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Heuer, G.M. (2011). A Gift of Freedom (From a Prisoner). Psychoanal. Perspect., 8(2):284-285.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 8(2):284-285

A Gift of Freedom (From a Prisoner)

Gottfried M. Heuer, Ph.D.

A female bonobo,

the smallest of the great apes,

in one of England's zoos

has been observed to accidentally

have caught a starling—


are stunned:

the bird in shock, I guess,

the bonobo, it seems,

full of concern and worry

for her little feathery prisoner:

might she have harmed it



just takes moments—

each heart beating audibly

to the other


with utter, gentle care

she cradles in one hand

the still startled starling

and climbs nimbly

to the highest branch

of the tallest tree

within the prison

that's her home.

And there,

to gain even greater height,

she wraps both legs

around the trunk

to have

both hands free to hold

the frightened bird.


with infinite gentleness

of tender, loving care

she unfolds its wings,

first one, and then the other,

holds one spread wing

in either hand

like an offering,


with all her power

in one big arc of movement,

she sends it flying skywards

to the sun—



Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Heuer, G.M. (2011). A Gift of Freedom (From a Prisoner). Psychoanal. Persp., 8(2):284-285

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