Little bird was enjoying a flight in
the the last rays of warmth for the day before settling down into his cozy nest
for the night. As he dove and
swooped across the sky, he noticed a flock of birds flying as though the devil
himself was at their tail feathers.
“HEY!” he called.
“Where are you going?”
“We’re flying south,” they
called over their wings. “Winter’s
coming and we have to be in South America before it hits!”
Little bird was puzzled.
This was his first winter and he hadn’t heard of such things.
“Why would you do that?” he asked.
“It’s going to get colder yet!”
they called. “There’ll be no
food! Now hurry or you won’t make
Little bird waved them good-bye and
considered what they’d said. He’d
felt cold before in the dark of night and it wasn’t really that bad.
He always just nestled further into his nest and fluffed his feathers
around him and was fine. No food?
With all of the other birds gone, there’d be plenty of food for him!
Flying long distances was hard work and he’d fare much better staying
behind! His mind was made up.
He was right, for a while.
Little bird was living high on the land with the other birds down south.
There was plenty to eat in the dying fields and the bugs were slow from
the cold. He lay back in his nest, fat and happy, laughing at the silly
birds who had gone south.
The next morning, he wasn’t
laughing. He awoke to freezing rain
pelting down on his nest, rudely awakening him from his restless sleep.
It was c*o*l*d. He shuddered and pulled his feathers closely around him, but
he still could not shake off the chill that permeated his little bones.
Shit. He had to get south
and get there fast. He took flight,
trying without success to fly above the rain clouds.
The higher he got, the colder it got.
He felt ice forming on his wings and he panicked as he began a downward
spiral. He hit the ground hard.
It was Little Bird’s darkest hour. Or so he thought. As
he lay there on the frozen ground, the icy rain pelting onto him, he stared up
at the gray skies and asked for help, from somewhere, anywhere.
Unbeknownst to him, Little Bird had landed smack in the middle of a cow
pasture. Old Bossy Cow was feeling
quite an urge and she was making her way through the sleet and rain and let go
with a pie of epic proportions, which landed, ripe and steaming, right onto
“Fine,” he thought.
“Just fine. As if injury
was not enough, now he had a hot pile of insult all over him. As Little Bird lay, defeated, in the pile of cow shit, he
found, to his surprise, that the heat from the cow plop was thawing out his
wings. (?!) His tiny bones and muscles soaked up the warmth and soon he
was feeling just fine again. It was
a miracle…the very one he’d asked the heavens to send. He was so overjoyed, that he began to sing, “Oh Happy Day!
Oh Happy Day!”
In the barn, not far away, Old Tabby
Cat was curled up in a pile of hay, dreaming of spring when the birds would
return and he would have warm food instead of cold, hard Friskies.
Suddenly, his ears perked and his head shot up.
“What? Could it be??”
Curious, he padded out of the barn and cocked his head.
“HA!” Evidently, some
bird had NOT flow south. What could
it have been thinking? He rushed
out into the rain to investigate. He
came upon Little Bird, singing for all he was worth from the middle of a pile of
cow shit. Old Tabby Cat did not let
his puzzlement keep him from swinging into action.
“Pssst,” he said, “Little Bird,
what are you doing in that pile of cow shit?”
Little Bird laughed.
“I was DYING here in the icy rain and that cow over there saved me!
It was amazing!”
That is absolutely fascinating,” OTC purred.
But I can’t help but notice that you are covered in cow shit now.
Can I lend a hand? Let me pull you out and help you get cleaned up.
Then you can really enjoy your new lease on life!”
Little Bird was jubilant.
Not only had he been saved from the jaws of death in a most unexpected
way, but he’d been helped again by a most unlikely source.
He reached out his wing and OTC hoisted him onto his back, grimacing at
the still warm cow plop droppings that were sinking into his fur.
Little Bird rode the cat back to the barn, where he was taken to the
horse stables. The bodies of many
of the large animals had made this part of the barn the warmest and Little Bird
happily dove into a puddle of water and began washing his wings.
After he was perfectly clean, OTC helped him settle down into the warm
hay until he was perfectly dry. Little
Bird settled into a comfy sleep, whereupon, Old Tabby Cat promptly ate him.
The Moral of the Story:
*Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
*Not everyone who helps you is your friend.
*If you are warm and happy in a pile
of shit, keep your mouth closed.
The next two are probably pretty familiar to you.
Bob was quite a devout follower of
his spiritual path and people frequently remarked on how much faith he always
had that everything would turn out…and it always did.
People looked to Bob is a crisis and he was there, assuring them that God
would provide. He always did and
Bob became something of a spiritual icon in the community.
Then came the flood, and it was a doozie.
It rained in torrents and the water rose for days.
Families grabbed their prized possessions and went for higher ground with
only the die hards remaining. The
Red Cross was called in to ensure the safe evacuation of the town.
As they went door to door with their high profile vehicles to escort
people out of town, they came across Bob.
“No,” he smiled.
“You go ahead. God will
They tried to persuade him to go with
them, but he was steadfast, even as the water was soaking his carpets. He assured him he’d be fine.
Everyone again admired Bob’s stalwart faith. As the flood waters rose, Bob happily climbed to the top
floor of his home and watched out the window as a few of his neighbors floated
by in canoes and on hastily fashioned rafts, clinging to the few prized
possessions they could salvage.
“C’mon, Bob!” they called.
“Room for one more. The
waters are rising.”
“No worries!” Bob smiled and
waved. “God will save me. Best of luck to you!”
The waters continued to rise and Bob made his way to the roof.
“Closer even to heaven!” he thought.
A newsman in a helicopter could not believe that someone was actually on
top of his house in the flood! He
had the pilot go in closer and drop the ladder.
“Grab the ladder!” he called. “We’ll hoist you up!”
“It’s OK!” Bob called.
“I’ll be fine. God will
save me. Get great footage!”
The newsman tried to convince Bob
that the water was raising rapidly, but Bob was steadfast in his fait.
The newsman got great footage of Bob drowning.
When he got to heaven, Bob was utter
confused and downtrodden. “How
could You DO this?” he asked God. “How
could You let this happen? I had
absolute faith in You and You let me die!”
God was aghast.
“Bob,” He said. “I
sent you a four-by-four. I sent you
a boat and I even sent you a helicopter. What
more did you want? How stupid are
The Moral of the Story:
*Miracles do not always take the form you expect, so be alert
*Disqualify none of your options for success
*Faith and stupidity are not
Joe had worked for his company for
twenty-seven years and was three years from a nice pension package.
He was something of the Old Grey Dog in his company and prided himself
with having weathered any number of layoffs, his seniority protecting him while
others came and went. Joe was the
one constant as a changing economy shifted and realigned the company around him.
When anyone wanted to know the real deal about gossip around the
workplace or where to find this part or that Operating Instruction, they came to
Joe. He knew the job of everyone in
the company inside and out and had worked most of them on his way up the chain
to head foreman. He was well respected and instantly, newcomers knew that he
was the backbone of the crew. It
seemed like Joe had the inside track on everything in the company and not much
escaped his eagle eye and ear to the ground.
What did get past him was that the company was declaring bankruptcy.
Joe was let go very suddenly, very unexpectedly.
He was assured that with his skills and the exemplary letter of
recommendation he would receive from the company, he would be hired on elsewhere
in no time.
His paltry severance package was depleted as soon as the mortgage on the
small home he and wife shared came due. They
ate rice and beans and made endless calls to the utility companies to try and
arrange to have their heat stay on.
Each night, Joe prayed.
If he could only win the lottery, all would be well.
He could retire and finally rest. He
could stay home with his wife and lead a life of leisure after so many years of
trading in his hours for a handful of dimes.
He saw it happen all the time. Ordinary
people, much like himself, won the lottery and were millionaires in a split
moment. He prayed and prayed,
enflaming himself in prayer. Winning
the lottery would solve all of his problems.
One night, as he knelt to pray, the
light from his little oil lamp began to intensify until was engulfed in a
brilliant light. He squinted
against it and quaked with fear as he heard the voice of The Lord all around
What are you doing, Joe?” The
“Lord,” Joe said, falling to his
knees. “I have been asking you
for months now to help me win the lottery.
You see my despair and need. You
know what I’ve gone through. Please,
Lord. I have to win that
“Joe,” the Lord said patiently,
“I’ve heard your pleas for all of these months.
I’ve seen your despair.”
“Then Lord, you have to help me. You have to let me win that lottery.”
“Joe,” the Lord said, softly. “You have to buy a ticket, Joe.”
The Moral of the Story:
*You don’t get something for nothing.
*Deity will not do it all; you have to do your part as well.
*Don’t just sit back and wait for
the miracle, keep moving in the meantime!
Don’t Save the Drowning Man
By some means or another, Aphrodite
had managed to lose favor with Demeter and had, as a result, lost her Goddess
powers and been rendered as helpless as a mere human.
She was desperate to win back her powers and approached Demeter, asking
how she might seek to atone for her misdeeds.
Demeter arched one eyebrow and considered the request, knowing that she
had a difficult task she needed performed and thought perhaps they might strike
“Fine,” Demeter said.
“I have a deal for you. In
this box,” she pulled out an ornate box that glowed from the inside, “is The
Essence of True Love. I took it
from you when you were rendered powerless and my daughter, Persephone, is in the
Underworld and needs it. She is
with her husband for the next 6 months and left too quickly to take it with her.
If she does not have true love for her husband, her stay will be
unbearable. If you will take The
Essence of True Love to my daughter in the Underworld, I will reinstate your
“But it will take weeks to get to
the Underworld without my Goddess Powers!”
Aphrodite argued. “How can
I do that?”
“Hey,” Demeter shrugged.
“You came to me, Babe. Take
it or leave it.”
Aphrodite considered the offer. “Fine. I’ll
do it. Give me the box.”
Demeter carefully handed her the
precious box. “Now remember,”
she cautioned, “You hold The Essence of True Love in your hands.
If you aren’t careful, it could be lost to the world forever.”
“I’ll be careful,” Aphrodite
“Another warning,” Demeter said. “You have one rule to follow as you travel and that is that
you must not save the drowning man.”
“Wha?” Aphrodite asked.
“That’s all,” Demeter said,
“Do not save the drowning man. Now
off with you. Every moment you
tarry, my daughter spends an unbearable moment with a man she does not love.”
Aphrodite set about her task. She traveled for many days, making her way to the Underworld.
On her way, she met a young human man named Galwarth who was on a similar
task. His job was to take a message to the Boatman of the River
Styx. They traveled together for
quite some time and Aphrodite found herself warming to him. Together, they laughed and talked and his presence made the
trip much more enjoyable. Just
before they reached the River Styx, her traveling companion regretfully took his
leave and promised to meet up with her later.
He had to take care of a side job before approaching The Boatman and
embraced her warmly as he left. Aphrodite
took the night to rest and later the next day, reached the River Styx.
The Boatman took her across and she made her way through the Underworld
to where she would find Persephone to deliver The Essence of True Love.
As she picked her way through the murky swamp, grimacing at the mud that
lapped her feet, she was surprised to hear her name called.
As she squinted in the poor light, she was shocked to see Galwarth
struggling in the depths of a tide pool in obvious distress.
He must have traveled while she slept and arrived before her!
She sat down The Essence of True Love and tried to make her way through
the muck to get to him. As she walked, the mud became deeper and more cloying.
She reached out as far as she could and still could not grasp his hand.
If she could just go a little deeper into the mud or reach out a little
further to him, she could save him. It
seemed the further she reached, the further he sank into the tide pool and the
more mired in the muck she bacame. Suddenly,
Demeter’s words rang in her head. “Don’t
save the drowning man!” She
pulled up suddenly and knew what she had to do.
Carefully, she made her way out of the muck.
“What are you doing?”
Galwarth cried. “You can
do it, just a little further!”
As she emerged from the mud, which
was now covering her lower half, Aphrodite pushed the tears from her eyes with
her muddied hands. “I’m
sorry,” she said. “You’ll
have to save yourself. I can’t do
it for you.” She walked back to
where she had set down the box containing The Essence of True Love.
The glow that had been so vibrant before was barely visible, but it
intensified as she picked it up again.
With tears still in her eyes, she
wished him well and walked on without looking back.
As she walked, the glow of The Essence of True Love became nearly
blinding. She found Persephone and
presented her with her mother’s gift. Persephone
opened the box and The Essence of True Love flooded the Underworld, pouring over
Persephone, her husband, Aphrodite and the rest of the world.
She returned to Demeter and was given
her Goddess Powers again and congratulated on a job well done.
She never knew what became of Galwarth.
The Moral of the Story
*You can become so mired in the problems of others or trying to save them, that you, yourself can be sucked in and drown in their situation.
*If you collapse yourself into the world of and problems of your mate, The Essence of True Love can be lost forever.
*Ultimately, you have to allow others to save themselves, you cannot do it for them
*Stay on task if you are on a path to
better yourself and do not let the drowning people around you pull you down with
I hope you have enjoyed a few of our little stories. Sure, we borrow from classic stories, but that’s what mythology is all about!