Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sun and the Nightingale

UPDATED: The Sun and a Nightingale

(Completing a story started in 2011)

Said a nightingale to a snake: "There is a little poison in my heart too. When its pain stings sharp, I sing and feel light as a feather. Why do you never sing?"

A cuckoo heard the nightingale, smiled and said, "Snakes have no ears and he can't hear your words."

The nightingale became pensive and said to herself,"How sad he can't hear my songs. There is no music in his life." And she wondered if that was why the snake had to live with so much poison in his soul. "I must find some way to help him sing," she found herself mumbling, and the melancholy strain in her song filled the valley.

The snake slithered into a dark hole. This saddened the nightingale even more. The valley reverberated with her pain all night.

In the morning, the sun searched every branch, but the nightingale was nowhere to be found. Said a little flower to the sun,"She has gone to  valleys unknown  to get some music for a snake who lives here." "Amen !" said the sun, and went about his work, too sad deep within his heart as he had seen something that looked like a nightingale's body lying peacefully still close to where the snake lived. But the sun did not want to violate the innocence of the the little flower, and remained quiet.

A distant star, who had been watching all this, rubbed his eyes under the glare of the sun and shouted from afar, " She sang incessantly all night, and that drilled a hole in her throat. Her last song before day break was a promise to fetch music from strange lands for the snake and others. She left as she had lived -- singing."

The thorny plants that infested the forest did not believe the star. "The nightingale had been the cause of too much noise and trouble here , sang for the snake alone and did nothing to solve the problems of the poorest among us, " they complained to the sun.

The sun looked at them, smiled and moved over from the forest. "Did the nightingale sing for the snake alone?" he murmured to himself." He glanced over his shoulder and looked at the thorny plants, who had already forgotten their complaints against the nightingale and were lost in their daily fights against one another. "The snake did not hear the nightingale's song because he could not. But the thorny plants have ears," thought the sun, and his heart was filled with pity for the plants.

As the sun prepared to set over the darkening jungle, he heard a soft tune he thought he had heard many times before. It was a song overflowing with love and compassion, and it seemed to waft over the gentle wings of the breeze. Suddenly, the sun could see a luminous ball of feathers flying across the horizon. It was glowing with a  strange light that remsembled neither his own glow nor that of the cool rays of the moon. His heart was filled with happiness. he had never felt happiness like this before.

"This stubborn girl can never stop singing songs of love. Why does she mock her destiny? She must learn to fear for  her life," said the sun to himself, but deep downin his heart   he was happy, and he knew that the nightingale had already flown past fear as she had past vales of darkness . He wished the thorny plants would begin to enjoy the nightingale's song. "Perhaps, then they would have less of  hatred and fear and  unhappiness in their hearts." He remebered how the nightingale had once sung "Hatred is fear, and fear love not flet nor  shared."  The sun was a little sad that the shrubs loved only giving pin-pricks and loved pricking the nightingale's soft bosom when she sat near them to sing to them. This was the only reason they ate to live. Singing of love-or sometimes simply singing - was the only reason nightingale lived. Why do they love death? the Sun had often thought.  'Perhaps they confuse  dying with life. But why should I worry?" He had never seen the nightingale worried though she always cared. As he said this, a thought crossed his mind, "How does one care and not be worried? And why does she care? They don't need her, do they? ." However, he could not help answering this to himself: "They do."

Suddenly, he was reminded of the innocence of how he had come into being. After this, he felt light  and  went on with his daily journey and work  with peace in his heart. As he went, he kept watching the ball of feathers that seemed a ball of fire and glow. Songs of love and gratitude and humility and compassion flowed from this ball as water does from a deathless fall. Soon, the ball expanded as it sang and soon the entire sky and universe were filled with this soft feathery ball - or became one. Or so the Sun thought. He smiled as he notiuced his last thoughts before leaving the landscape: "How beautiful does she look dancing in the limitless skies and showering love and cool mercy upon deserts which I have left parched."

When he came back the next morning, the sun smiled  to himself again as he saw his fire and his face  reflected in every drop of  dew on the morning grass.

"This morning, I resemble a bird."

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