The Brave Little Parrot

I didn’t write this inspiring story about a brave and selfless little parrot, but I wish I had! I found it on the Internet and edited it a bit. I hope it moves you as much as it does me and anyone I’ve ever shared it with.

Once, long ago, there lived a little parrot. One day, a storm fell upon his forest home. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed, and a dead tree, struck by lightning, burst into flames. Sparks leapt on the wind and soon the forest was ablaze. Terrified creatures ran and flew wildly in every direction, seeking safety from the flames and smoke.

“Fire! Fire!” cried the little parrot. “To the river!” Flapping his wings, he flung himself out into the fury of the storm and, rising higher, flew towards the safety of the river. But as he flew, he could see below him that the flames trapped many animals, with no chance of escape.

A desperate idea, a way to save them, came to him. He darted to the river, dipped himself in the water, and flew back over the now raging fire.

Fierce heat rose up from the burning forest and thick smoke made breathing unbearable. A wall of flames shot up first on one side, and then on the other. Crackling flames leapt before the little parrot. Twisting and turning through the mad maze of fire, he flew bravely on.

At last, when he was over the centre of the forest, he shook his wings and released the few drops of water that still clung to his feathers. The tiny drops tumbled down like diamonds into the heart of the blaze and vanished with a hissssssssss.

The little parrot flew back through the flames and smoke to the river, dipped himself in the cool water, and returned again over the burning forest. Back and forth he flew, time and again, from the river to the forest, from the burning forest to the river. His feathers were charred. His feet were scorched. His lungs ached. His eyes, stung by smoke, turned red as coals. His mind spun as dizzily as the sparks around him. But still the little parrot flew on.

At this time, some gods from a blissful realm were floating overhead in their cloud palaces of ivory and gold. They happened to glance down. And they saw the little parrot flying among the flames. They pointed at him with perfect hands. Between mouthfuls of honeyed foods they exclaimed, “Look at that foolish bird! He’s trying to put out a raging forest fire with a few sprinkles of water! How absurd!” And they laughed.

But one of those gods, strangely moved, changed himself into a golden eagle and flew down, down towards the little parrot’s fiery path.

The little parrot was just nearing the flames again when the great eagle with eyes like molten gold appeared at his side. “Go back, little bird!” the eagle said in a solemn and majestic voice. “Your task is hopeless! A few drops of water can’t put out a forest fire! Cease now and save yourself—before it is too late.”

But the little parrot only continued to fly on through the smoke and flames. He could hear the great eagle flying above him as the heat grew fiercer, calling out, “Stop, foolish little parrot! Save yourself! Save yourself!”

“I don’t need a great shining eagle,” coughed the little parrot, “to give me advice like that. Advice! I don’t need advice. I just (cough) need someone to help.”

The great eagle which was the god, seeing the little parrot flying through the flames and smoke, thought suddenly of his own privileged kind. He could see them high up above. There they were, the carefree gods, laughing and enjoying themselves, while many creatures cried out in pain and fear in the flames below. And he grew ashamed. Then one single desire was kindled in his heart: god though he was, he wanted to be like the brave little parrot.

“I will help!” he exclaimed, and, flushed with these new feelings, he began to weep. Stream after stream of sparkling tears poured from his eyes. Wave upon wave, they washed down like cooling rain on the fire, the forest, the animals and the little parrot.

The flames died down and the smoke began to clear. The little parrot, now washed clean, rocketed about the sky, laughing for joy. “That’s more like it!” he exclaimed.

The eagle’s tears dripped from burned branches. Smoke rose up from the scorched earth. Miraculously, where those tears glistened, new life pushed forth—fresh shoots, stems and leaves. Green grass pushed up from among the still glowing cinders.

Where the teardrops sparkled on the parrot’s wings, new feathers grew. Red feathers, green feathers, yellow feathers—such bright colours! Such a handsome bird!

All the forest creatures looked at one another in amazement. They were whole and well. Not one had been harmed.

Up above in the clear blue sky they could see their brave friend, the little parrot, looping and soaring in delight. When all hope was gone, his determined and compassionate heart had saved them. “Hurray!” they cried. “Hurray for the brave little parrot and for the miraculous rain!”

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