Pinion could see that it wasn't going to get much sympathy from the other flamingos so it gave up trying and stalked off to the grassy bank to be as alone as any flamingo could be in this cage. With perhaps a little too much indignation to befit its intention to turn in for the night, it stood on one leg, tucked its head under its feathers, and tried to sleep.
It sulked for quite a while but eventually nodded off.
Pinion came down from the bank at daybreak. It coolly ignored the keeper who came in with a bucket of food pellets to throw around, and nibbled only at the ones that had fallen closest to it. It had no desire to be among the flock too much.
The sun rose higher and the human visitors started to come. At first only a few wandered by, usually adults with their little ones, and some stopped to stare at the flock with the same wonder and admiration that they always did, and that neither Pinion nor any of the other flamingos had ever fully understood.
It was time for Pinion to show these humans what the keepers had done to them. It approached the front of the cage and let its wings unfurl, dropping them to hang by its legs and turning sideways so that they could see the crude cut marks.
"Wow, so pink!"
"What's it doing?"
"I don't know, some kind of mating ritual?"
Pinion didn't understand the words but their tone seemed amused, or as full of wonder as usual. The sight of its wings seemed didn't seem to make any kind of helpful difference.
But Pinion was not going to be put off so easily. It paraded back and forth, its wings held stiffly down to make its cut primaries spread out. Surely they could see!
The humans laughed at this display.
Could they not see?!
The humans clearly aren't going to get the message. Maybe Pinion should do something else. What would you like it to do?