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The Little Bluebird and the Forest

Mother Nature’s Woodland Stories

          Once upon a time, when the World was young and everything had a voice, there was a Little Bluebird who lived in a Forest. She liked who she was. Being Little let her to go where many of the larger animals could not. And being Blue made others pay attention to her. This Little Bluebird was very curious. She questioned everything she saw in the Forest—above, below, and in between; anything that was large enough for her to see or bright enough for her to notice. And while she bothered much of the Forest with her constant questions, there was one person—and one person only—who welcomed these questions: Mother Nature.

       Mother Nature was a wonderful woman. She often wandered the World when it was young, making sure everything was in a place where it could grow and become the best it could possibly be. She had been around as long as anything in the World could remember, and many believed it was she who made the World in the first place. If anyone had bothered to ask Mother Nature, she would have told them that she didn’t really “make” the World. Rather, she had simply opened a special door and let everything into the World, giving each thing something nice to wear as it came through. She herself wore a robe of every color you can imagine. You might be able to catch a glimpse of this robe if you look hard enough in the sky after it rains—Mother Nature loves walking about after she has given the World a good washing.

          Now, the Little Bluebird was finally learning how to ask good questions—the ones that gently open hearts and allow others to find what’s been hidden there. Quite by accident, she asked Mother Nature one of these questions. “Mother Nature? What do you worry about?” “I worry about many things,” she answered. “But right now, I am most worried about a dark and terrible storm that is coming, and I am afraid that this Forest will fly apart when it comes.”

          “Can’t you just stop the storm?” The Little Bluebird asked. Mother Nature sighed. “We cannot stop these storms. We can only prepare for them. Will you help me prepare this Forest for the coming storm?” The bird nodded and Mother Nature smiled. “Because it is important that we do this quickly, I will whisper to you the true names of everything in the Forest so they will know that it is I, Mother Nature, that sent you.” The Little Bluebird gave a happy chirp and flew off quickly into the Forest. But she hadn’t thought to ask Mother Nature how to prepare the Forest for the coming storm before she had flown away. “Oh dear,” the Little Bluebird thought as she flew. “What will I do? I know—I’ll find the one thing in the Forest that can defeat the storm!” So right away, she flew toward the largest and strongest part of the Forest—the Rock.

          When the Little Bluebird landed upon the Rock’s deep grey back, she felt a light breeze that whispered a name to her: Faith. So, she gave three quick pecks at the Rock to get its attention and said, “Hello, Rock, whose true name is Faith. Mother Nature has sent me. I think you are the one thing the Forest must have to defeat the dark and terrible storm that is coming.” The Rock of Faith groaned in response. Then, in a deep voice, it said, “Little bird, I’m not something to be had or kept. And I’m certainly not a weapon—nothing in the Forest is.” “Then what do you do?” The bird asked. “I stay steady when everything else moves about,” the Rock of Faith said. “And I make the ground solid, so everything else in the Forest can stand tall.” “So, everything in the Forest needs you?” “Almost everything,” the Rock replied. “But I also need the strong roots of the Tree to keep me from sliding downhill, especially near the River.” “Then the River must be what we need to protect the Forest from the storm. Goodbye.” And off she flew.

          The Little Bluebird next landed on the bank of a crystal clear River—the one thing that was powerful enough to move even the mighty Rock. Again, a breeze whispered the River’s true name: Virtue. “Excuse me, River of Virtue,” the bird began. “A dangerous storm is coming and Mother Nature needs you to defend the Forest. If you can move something as strong and as steady as the Rock of Faith, what are you?” “Me?” The River of Virtue burbled in response: “I’m full of power. I’m always moving and flowing toward larger waters. And I’m very, very wet.” The Little Bluebird wanted to make sure the River of Virtue was the one thing she was looking for to save the Forest, so she asked, “What things in the Forest need you?” “Why, they all need me to stay alive.” “And you don’t need any of them, do you?” “I suppose I do,” the River replied. This startled the bird. “Which one do you need?” She asked. “Which one? All of them. If they don’t drink from my waters, I’ll grow larger and larger until I can’t move anymore and it’ll be the death of me.”

          The sky grew darker, and the Little Bluebird began to panic. The storm really was coming, and she still needed to find the one thing that could save the Forest. She thought very quickly: “If something as powerful as the River of Virtue needs all the living things of the Forest, then maybe one of them is the secret to protecting us from the storm!” So off she flew to find the wisest creature she knew—the Owl. The Little Bluebird spotted the Owl’s deep yellow eyes looking out at her—and everything else—from a nest high in a very old tree. A breeze blew as the bird flew closer and whispered the Owl’s true name: Knowledge. The Little Bluebird said, “Owl of Knowledge, a dark and terrible storm is coming and I must find the one thing that can protect us. What do you do in the Forest?” The Owl closed her large eyes and thought for a while. Finally, she opened her eyes and answered in a clear voice, “I watch the Forest and every living thing within it. And I learn a lot from them, whether they like it or not. Why, just today I learned that—” “But surely,” the Little Bluebird interrupted, since she knew how much the Owl of Knowledge liked to talk. “Surely, with so much knowledge, you don’t need anything else in the Forest, do you?” The Owl closed her eyes again, but the Little Bluebird chirped loudly and its yellow eyes shot open. “It’s true,” the Owl of Knowledge said. “I don’t need much. But I do need a good, strong Tree to keep my nest high above the ground so I can see the whole Forest—and to protect my little ones.” At this, the Little Bluebird looked down into the Owl’s nest and was startled to see a very small ocean of wide, innocent eyes looking back at her. “Well, if someone as wise as you needs this Tree, then I must go see him right away.”