。我的翅膀有着足够的力量。我耳边响起的，不是人们的喧嚷，而是飕飕刮风声。在飞行中，我是不能远离自己的目标。如果飞的太远，将会影响我们的迁移。说实话，我是不太同意母亲的迁移计划。我们的领地是坐落在非常高的悬崖峭壁上。这里不要说是人，就连飞禽也难落。我们在这里代代相传，安居乐业，如今预想变迁。我想，人类并不是我们想象的那么强盛。这不，我现在正在人们的领空上飞行。没有感觉到任何的危险。也许我母亲变的过分敏感。 天色渐渐的变黑，周围的一切消失在一片漆黑之中。飞了一整天，有一点儿累。我并没有想落在有人的地方。黑夜里为了不迷失方向，不休息是不行的。我已洞擦了西边，北边，及南边。在这土地上，还没有遇到，我们可以生存的一个好地方。也许我飞的有点儿太高。我心想，明天去东边，飞抵一点。夜色，星星在我的上空闪烁。我心想，在这存满美丽的世界上，如此恐惧的活着，是多么的愚蠢。我渐渐地下降，落到了一棵树上。明天，我将在什么样的风景中惊醒，是未知的。我过分的警惕，飞的太高，我还没有遇到，一个使我满意的地方。所以，明天我想改变方法，飞抵一些。 一个优美的声音，把我从甜蜜的睡梦中惊醒。因为疲劳，我睡的那么的甜蜜。一群鸽子在我的周围飞翔。从它们的翅膀下传来了动听的声音。我非常吃惊，那些鸽子和我长的一模一样。一瞧，它们和我所梦见的鸽子也有点相似；再一瞧，又不太像。昨天飞了一整天，没有吃东西，我的肚子非常饿。我想问一问他们，这里是否有一个安全寻食的地方。他们突然改变了方向，开始朝着居民区之外的方向飞去。我也尾随着他们。 “你们到哪里去？”我问一个落伍的鸽子。
“到磨房去” “你们到那里干吗？” “去寻鸽食” “去寻你们所吃的东西吗？” 它好像是遇到一个怪物似的狠狠地盯了一眼。 “原来你是野鸽子呀？” “是的，我是从草莓滩来。” 我尾随着鸽子们飞到了磨房。这里还真有许多被覆盖着的小麦，味道还真甜。我心想，这个地方还可以。连人的影子都见不到。我看到别的鸽子们安然无忌的模样。我也开始放心大胆地填起我的肚子。外边的世界，决不是像我母亲所说的那样存满了危险。我放心地向我面前，一颗大粒麦子伸出脖子。突然，凶猛而来的一股力量掐住了我的脖子。我像箭一般突起，想把我的身躯躲向一边；可是，未知的一股力量，以同样的速度把我坠下来。我向四处扑打。鸽子们„哄‟的一声起飞。最后我无力的倒下来。这和我梦见的那个景象，非常像似。我心想，是否是落到了人们的手中呢？可是，在这近处看不见任何人。不知过了多长时间，突然两个人出现在我旁边。哎，我是落到了人们的手中，我自言自语。然后，他们把套在我脖子上的夹子放松。 “是野鸽子…”其中一个年轻一点的说。 “抓紧，不要让它飞了，把它的翅膀绑上。”他们一块把我的翅膀绑上，然后抓着我的脖子，开始查看我的眼睛。 “喂，好品种，真是好福气。”长者把我拿到手里，看了又看。 “这鸽子对我们丝毫没有用，放了它吧。看，它已经把舌头咬断了。 遇到这种鸽子，没有别的办法，只好把它放了。一般来说，只有领鸽才这样。” “至少让它卵一窝。” “它是不会吃食，也不会喝水的，一直到死去，将与你对抗。”
年轻人说：“不能眼看着就把它放了？” “随你的便，不过多久，你会相信我的话。我也曾经抓住过这样的鸽子。最初，我是舍不得把它放了。过了一个礼拜，它便死去了。” “我一定会把它驯服。” 他自信地说。 我心想，我决不会被你驯服，想办法一定会逃回去。我对没有牢记母亲的话落到此地，而感到非常的羞愧。我从他手中挣力解脱出来，起飞，但是没有飞多远，犹如一块石头，„扑通‟一声掉下来。 “鬼东西，还好我把它的翅膀绑了，否则也不知，它会飞向哪里？” 他把我装进了袋状物内，不知带向何处。把我的翅膀绑的更紧，然后把我关进了铁笼里。铁笼里的几个鸽子，一起挤向一个角落。 “看来，你是饿极了，不然，你是不会为了一颗麦粒，而在我的套夹里挣扎。”说着，他向铁笼里撒了一把鸽食，并放了水。鸽子们一拥而上，吃起食来。这时我的愤恨达到了极点。如果可能，我就想，一头撞死在铁笼里。然而，由于我的翅膀被绑的太紧，我一动也不能动。我勉强地抬起头，看着顶头的阳光。呵，离开家，还不到一天，我就落到了人们的手里。唉，如果我母亲见到这状况，会怎么想呢？我筋疲力尽地躺在地上。 我梦见了母亲。她站在那蔚蓝色的天空招唤着我。突然，我父亲也出现在她旁边。父亲的身躯是如此魁梧，使我肃然起敬。它们好像是在叫我。只少，我好像是听到了它们的呼唤。我朝着它们飞去。我越飞，它们离我越远。我停飞，它们也停下。不断地飞行，使我口干舌燥。„妈妈，水，‟我叫喊着，醒过来，那个人正在我面前说话。 “这个鸽子真固执，已经五天没有吃任何东西。” “我不是说过，喂它没有用吗？”说话的是，那天那个长者。 “如果它继续这样下会死去。不如把它，给我的孩子熬汤。” “这能熬多少汤，也许你现在吃了它，会生病的。最好把它放了。眼看着，让这么
好种的鸽子死去，真可惜。” “当然，如果你把它放了，对我们也没有任何好处。” “反正，现在也没有好处。” “一开始就应该把它熬成汤。” 他整了整我向下垂吊着的翅膀，然后把我放下。尉蓝色的空中，阳光照射着强烈的光芒。我凝聚着全身的力量，想朝着蓝天飞去。可是，鸽笼的铁丝网仍然阻挡着我的道路。几天以来，我已经感到，不可能用自己的躯体撞开铁笼。这时，我凝聚了一点力量，身体有点儿回复，便试着向铁笼扑去。我想撞开铁网，铁笼是制作的如此坚实。可以说，这工艺凝聚着人类最高的知慧结晶。从里面，可以看到外面所有的自由。 可是获得自由，是绝对不可能。 鸽笼里面的空气和外面的空气一样，只是生活的形式不一样。制作铁笼的人们，简直是铁面黑心。我这小小生灵，为自由不懈而战的勇气丝毫也不能使他们感动。虽然他们非常清楚，我对他们一点用处也没有，他们却想奴役我的灵魂。他们想通过折磨一无所有的小小生命，而达到他们的目的。最卑鄙的是，他们把我逼到了，想死都死不了的地步。我从内心深处悲惨地呐喊：哎，自由的凶手，无情的人类，或让我去死，或给我自由 ！ 突然，我闻到了熟悉的气味儿。我的躯体随时振奋起来，“妈妈…” 我在兴奋之余抬起了头。母亲的眼神里闪耀着紧张的光芒。它用一种悲愤地心理，望着我被拔掉的羽毛，垂下的嘴巴，以及柔的像烂毡子似的翅膀。 “母亲，请愿凉，我未能够承担你寄予的希望。我是决不配作你的儿子。”我像一个罪犯底低下了头。我羞愧而又懊悔地祈求到，为什么没有在母亲赶到之前，而死去呢。 “不，你做了，你能做到的一切。现在你应该把它结速。” “可是母亲，我变成了囚犯。我微弱无力到了，想死都死不了的地步。” “这一切是显而易见。我来，是为了让你得到自由。”
“我现在并不想得到自由。我现在这个情况，是决不配做你的孩子。” “我会给你带来自由。你亦然是我勇敢的孩子。你决不该像奴隶一样生存，而应该勇敢的死去。”她说着，把腹中的鸽食拿出来。“这是有毒的草莓，你吃了，便会从他们的奴役中解脱出来。而又可以保护我们群体的威信。你必须牢记，自由永远是不可能祈求而得。为自由，必须要付出代价。过来，把你的嘴靠近一些。” 我最后一次盯着母亲坚定的目光。她是那么地放心，又是那么地勇敢。我把残存而又下垂的嘴巴向她伸去，这是我最有力的武器，它已变为自由之敌–铁网的牺牲品。我的嘴是在啄着这无情之网时，残缺成这样。这有毒的草莓在我身上，变成自由的代言人。最后我为获得自由的死亡之机会，而感到欣慰。我的灵魂，开始在一种解脱之中熊熊燃烧着。天空是那么的晴朗，周围是那么的肃静，世界仍然是那么的美丽。聚集在角落里的一群鸽子，在惊讶的看着我。 公元二零零四年三月二十四日写于巴楚
维吾尔青年业余作家, 努力默赫默德. 亚森 的代表作“野鸽子”在“喀什文学” 杂志二零零四年，第五期发表后，受到广大维吾尔读者的喜爱。还被推荐为苏穆如客网站的，“纳悟儒孜文学奖”优秀作品。努力默赫默德. 亚森生于1974年， 三月六日。他于1997年结婚，得有两子，长子8岁，次子今年1岁半。 努力默赫默德. 亚森，勤奋好学，虽然只有高中学历，近几年来，发表了许多优秀作品和散文诗。作者在自传中提到：“已发表的诗歌集有 ‘初恋’，‘内心痛哭’，‘来吧，孩子们’三本。四十多篇作品被纳入各式文集中。三十多篇作品, 获得各种文学奖。其中十几篇作品被纳入初中和中专新编的课本里。” “野鸽子”是作者的成名作品之一，该文维吾尔语原作题名 “Yawa Kepter” 译成汉语为“野鸽子”。这篇散文式寓言。内容丰富，结构完美，语言精练，比喻形象，读而不厌。该文以野鸽和家鸽对话形式，风景的刻画，及鸽子和人类相处；深刻地描绘了野鸽子们生存的社会现实。作者在文中指出，现实生活就像是一场梦，但又好像不是梦。该寓言深动的描述了两代野鸽子的同样遭遇。
作者把野鸽子家园描绘的如此美丽：“我们的周围完全被野花绿草覆盖着，没有任何的路，也没有足迹，是一望无际的广阔草原。这里是河边的一块悬崖。在这里几千只鸽子，垒窝繁殖后代。在悬崖下面，流过的清清河水，给我们演奏着亲切的摇篮曲。在我看来，这是世界上最美丽，又是最安全的领土。如果没有人类，我们将永远生活在这个幸福的地方，哎，人类，你们简直是„” 本文发表后，没有过多久，中国政府对“野鸽子”进行政治审查，为其内容大为不满。收回该期杂志，把作者于二零零四年，十一月二十九日抓去，于二零零五年二月，在巴楚县法院审判。当局不容许他找个人律师，也不容许他的家庭成员出庭。 鸽子在全世界的文化中都是和平，纯洁，和友谊的象征。可是中国当局把作品中 “野鸽子”与 “分裂分子”系起来；判处作者有期徒刑十年。 作者不服，上诉于喀什地区中级法院，当该中级法院在考虑给他减刑于7年时，喀什地区党委书记，施压法院维持原判。政府没收了亚森的个人电脑。据称电脑中存有一千六百篇诗，评论，故事，和一部没有写完的长篇小说。中国政府于二零零五年，五月，把亚森转到了乌鲁木齐市，第一监狱。自从亚森入狱后，他的家人未得容许探监。流亡海外的维吾尔知识分子称，中国政府此举，使作者和全世界一千多万维吾尔读者，人权和自由受到了严重的践踏。 在二十一世纪，这样一个科技发达，言论自由的信息时代。这篇寓言的遭遇，使作者在“野鸽子”中描绘的庄严词语，显得更加深刻，淋漓尽致：“我从内心深处悲惨地呐喊：哎，自由的凶手，无情的人类，或让我去死，或给我自由 ！ 我在享受该文之余，突然产生了，把此篇优秀散文式寓言，介绍给更广泛读者的念头。为此特将本文译成英文和中文。诚恳地希望能与更多的英文和中文读者分享。 译者：多鲁坤. 阚白尔 维吾尔青年业余作家, 努力默赫默德. 亚森的代表作“野鸽子”在“喀什文学” 杂志二零零四年，第五期发表后，受到广大维吾尔读者的喜爱。还被推荐为苏穆如客网站的，“纳悟儒孜文学奖”优秀作品。努力默赫默德. 亚森生于1974年， 三月六日。他于1997年结婚，得有两子，长子8岁，次子今年1岁半。 努力默赫默德. 亚森，勤奋好学，虽然只有高中学历，近几年来，发表了许多优秀作品和散文诗。作者在自传中提到：“已发表的诗歌集有 ‘初恋’，‘内心痛哭’，‘来吧，孩子们’三本。四十多篇作品被纳入各式文集中。三十多篇作品, 获得各种文学奖。其中十几篇作品被纳入初中和中专新编的课本里。” “野鸽子”是作者的成名作品之一，该文维吾尔语原作题名 “Yawa Kepter” 译成汉语为“野鸽子”。这篇散文式寓言。内容丰富，结构完美，语言精练，比喻形象，读而不厌。该文以野鸽和家鸽对话形式，风景的刻画，及鸽子和人类相处；深刻地描绘了野鸽子们生存的社会现实。作者在文中指出，现实生活就像是一场梦，但又好像不是梦。该寓言深动的
描述了两代野鸽子的同样遭遇。 作者把野鸽子家园描绘的如此美丽：“我们的周围完全被野花绿草覆盖着，没有任何的路，也没有足迹，是一望无际的广阔草原。这里是河边的一块悬崖。在这里几千只鸽子，垒窝繁殖后代。在悬崖下面，流过的清清河水，给我们演奏着亲切的摇篮曲。在我看来，这是世界上最美丽，又是最安全的领土。如果没有人类，我们将永远生活在这个幸福的地方，哎，人类，你们简直是„” 本文发表后，没有过多久，中国政府对“野鸽子”进行政治审查，为其内容大为不满。收回该期杂志，把作者于二零零四年，十一月二十九日抓去，于二零零五年二月，在巴楚县法院审判。当局不容许他找个人律师，也不容许他的家庭成员出庭。 鸽子在全世界的文化中都是和平，纯洁，和友谊的象征。可是中国当局把作品中 “野鸽子”与 “分裂分子”系起来；判处作者有期徒刑十年。 作者不服，上诉于喀什地区中级法院，当该中级法院在考虑给他减刑于7年时，喀什地区党委书记，施压法院维持原判。政府没收了亚森的个人电脑。据称电脑中存有一千六百篇诗，评论，故事，和一部没有写完的长篇小说。中国政府于二零零五年，五月，把亚森转到了乌鲁木齐市，第一监狱。自从亚森入狱后，他的家人未得容许探监。流亡海外的维吾尔知识分子称，中国政府此举，使作者和全世界一千多万维吾尔读者，人权和自由受到了严重的践踏。 在二十一世纪，这样一个科技发达，言论自由的信息时代。这篇寓言的遭遇，使作者在“野鸽子”中描绘的庄严词语，显得更加深刻，淋漓尽致：“我从内心深处悲惨地呐喊：哎，自由的凶手，无情的人类，或让我去死，或给我自由 ！ 我在享受该文之余，突然产生了，把此篇优秀散文式寓言，介绍给更广泛读者的念头。为此特将本文译成英文和中文。诚恳地希望能与更多的英文和中文读者分享。 译者：多鲁坤. 阚白尔