Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Golden Bird

This is a profound story I came across when watching a Hong Kong cops-and-triads drama serial Split Second on local TV, where an undercover cop was telling this little story to a little girl. Though the story was meant for a child, its meaning can impact anyone who understands the underlying message of cherishing what we have with us.

There was once a farmer who had a silver bird. It came mysteriously from somewhere unknown to anybody, but had chosen to stay with this farmer. The silver bird was no ordinary bird. Besides its incredible beauty, it was able to sing and talk. Not a regular feature in birds. Not only can it speak, it understands human emotion as if it was a human being itself, and was thus able to communicate with the farmer like a human friend. The farmer and the bird spent many happy days together, and the silver bird was able to cheer the man with its singing and in engaging in blabbers (it’s not really known whether the bid was male or female, but let’s keep the mystery intact).

One day, while out in the field in the golden sunset, the bird noticed that the farmer looked listless, his usual smile absent from his face, a blank, emotionless countenance. The bird asked, “Why do you look so unhappy? Aren’t you happy with my companionship?” The farmer replied, “I’ve had many happy moments with you. But deep in my heart, I’ve always wanted a golden bird by my side.” Those words immediately tied a boulder to the silver bird’s heart and dropped from a height. Utterly disappointed by what it heard, it remained silent for a moment before spreading its wings and rising in the air above the farmer’s head. It circled above his head for three rounds before flying away, as a parting salutation, the bird’s way of saying goodbye, forever.

As the farmer watched the bird flying out into the sun, he suddenly saw something. In the amber-drenched sky, he saw a golden bird.


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