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Peter Parrot came home upset and confused.
“What’s wrong?” his mother asked.
“I hate my stupid beak!” Peter blurted.
“Why do you hate your beak? I think it’s beautiful,” his mother said reassuringly.
“All of the other birds have much cooler beaks. Sammy Spoonbill, Pammy Pelican, Harry Hawk, Freddy Finch, all of them!”
Peter’s mother sat silently for a moment. “He may be right,” she thought to herself, they do have very cool beaks.
“You should go and see Major Macaw, he’ll know what to do. He’s the wisest of the parrots and lives in the tallest tree in the forest. Yes, he’ll know what to do,” responded Peter’s mother.
So Peter Parrot flew to the tallest tree in the forest and found Major Macaw.
“May you all be forgotten,” he said.
“But why?” one of the brothers asked. “Does that mean that our good example can never serve to help someone in need?”
“In the days when everyone was just, no one paid any attention to people who behaved in an exemplary manner,” replied the abbot. “Everyone did their best, never thinking that by behaving thus they were doing their duty by their brother. They loved their neighbour because they understood that this was a normal part of life.
“They shared their possessions in order not to accumulate more than they could carry, for they understood that journeys lasted a whole lifetime.
Little Jimmy’s family was sitting around the dinner table having a polite conversation, when little Jimmy asked his dad, “How does fear grow?”
“What do you mean son?”
“Well, I can see that it makes sense to be afraid when you are standing on a cliff top and don’t want to fall over the edge, but my friend at school is terrified of asking or answering questions in class. He told me that even the thought of raising his hand and having everyone look at him makes him shake and he wants to crawl under the table and cry. He wasn’t always like that, he used to be so confident. How does someone become so afraid of something like that?”
“Why do you ask?”
“He doesn’t seem to mind, but I heard the teacher say to his mum that she was worried about him. Why should she worry? Surely being afraid of raising your hand in class isn’t a big deal. I don’t understand.”
The father pushed his chair back from the table and looked into the distance for a moment.
“Do you remember your Uncle Billy?” he asked.
One of Aesop’s best known fables is the story about an oak tree and a reed.
When the wind blew, the oak stood firm whilst the reed was bent.
The oak laughed at the reed’s weakness, mocking it for its apparent lack of strength.
When the wind increased in power, the oak was blown over, whilst the reed was bent, but unharmed.
As the oak looked around with surprise, he remarked to the reed, “I am tall and strong, but you are small and slender, how did the wind knock me over but leave you untouched?”
One day, on the plains of Africa, a young buffalo named Walter approached his dad and asked him if there was anything that he should be afraid of.
“Only lions my son,” his dad responded.
“Oh yes, I’ve heard about lions. If I ever see one, I’ll turn and run as fast as I can,” said Walter.
“No, that’s the worst thing you can do,” said the large male.
“Why? They are scary and will try to kill me.”
The dad smiled and explained, “Walter, if you run away, the lions will chase you and catch you. And when they do, they will jump on your unprotected back and bring you down.”
“So what should I do?” asked Walter.
An eight-year-old boy went to his grandfather and proudly announced, “I am going to be very successful when I grow up. Can you give me any tips on how to get there?”
The grandfather nodded, and without saying a word, took the boy by the hand and walked him to a nearby plant nursery.
There, the two of them chose and purchased two small saplings.
They returned home and planted one of them in the back yard.
The other sapling was placed in a pot and kept indoors.
“Which one do you think will be the most successful in the future?” asked the grandfather.
Two monkeys, a father and his young son, were sitting in a large tree together.
The son turned to his dad and said, “I’m hungry, can you get me some leaves to eat?”
The father looked at his son and smiled, “Well, then you had better get some yourself.”
“But I don’t know how.” the son protested.
“You have a choice,” responded the dad. ”You can pick the dry, unpalatable leaves that are found near the trunk or you can go to the edge of the limbs and choose the freshest, most delectable leaves.”
“That’s not fair, why can’t the nicest leaves be found where everyone can get to them easily?”
One of my favourite bloggers is Michael Hyatt and he recently shared a story about an experiment that was conducted a few years ago by a marine biologist.
The biologist placed a barracuda into a small tank and then added some small bait fish.
As you would expect, the barracuda quickly ate the smaller fish.
Then the researcher inserted a piece of glass into the tank, creating two separate sections. He put the barracuda on one side and new bait fish into the other.
The barracuda immediately attacked.
This time, however, he hit the glass and bounced off.
Undaunted, the barracuda kept repeating this behaviour every few minutes.
I was waiting in a medical clinic this week and they had a copy of “Fish Tales” a book based on the remarkable company culture at the Seattle Fish Market.
As I flicked through the pages, I came across this great story:
Three neighbouring farmers were talking when the subject of possessions came up.
“I own a huge mansion!” one proudly proclaimed.
“I own a successful farm!” said the second.
“I have optimism, the third said quietly.
His two neighbours laughed at him, for what good is a possession that cannot be seen or touched?
That night a huge storm struck.
Two tadpoles, Ted and Todd, hatched from the same batch of eggs.
They swam around excitedly, wiggling their little tails with great enthusiasm.
They swam up to their mum and exclaimed, “Look what we can do, look why we can do.”
The mother frog looked at the two tadpoles with great pride and called them closer. She then explained the process of metamorphosis and how they will eventually lose their tail and grow legs.
This news impacted the tadpoles differently.