A child in Brazil experiences the beauty and wonder of the natural world, and comes to understand his role within it.
Francisco’s grandmother has a surprise for him. In her backyard is a guava tree, and in the tree hangs a cage containing two magnificent green birds. They are parakeets, his grandmother says. Francisco has never seen birds so green, so beautiful. He imagines them sitting on his hand, or murmuring in his ear as he scratches the backs of their heads.
Every day Francisco walks to his grandmother’s house to help her care for the birds. But no matter what food they are offered, the birds will not eat or drink or speak. Perhaps their cage is too small, thinks Francisco. But moving the birds into a bigger cage only seems to frighten them.
Then, on the sixth day, Francisco arrives at Grandma’s and hears a big commotion in the backyard. The guava tree is full of parakeets, just like the ones in the cage. All the parakeets are screaming. Inside the cage, the two birds hop and flap and seem to be calling to the parakeets outside. And that’s when Francisco knows what the green parakeets need to be happy — and what he and his grandmother have to do.