Ho-Shing walked through the bamboo.
It was much taller and greener than it had been further down the
mountainside. As he gazed up into the canes, he spotted a pretty lavender
bird. Ho-Shing whistled and the bird flew down and landed on his paw. "You
are a beautiful parakeet. The colors of your wings remind me of the lilac
trees, blooming in the springtime." He petted the parakeetís head. "I
shall call you Mei-Ying because you remind me of the flowers that once
grew in the garden when I was a small panda." Mei-Ying chirped a pretty
song for Ho-Shing.
Mei-Ying flew up to his shoulder and
stayed there as he walked through the bamboo forest. When he returned,
Yong-Hu saw Mei-Ying. "What a pretty bird that is, Ho-Shing. Itís a
parakeet, isnít it?"
"Yes. You are correct," Ho-Shing
"We can use the bamboo to make her a
cage. I have made many of them. Would you like me to make you one, Mei-Ying?"
She chirped and sang for him. Yong-Hu
gathered strips of bamboo and spent the next few hours bending and shaping
the bamboo. When the cage was finished, Yong-Hu took it to where Ho-Shing
sat with the bird on his shoulder. "Iíve made you a cage, little
parakeet," he said to the bird. She flew inside and Yong-Hu gently closed
the door. Mei-Ying climbed onto the tiny swing and perched there warbling
a beautiful melody.
"She likes it," Ho-Shing said,
"Yes, she seems to. Now, back to the
bamboo. Iím starving," Yong-Hu said. He walked away.
Ho-Shing took Mei-Yingís cage and
hung it on the branch of a pine tree. "Here you will be happy and safe,"
he said. He filled her tray up with seeds that heíd gathered around the
woods. From then on, every day they listened to Mei-Ying singing. Her
music filled the air with bright and happy tunes.