The Bird in the Trap

A certain man caught a bird in a trap. The bird says, “Sire, you have eaten many cows and sheep in your life, and you’re still hungry. The little bit of meat on my bones won’t satisfy you either. If you let me go, I’ll give you three pieces of wisdom. One I’ll say standing on your hand. One on your roof. And one I’ll speak from the limb of that tree.”

The man was interested. He freed the bird and let it stand on his hand.

“Number One: Do not believe an absurdity, no matter who says it.”

The bird flew and lit on the man’s roof. “Number Two: Do not grieve over what is past. It’s over. Never regret what has happened.”

“By the way,” the bird continued, “In my body there’s a huge pearl weighing as much as ten copper coins. It was meant to be the inheritance of you and your children, but now you’ve lost it. You could have owned the largest pearl in existence, but evidently, it was not meant to be.”

The man started wailing like a woman in childbirth. The bird, “Didn’t I just say, Don’t grieve for what’s in the past?” and also, Don’t believe an absurdity? My entire body doesn’t weight as much as ten copper coins. How could I have a pearl that heavy inside me?”

The man came to his senses. “All right. Tell me Number Three.”

“Yes. You’ve made such good use of the first two!”

Don’t give advice to someone who’s groggy and falling asleep. Don’t throw seeds on the sand. Some torn places cannot be patched.

This excerpt is taken from the book, “Soul Food: Stories to Nourish the Spirit and the Heart

Find Peace


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