The Peacock and the Box. M. Hudson

The peacock was lonely. It would spread its lovely feathers and none but the sun would see. Loneliness drove the bird to find others and soon it was amid the crows and the sparrows.

‘You don’t fit in the box.”

The other birds scorned each fanning of the glittering feathers, turned away and ignored the newcomer.

Perplexed, the peacock continued to be lonely in this crowd.

One day a plump little sparrow took pity and decided to explain the actions of the other birds.
"It's your feathers, you see," said the brown bird. "They other birds they think you are showing off."
"My feathers...?" The peacock asked. "I am just being who I am."
"Yeah, but who you are ain't like us." The sparrow explained.
"I can only be who I am."
"Well, if you want to fit in...if you want friends and to be accepted you got to fit the box..."
"I do! I want to fit in and have friends."
"Well, just one thing to do then."

The sparrow took the peacock to see the old crow who lived behind the woods. He had a workshop of sorts and in the corner of his work area was a box. The sparrow explained the situation and the crow nodded his head as he listened.

"Can you fit in this box over here?" asked the old crow as the sparrow finished his tale.

The peacock went to the box and climbed in. The peacock stepped in but the bird’s tail just would not fit. The tried folding it but it kept fanning open.

“Stop showing off!”

“Put those away!”

“I’m not! It just does that,” replied the peacock.

“You want to fit in, or not?” demanded the old crow. “You’ll never fit in the box with those things.”

“What’ll we do then?” asked the sparrow.

“Only one thing to do.” The crow dug around until he found a rusty pair of shears and in seconds the lovely tail feathers were scattered around the ground. Only a stump remained.

“Now, give a shot.”

Stunned, the peacock climbed into the box again and this time, it was a perfect fit! The sparrow and the crow nodded and smiled a welcome.

The peacock looked at the lovely feathers on the ground, felt the lightness of his tail, and saw the narrow confines of the box.

What had he done?

He had been so lonely, though.

Being himself was not good enough, not to be accepted and appreciated among the sparrows and the crows.

“Let’s go get some dinner!” The old crow picked up his hat and motioned to sparrow and the peacock. “We’ll introduce our new friend around.”

Friends! Yes. The wind caught a lovely feather and blew it into the blue sky.

Loneliness. The feather swirled around and caught the light to glitter like a jewel.

Friends. What if the colorful things were gone? If they made the sparrows and the crows feel bad about themselves they must be wrong. They were an embarrassment. He was ashamed he had made them suffer like that.

What had he been thinking?

The box stood in the corner and he gave it a thankful look as he went off with his two new friends. What was an old tail when he had such friends?

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