There once was a bird who lived inside a paper house. The walls were so thin that he could hear everything from the other side. Afraid to make a sound, he sat by himself, stiff in an armchair.
On the days that he would fly from his window into the deep blue sky, he could not be there fully. Instead his mind was trapped inside the origami house, wondering what his neighbors were doing.
He wondered if they would be fighting about who would do the dishes. He wondered if he could smell their worm casserole through the walls. He wondered if he could hear them laughing and talking with friends late at night.
So consumed was he by these neighbors that he forgot where he was going. He forgot about the sky and its magical feeling of infinity. He forgot about his hunger for worms and mice. Instead, he stayed inside and listened to the lives around him.
His neighbors had children together and raised them to be strong. They had birthdays and wedding celebrations and dinners with guests. His neighbors would sometimes listen to loud music or shriek over the phone. There never seemed to be an end to their stories of excitement.
One day, when the neighbors were unusually quiet, the bird got an itch to find an adventure of his own. When he got up to go to the window there was a sharpness in his side. He lifted his wing, but could no longer remember how to fly. He hoped for the sky. He hoped for the best. But when he looked down, his wings had turned to paper.