The Tiny Bird
Once, a very long time ago, there was a tiny bird, who's song was so sweet that all of creation would weep for joy at the sound of it. Each new day, she would greet the rising sun with her song, and all of the creatures within the sound of it would stop and listen, and for that time, the entire world was at peace. But one day, the tiny bird's song was different. No longer did the joy of it fill the little meadow where she lived. Her song still rang out, and it was still just as sweet and clear, but it now took on a sad longing, so that every creature who heard it would cry for it's poigniancy, and was gripped in a profound despair. Day after day the tiny bird's song, so full of woe, cast a gloomy palor across the land, so that soon, even the gods in the heavens were affected, and could bear no more. So one of the gods came down to the meadow, seeking out the tiny bird.
"Tiny bird, why do you sing so?", asked the god. "Your song, once so filled with joy and love, now fills the air with sorrow and longing, and the land now sickens and dies. this must not continue! Why has your song so changed, tiny bird?"
"My Lord," answered the tiny bird, "my heart lies heavy within me, for my greatest wish has been denied me. For all my life, I have wanted nothing but to sing my joy to the world, and to one day, fly up to the heavens, to sing for the gods, and to commune with you and your brethren. But alas, now it cannot be so, for my wing is damaged, and I can no longer fly."
And then the god saw what he could not see before, for the tiny bird's wing was, indeed, damaged. The feathers that remained to it were bent and bedraggled, and it sat at an unnatural angle, obviously broken. It was clear that the tiny bird would never fly again with her wing in this condition, and it broke the god's heart to see her thus.
"Tiny bird, I cry for your loss, and I now see the reason for the great sorrow in your song. I shall beseech my sister, the goddes of nature, and my brother, the god of healing, to intercede, and mend your wing, for truly, no creature is more deserving."
"But Master, this cannot be! The gods are forbidden to intervene in such a way! to do so could cause... could cause... I cannot say it, for the prospect frightens me so!"
The god considered, for what the tiny bird said was true. To interfere in such a way was to invite consequences that even the gods could not forsee. It seemed that the situation was hopeless. but then, he had an idea. It was a simple idea, but profound. The god told the tiny bird, "Don't you worry, tiny bird! I have plan. but I must discuss it with my brethren. Please wait for my return!" And with that, he left.
Up to the heavens, soared the god, to the place where he and his brethren lived. He told them of finding the tiny bird, and of her plight. He waxed eloquent on the dilemma that he faced, and of the plan that he had to put everything to rights. The remaining gods were shocked and astonished, for this plan was such that it was nearly unthinkable, and would require ultimate sacrifice for him. But the god was persuasive and persistent, and the other gods agreed, and so the god who spoke to the tiny bird went off, to put his plan into action. What he did was this:
One of the many powers that the gods had was to travel the streams and currents of time, and so this god did, all the way back to the creation of the world, to when everything was new, and life was in it's infancy. there, he found himself, also young and new, and entreated his younger self to assist; explaining the events that had caused him to come to this time, and using all of his persuasive skills to enlist his younger self's aid.
It took a long while, and no small amount of arguing, cajoling and entreating to convince his younger self to assist. With a weary smile, he thanked his younger self, and searched for the proper location. Once found, he layed himself down upon the ground, and entered a profound sleep. Once this was done, his younger self created a single plant near his older self, and caused it to bloom a single bloom. He then called to the spirit of his older self, and infused that single flower with all of the power of his older self, and soon, that single flower was altered, and his older self was no more.
All through the eons, that flower thrived and multiplied, cherished and cared for by this younger god, until the entire meadow where it had come to be was filled with it's heady, potent fragrance. Over time, naught else but this flower grew in the meadow, and it thrived under the sun for countless centuries, till one day, as often happens when the young slowly mature, the meadow suddenly changed. A great shaking suddenly split the meadow in two, there appeared a vast cleft in the ground, which swallowed up the meadow, burying it forever. The flowers that had grown there were all buried under the earth, and the cleft that had split the meadow in half was as a horrible scar across the land.
Centuries passed, and still more centuries, and that cleft in the ground was slowly filled, as the mountains above that former meadow were slowly worn away, and in time, just as had the meadow, and just as had the god before it, the cleft was no more. But something miraculous was happening, unseen and distant from all life; for a god can never truly die, and such great sacrifice is never completely in vain. For below where once the cleft had swallowed up the meadow, a small pool of water began to form, and over the uncounted years, it grew, infusing the rocks and earth with it's moisture, and being infused, itself, with the nature of the rocks and earth, and everything else, as well.
Again, more centuries passed, and all that time, more water collected, and the pool of water became a vast and mighty sea, locked underground, still infusing the rock and earth with it's moisture, and being infused by the same. Slowly did the water make it's way upward, and slowly did the nature of the water trapped beneath the earth change, til one day, it finally found it's way to the surface, in a large meadow, not unlike the one that had come before, there to rush in tiny little rivulets toward the sea. And the land around the newly formed spring flourished and grew, and all manner of creatures were drawn to the spring, where they also prospered, bathed in sunshine, and fed by the meadow and spring. And all was good.
Then one day, in the bright sun of an early spring, a tiny bird came to the meadow, hopping tiredly, as it could no longer fly. It's wing had been broken, and the tiny bird was in great pain. The waters of he spring looked so very inviting, and so that tiny bird labored and struggled to reach it, for to take a small sip of water. And when the tiny bird reached the spring and took a sip, instantly was the wing healed! The tiny bird was suffused by an overwhelming joy! How could this be? And she burst into song, filling the meadow with sounds of joy and love. She then took flight, marvelling in this incredible miracle. Then, a voice within her head said to her, "Thus, my task is complete. Go, tiny bird, and fly up to the heavens, where my brethren await. There shall you live out your days, and there shall you find your reward."
And so the tiny bird flew up to the heavens, to be greeted by the gods, and they provided for her, and that tiny bird lived out her days, singing endless songs of joy and love, and all was made right with the world.