The Fable of the Three Birds

The Fable of the Three Birds

On the edge of a forest lived three birds: a songbird, a crow, and a mockingbird. Every morning, the songbird woke and flew to the highest branch in her tree to sing to the forest a most beautiful song – the joy of her tiny heart bubbled and fizzled and burst out through her beak, and the song would float along the wind and into the sky . But the crow, a nasty and spiteful beast, would daily land on her branch, and with the smell of carrion on his breath, lambasted the little songbird with jeers and biting words. “Who do you sing to, little bird? The wind? The sky? They hear you not, and they enjoy it not! How your little tweets and hoots are wasted on deaf ears, and how you do make such a fool of yourself to the forest!” And the mockingbird, a mis-shapen and dark-minded beast, would daily land on her branch and sing his own mocking song, but it had not the beauty or heart of the songbirds, and it’s song would fall flat to the forest floor.

One day, a torrent raged upon the trees, and the branches were whipped to and fro, and the birds knew that it was only a matter of time before the tree they lived in was swept away. But the songbird worried not, and flew to the highest branch and sang, the wind crashing like waves on the tree, but her voice flying ever higher, and the rain couldn’t drown her melody out. The crow flew to her branch, and while the branch swang wildly, laughed a most hideous laugh, and said “Why sing such a beautiful song, poor wretch? Don’t you know this tree will be carried off, with us in it? This storm will end us, and no one will ever hear you sing again!” And the crow, with his chest puffed and his pride bursting, laughed and walked to the edge of the branch, where the wind picked him up and threw him off deep into the forest. And the mockingbird waddled his way to the songbird, and blasted his dissonant tune that fell even faster than the rain, stopping only to cackle at the songbird, until the wind picked him up and threw him after the crow. And as the storm grew stronger, so did the songbirds song, until she too was thrown into the forest.

The next morning, the three birds, with their wings broken and nests scattered about, sat on the forest floor, yet still the songbird began to sing her most beautiful tune, and it was lifted up into the freshly cleaned forest, and seemed to wash it again with her soulful cry. And the crow grew hot with fury, yelling “What makes you sing, damned fool! Your wing is broke and nest is shattered, and there is still no one to hear you!” And the mockingbird sang his most mocking song, shaking the leaves and boiling the puddles, and the screeches burrowed into the ground like worms.

But the songbird’s song was carried by the wind, and reached the ear of an elderly woman who walked the forest, and had often stopped to listen to the songbird. She knew the voice, and found the songbird with her broken wing and scattered nest, and scooped both up and brought them home. She mended the wing and rebuilt the nest in a light-fixture above her front door, and every morning the songbird would sing for the old woman, and every night the old woman would feed the songbird, and both pleased each other’s soul greatly.

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