Heart to Heart for a Happier World
Happiness lives in the World.
Where? Nobody knows . . . But still,
Happiness lives where we live.
We live in one big Home.
It has no walls, doors, or windows.
Our Home has:
Sky, Sun, Water, Soil . . .
How many inhabitants are in our Home!
Everyone is unique . . .
We all live together!
We are connected by thin invisible ribbons.
We live in one Home-Earth.
Look around . . .
How beautiful is, our Home!
Where do fairy tales come from? From Childhood . . .
From the warm little porch where I sat with my mother and looked at the sky. From journeys in the forest, where, it seems, every stalk, flower, and butterfly wants to talk with you. The deep feeling, that everything around you is alive, comes from Childhood.
We understand our parents better, probably when we become them ourselves. A great miracle appears—the newborn sleeping in the stroller, and you feel that the great World is opening up again for him and for you, a World that we continue to open all our Life . . .
Children . . . Each is unique, even when they grow up together. Bright smiles, joyful eyes—purity of heart. Children love fairy tales . . . Especially when they are narrated. That’s how mine came to be.
My children grew up, and fairy tales grew with them. How many years since they were created . . . Finally, some of these fairy tales were saved on paper.
Tales for children and adults. Do only children need fairy tales? Really, there is a child in all of us . . .
With love, Olga Darya Verasen
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Caterpillar and Beauty
Ladybug and Seven Spots
Teddy Bear and Rain
Chamomile and Love
Little Fluffy Cloud
Old Apple Tree
In our World, there is an amazing Home with big-eyed windows.
This Home is happy! Why? Probably because those who once built him looked at the World with kind eyes.
In this Happy Home Fairy Tales live . . . Yes, yes! Fairy Tales! Happy Home is perched on a hill, nearby is a meadow, and a little further on, behind the lake, begins a forest. Happy Home rejoices with them in the approach of Spring, smiles at the Sun in Summer, is a little wistful in Autumn, and quietly sleeps in Winter . . .
You will see Fairy Tales, where Beauty is . . .
Fairy Tales appear at Happy Home every night, and as soon as the day begins, they fly away. Where? Where they are needed. How beautiful they are! None are the same! They are all so different: big and small, funny and serious. Where are they from? Who knows? Happy Home also doesn’t know: they just are. Fairy Tales arrive, circling in from the Sky like colorful birds. Only their wings sparkle . . .
Fairy Tales descend to the porch carefully . . . tired. Happy Home greets them kindly and smiles thoughtfully remembering something deep within. Then he places Fairy Tales to bed gently covering them in a soft blanket . . .
Happy Home keeps Fairy Tales warm and cozy. He takes care of them, and listens attentively: “What may be needed?” Even at night, he learned how to frighten the little gray mice with his squeaks.
They have recently completely lost their shame, probably guessing that kind Fairy Tales live here! He also asks Fluffy Cloud to bring to Fairy Tales happy dreams . . .
Fairy Tales appreciate Happy Home. They bring him kind stories of the World. Happy Home loves to listen to them. Even the Wind, at this time, does not sing his songs in the chimney and listens too.
In the morning, as soon as the first rays of the Sun appear, Happy Home sends off Fairy Tales. He carefully opens his door and Fairy Tales, one by one, rise to the heights. They flap easily their bright rainbow wings and disappear into the big blue Sky. Happy Home does not know where they are flying and when they will return. He gazes at the Sky with kind big-eyed windows and waits . . .
Happy Home greets Fairy Tales. At the beginning of a new day, he sends them off to journey again. Fairy Tales fly to the World! Gently and tenderly touching your wings to our hearts, supporting the light of Love all over our Earth . . .
Little Spider wiggled his legs and woke up.
Usually, he got up later, but today his sweet morning sleep had been interrupted. Just beside him, someone rang a bell. “Dee-dong!” Then, after a pause, it rang again.“Ding-dee-dong!”
Little Spider covered his head with his thin little paws, curled up into a ball, and moaned, “I want to sleep!” But again, he heard an even louder “Ding-dong! Dee-dong-dong!”
Little Spider leaned out from under the big leaf and exclaimed, “Oh! My beautiful web!”
Bluebell was caught in the fine threads of his spider’s web. The Wind swayed Bluebell’s bright blue head, causing her to sing out.
“Hey! You woke me up!” Little Spider said discontentedly.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know how it happened,” said Bluebell, and added in embarrassment, “Hello!”
“Hello, hello,” Little Spider grumbled, wanting to return under his big leaf, but stopped and asked, “Maybe I can help you?”
“Oh yes! Please! I’ll be very grateful to you!” Bluebell rejoiced and rang yet more loudly.
“Quiet! You are waking everyone up!” Little Spider exclaimed and grabbed his head again with his little paws.
Slowly unwinding his web, Spider grumbled again. “It took me a long time to build this beautiful web, and now, in one minute you’ve spoiled it!”
Dewdrops hung on his web, like sunlit gifts of wonderful magic lanterns. Some of the drops broke away and fell on Little Spider like small, sparkling balls. He began to grumble again, but . . . seeing Bluebell’s cheerful smile, Little Spider smiled back and laughed.
The laughter picked up and carried away the resentment . . .
Slightly visible, thin, and delicate strands of webbing were floating in the air. Little Spider finished his work and freed Bluebell’s head from his web.
“Thank you!” said Bluebell. She bent down and “Ding-dong! Dee-dong! Oh!” Bluebell tried to hold back but couldn’t. She rocked from side to side, continuing to create a beautiful melody.
“Ding-dong! Dee-dong-dong!” Her song drifted with gentle, bright, and kind sounds, echoing all around. Bluebell was greeting the new day. “Ding-dong! Dee-dee-dong!”
The wonderful sounds subsided. Little Spider was sitting with eyes closed, listening intently!
As the music finished, he quietly said, “Thank you so much! It is so beautiful! May I listen to more of your songs, please?”
“Yes! Of course!” answered Bluebell happily and sang again.
The Sun was smiling affectionately in the blue Sky. Bluebell continued to chime and his wonderfully gentle melody created joy for all on Earth . . .
Rainbow Drop hung on a thin stalk and was not going to fall!
The rain had passed. Rainbow Drop smiled happily at the Sun with all her rainbow colors and did not fall! Her own small weight did not bother her. She continued grasping onto the stem for a long time and smiled. Her friends, the other drops, had become bored and tired. So they talked to each other about the weather and then, together, slid down the stem, greeting the puddle loudly: “Plop!”
Rainbow Drop didn’t want to slide down. “I don’t want to go there! I will smile until I have lost my strength!” she decided and clung to the stem’s edge, continuing to smile. Even the Wind stopped rocking the stem so as not to disturb her. Rainbow Drop was grateful to him for such tenderness and then saw Snail. Slowly moving his house, Snail was heading in Rainbow Drop’s direction. The stem was thin and light, and Snail was fat and heavy.
“Excuse me. Maybe it would be more convenient for you to go the other way?” Rainbow Drop began, but Snail did not listen to her. “I can’t! It’s not convenient and . . . I don’t want to!”
He stubbornly crawled forward, despite that at any moment, he could fall.
“Ahh . . . It’s a pity if we fall together,” sighed Rainbow Drop, frantically holding on to the swaying stem.
“What? Hmm . . . I don’t care about you. I want to drink! Even if I fall down, I won’t have a problem. I have a strong house!” Snail puffed and continued crawling forward.
“Umm . . . Could you get a drink somewhere down there?” Rainbow Drop asked quietly, clinging fearfully to the rough stem.
“What? Down there?! Why would I do that!? I would need to crawl down!
Heh! No! I want to crawl up! Besides, you are so transparent and probably tasty!
Why are you hanging here anyway? Why?” Snail asked and looked to the puddle. “All your friends have gone there a long time ago.”
Snail looked down and asked again, “What are you doing here? Are you not afraid of the Sun?”
Rain Drop smiled. “Why do I need to be afraid? It’s beautiful and fun. Look, see how the sunrays play with me!” she said joyfully.
“Playing? Heh-heh! First, sunrays play with you, and then they will dry you up!” Snail snickered.
“Let . . . Anyway, I will be back to Earth with the rain!” Rainbow Drop laughed merrily.
“I’ll be back. I’ll be back!” Snail mimicked her and added, “Who knows you? To many of you are similar. All the same . . .”
Snail wanted to say something more but lost his hold and fell to the ground with a thud. A little embarrassed by this surprise, Snail had hidden in his house, but then leaned out and looked up.
“Hey! Haven’t you fallen yet?” he asked and added sarcastically, “you are becoming very small!”
“I didn’t fall! I’m here!” Rainbow Drop laughed and looked around.
The land, wet after the rain, enjoyed the sincere warmth of the sunrays. All that reflected in her lived and rejoiced as the Sun shone with multicolored shades. Like a wizard had performed a miracle, creating a crystal and storing all his riches there.
Rainbow Drop hung on for a very long time. Finally, she settled down more comfortably and did not feel tired. The offended Snail hid in his house again, puffing and grumping about the stupidity of someone who hung without any sense.
“Look, the rain is long over, and there is a droplet still hanging!” Butterfly’s voice sounded. “It is so beautiful! Look! In it, the whole World is clean and transparent! It would be a pity if it fell . . .” She carefully fluttered around Rainbow Drop admiring her beauty.
“Oh! Be careful!” cried Butterfly to Dragonfly, who almost touched Rainbow Drop with her wings.
“Sorry!” Dragonfly responded kindly.
“Let her hang! As long as she can,” Butterfly added tenderly.
“I will not fall! I have enough strength!” Rainbow Drop said smiling as she felt herself rising higher and higher.
“I’ll be back! I’ll be back again . . .” a quiet light whisper sounded from above . . .
Little Hedgehog could not understand why he had quills. He felt the quills every day, looking at their sharp ends, and kept asking himself one question: “Why do they grow on me?” But he could not find the answer.
He didn’t want to ask his parents: they were always busy with daily affairs and didn’t have time just to sit with him. But both Mom and Dad loved, took care of him, and, gently calling “Little Hedgehog”, were proud of him.
Only parents can be proud like this, rejoicing in the way their child grows, and seeing in them the fulfillment of their dreams. Little Hedgehog never lost the feeling of reliable support, gentle, and at the same time big and strong. Little Hedgehog himself could not give it a name: he just had it. He just knew there was a warm, round, slightly fluffy Mommy’s belly in his World, which he could always bury his wet nose, snuffle a little, and then everything complicated became simple, clear, calm, and not so painful.
Today, when Little Hedgehog again accidentally scratched himself with his own quills, he finally decided to find out why he had them. “Clever Raccoon built his new house near the Big Christmas tree yesterday!” Little Hedgehog remembered and, hastily moving his short, small paws, headed over there.
Clever Raccoon was very old and so, being tired, he often basked in the Sun, turning his gray snout with long shaggy hair to the warm sunrays. No wonder the raccoon was called “Clever Raccoon”, because, despite his old age, no one of the forest’s inhabitants could give the best advice for any of life’s situations, except him.
“Good afternoon!” Little Hedgehog said stomping on the ground and was embarrassed to see that Clever Raccoon was not asleep, but his shining eyes were looking at him with a smile. “Good, good!” Clever Raccoon answered and, without delaying the conversation, immediately asked, “Why have you come?”
Little Hedgehog was confused. “Um . . . As for my quills, I . . .” Clever Raccoon, raising his snout, chuckled, saying, “Heh! Do you want more?”
“No, no, I’m not talking about that,” Little Hedgehog hurried to explain. “Dear Clever Raccoon, tell me, please, why do I have them?”
Clever Raccoon did not expect such a question . . . He was silent for a long time, looking thoughtfully at Little Hedgehog, then at the trees, then at the grass, and then said, “Well, when my grandma was still alive, I heard from her that a long time ago, you Hedgehogs did not have any quills.”
“O-oo . . . Really?!” Little Hedgehog was surprised and carefully touched his paw to their sharp ends.
“Y-e-pp! None!” confirmed Clever Raccoon.
“And why do I have them now?” asked Little Hedgehog touching his quills again.
“Because now there are fangs and claws.”
“Who needs them?”
“Those who have them.”
“H-mm. It turns out, that is so.”
“And you can’t do without them?”
“I don’t know . . . maybe someone has tried.”
Clever Raccoon was silent for a long time and then huskily said,
“I somehow haven’t thought about it.”
“Why? You’re the smartest in our forest. If not you, then who?”
Simple, and at the same time profound, as is our World, Little Hedgehog’s questions made old Clever Raccoon consider himself from the height of his years.
He couldn’t find a response for this little prickly lump, quietly sniffing his wet nose, who still didn’t know why he had quills on his back.
Little Hedgehog, waiting no longer for an answer from Clever Raccoon, quietly padded his way home. He knew there was a warm, round, slightly fluffy Mommy’s belly.
Maybe today, he would bury his wet nose there and snuffle a little again. Then everything complicated will become simple, clear, calm, and not so painful.
“Or . . . maybe,” Little Hedgehog thought, slowly moving his paws along the forest’s path, “I will find the answer to this question myself . . .”
A chubby green Caterpillar daydreamed about being beautiful.
She could not imagine when, but had no doubt it would happen! In the meantime, she continued to dream with inspiration, “In just a little while, I will be blue or yellow, as the flowers that grow in the meadow. I’m won’t be green anymore, I’m tired of it! Well . . . Maybe a red color might be better?”
Caterpillar did not notice that she had begun to speak loudly. From the outside, it looks funny: a green creature, hanging from a stem and talking to herself. Big Beetle, who was flying about his deeds, stopped and landed close to Caterpillar. Looking around, and not seeing anybody, Beetle asked carefully, “Err . . . Who are you talking to?”
Caterpillar flinched in surprise, nearly falling off her stem. She was silent for a moment, and then answered sheepishly, “I . . . I was talking to myself.”
“Foolishness!” Beetle muttered and was about to fly on, but at the last moment, he paused and asked, “I’m sorry. Don’t you have anything better to do?”
Caterpillar was surprised. “I do. I am dreaming about my beauty,” she said.
Now, Beetle almost fell off the stem and, flying to a more stable place a strong leaf of burdock, asked carefully, “E-mm . . . How much time?”
“O-oo! I have dreamed about my beauty for a long time!” Caterpillar smiled modestly and began to crawl from her stem to a burdock leaf, near Beetle.
On the way she continued, “A true dream always lives a long time. A real dream ripens like a seed and you take care of it, cherish it, and return to it as if you would to a fabulous place.”
Beetle thoughtfully stroked his gorgeous tendrils with his paw and, looking attentively at Caterpillar, asked, “Is your dream just to be beautiful? That’s it? Nothing more?”
“Of course! Is it bad? It is better to be beautiful! Everyone loves you . . . Now, no one looks at me because I am green, ugly, and fat. If I was beautiful, o-oo . . . then it would be a different matter! I would look at the World differently, and the World would look at me differently. Isn’t this a real dream?” asked Caterpillar.
“Hmm! Who knows which dream is real and which is not? For me, for example, your dream isn’t interested, because I’m already beautiful!”
Beetle proudly puffed forward his red tummy, buzzed his shiny black wings, and continued, “I have a dream of my own. But I won’t tell anyone what it is . . .”
“If you don’t want to, don’t tell . . .” Caterpillar sighed sadly and added, “I so want to be beautiful! I don’t know when or how, but I want to be different. I’m so ugly now—phooey!”
“Uh-oh! How is it possible to offend yourself like that?”
A soft snort came from under a burdock leaf, and soon Centipede appeared upon the leaf, quickly flickering her countless legs.
“Good day! How is it possible to offend yourself like that?” she said again with a smile and added, “Look how many legs I have! It’s fun!”
She, in turn, lifted each leg, and they became like an undulating ribbon touched by the Wind.
“Hmm! And what of that? Is it really so important, to be proud of them?” Beetle asked in surprise.
“Of course, it is important!” Centipede responded and added, “I am very happy because I have what I have. My many legs are what Nature gave me. And I love them! Nature gives everyone exactly what they need. Everyone has their own beauty.”
“Beauty, beauty . . .” muttered someone from below. On the ground’s surface, under the burdock, a mound appeared, and the next moment Mole emerged from it, and asked grumblingly,
“What do I care about your beauty if I can’t see it?”
“Real beauty is always visible,” Centipede responded.
“If beauty is visible everywhere, it would be difficult to hide it. Maybe hide it underground? But . . . Why hide it, if everyone needs beauty?” reasoned Mole.
Caterpillar crawled to the burdock leaf and finally stopped,
“Yes! Everyone needs beauty!” she confirmed and continued, “Real beauty is when everyone feels good!” she sighed and added, “Even if you do not see it, but only know it is in the World.”
“Hmm! Does that mean that my beauty is all I need?” Beetle was indignant, offended, and puffed up his gorgeous tendrils. He turned in a huff and trudged to the burdock leaf’s edge.
Centipede gently stopped him, “Wait! Beauty is not just your eyes, tendrils, and tummy. Who yesterday helped small Striped Bug to bring food to his house? And who, earlier, saved Butterfly from a web? Who picked up little Ant, who was late for home?”
Beetle was agitated, touched his paw to his gorgeous tendrils, and asked, “Do you mean beauty is also beautiful deeds?”
“Yes! Yes!” laughed Bee, who flew to the chamomiles. “Everyone who has within Kindness, Love, Wisdom, Joy, and Respect for others is really beautiful!” Bee exclaimed and then said goodbye to everyone and flew away.
It had become quiet around the big burdock. The day continued with everyone going on with their own affairs. Everyone has their own uniqueness given to them by Nature . . . and everyone has the same within that can’t be hidden . . .
Only the chubby green Caterpillar remained. But now, her own color and size did not bother her as much as before. And for some reason, she didn’t want to eat at all. Her eyes began to close and one thought kept spinning in her head: “Sleep . . . Sleep . . .”
Caterpillar felt that something unusual was waiting for her. She began to wrap around herself in a soft, soft blanket, which she spun from thin, shiny threads surprisingly quickly. “I really want to sleep,” Caterpillar whispered again, and fell asleep settling under the burdock leaf, like a baby in a cradle.
She didn’t know what was going to happen, and what she would look like when she woke up. It wasn’t that important anymore.
On an unknown mysterious journey, she took with her the amazing greatest feeling—Beauty of the World . . .
Little Bunny was dreaming of a Big Carrot . . .
He hid under an old fir tree and thought, “When I have my Big Carrot, I’ll munch on it for a long, long time. I’ll never give my wonderful Big Carrot to anyone!”
He sighed and closed his eyes, “Oh . . . When will Summer come? If only it would start sooner. I want my delicious Big Carrot so much! M-mm . . . it’ll probably be really sweet!”
Little Bunny, in fact, has never seen or tasted such a carrot. But Bunny’s mom has told him about the beautiful Big Carrot, so Little Bunny can’t wait until the weather finally warms up, and then, he imagines, from over the hill, the long-awaited Big Carrot will appear . . .
Little Bunny likes to daydream about his Big Carrot, each time a little differently. “Maybe my Big Carrot will be round. No! Better yet maybe it’ll be very long, so long that I can’t even see its leaves!” Little Bunny thought. “Ooh, it’ll be so crunchy and juicy! M-mm, I can almost taste it . . . It’s so delicious!” he squeaked with delight. Little Bunny didn’t realize that he had started to speak his thoughts out loud.
“What are you talking about?” he heard a voice say.
Little Bunny jumped in fright, pulling his ears over his head with his paws. Carefully peeking out, he saw a gray Little Mouse who was gnawing a dry blade of grass and looking attentively at him.
“What are you talking about?” asked Little Mouse as he reached for another blade of grass.
“I’m thinking about a Big Carrot,” Little Bunny said shyly.
“Is it good to eat?” Little Mouse flashed his black eyes and quickly added, “Sorry, It’s just . . . I’m hungry all the time . . .”
“My Big Carrot is very delicious,” Little Bunny said thoughtfully. He silenced for a moment, and added, “but . . . I’ve never actually seen it.”
Little Mouse was surprised. “Then how do you know?”
“My mom told me,” said Little Bunny. “When will Summer come?” he said with another sigh, and added wistfully, “Summer is wonderful! The Sun warms everything . . .”
“Yes, it’s warm in the Summer and there are so many different seeds! They are all so good to eat!” Little Mouse declared happily, and then added uncertainly, “Will you let me try this carrot? Maybe just . . . a little?”
“No! I’m not sharing it! There won’t even be enough for me!” grumbled Little Bunny.
“Ok, I understand,” replied Little Mouse. “Everyone wants to eat.” Little Mouse sighed and looked at the spring Sky.
Sighing again, he started to run away, but heard Little Bunny’s quiet words: “Wait! Let’s do it together!”
“What do you mean?” Little Mouse asked in surprise.
“Let’s dream about the Big Carrot together! And about Summer too. Please forgive me, I’m not usually like this,” said Little Bunny.
Little Mouse smiled happily, moved closer, and said eagerly, “Let’s dream about flowers too! My mom told me they’re very beautiful!”
Under the big old fir tree, two small gray friends sat, dreaming together. About what? Soon the cold days will end, and wonderful warm summer days will arrive. Their mothers had told them about it. Little Bunny and Little Mouse really didn’t know what Summer was, because they had never had it in their lives.
The two small fluffy friends sit close together and are very happy. It doesn’t matter when they see a Big Carrot or how many days they will wait for this wonderful Summer.
Little Bunny and Little Mouse, sit together and keep each other warm. They are beginning to understand: in our sometimes cold World, there is something very important that always makes everything warmer . . .
Yesterday Ladybug learned to count to seven. Her friend Ant taught her.
It all started when Ant looked at Ladybug’s back and said, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven! H-mm . . . You have seven spots on your back!”
Ladybug looked into a droplet of dew to see herself, and also saw the seven spots on her back.
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven!” she repeated and then asked. “Why are there only seven?”
“I don’t know!” replied Ant. “But tomorrow, I can ask my friend, big fluffy Bumblebee. Bumblebee flies far and wide and can find answers to any question!”
“Wonderful, thank you very much!” said Ladybug excitedly and continued, “I’ll be waiting for you! I really want to know why I have seven spots on my back!”
Today, Ladybug woke up very early, washed her face with dew, spread her small wings, and expectantly flew to the meadow. She fluttered down onto a large white daisy and waited for her friend Ant.
Ladybug looked down at the path on which Ant usually walked and exclaimed loudly, “One, two, three! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven!”
She wanted everyone to know that she had seven spots on her back, so she shouted once more, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven!”
To see her friend Ant sooner, Ladybug flew to a tree that grew in the middle of the meadow. She sat down on a leaf, neatly folded her soft wings, and began to count again, “One, two, three . . .”
“Hey . . . what have you forgotten?” an angry voice buzzed beside her.
“Oh!” exclaimed Ladybug. She looked around and saw a big, fluffy Bumblebee.
“E-ee . . . Excuse me . . . Did I bother you?” asked the confused Ladybug.
“Yes! I was warming in the Sun, and you interrupted me!” Bumblebee again buzzed angrily.
“Oh, please excuse me! Are you cold?” asked Ladybug.
Bumblebee buzzed kindler, “Well . . . not very . . . This morning I was carrying out an important mission for Ant and got soaked with dew!”
Bumblebee raised his antennae, puffed out his striped abdomen, and continued importantly, “I did a favor for Ant! Now I’m sitting and warming in the Sun!”
“Wow!” Ladybug jumped joyfully. “It’s about my spots, isn’t it?”
The leaf Bumblebee was standing on swayed, and he almost fell off.
“Take it easy! Stop jumping!” he buzzed angrily again.
“Oops!” Ladybug stopped jumping and meekly added, “Sorry, I just really want to know why I have these spots on my back!”
“And how many of them do you have?” asked Bumblebee.
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven!” answered Ladybug proudly and showed him the seven spots on her back.
Bumblebee looked closely at her back and agreed, “Seven! That’s right! There they are!” Pausing he said, “Why do you need it?”
“Wait–why what?” Ladybug asked in confusion.
“Well, why do you need to know?” Bumblebee asked in surprise.
Ladybug got upset. “What do you mean why?! I always wear them! Why are there only seven, neither more nor less?” she said in frustration.
Bumblebee touched his antennae with a paw, pondered for a while, and sat down with a puzzled look.
“What? Is it so hard?” he finally asked.
“What’s hard?” asked Ladybug, equally puzzled.
“Wearing spots on your back!” Bumblebee exclaimed in frustration.
“No, it’s not difficult, but why are there exactly seven?” Ladybug asked again.
“Silly thing! I’m not asking why I have stripes on my stomach!” Bumblebee laughed loudly.
“Why?” Ladybug asked again.
Frustrated, Bumblebee grabbed his head in his paws and retorted, “Why, why? Because I’m not interested! Don’t you understand?”
“No! Isn’t it interesting to learn something new?” Ladybug asked with surprise.
“I only wonder where I can find more nectar!” Bumblebee grumbled.
“Why?” Ladybug again asked in surprise.
“Why else but to eat it!” exclaimed Bumblebee.
“And that’s all?” asked Ladybug quietly.
“Yes! Because if I don’t think about food, I’ll be hungry!” Bumblebee confidently answered.
“Yes, of course! You need to think about food, but not all the time!” smiled Ladybug.
“What else is there to think about?” Bumblebee asked in surprise.
“Oh! There are so many interesting things around!” Ladybug said admiringly while looking around. “Look! Why do some flowers close their petals at night, while others don’t? Why are leaves green? Why do some things grow big and others stay small? Why . . .?”
She started asking more questions, but Bumblebee grumbled again. “Too many ‘Whys’! Why are you always asking ‘Why’?”
“Oh! It’s just that everything around is so interesting!” sighed Ladybug and added, “Why . . . oops, sorry . . .”
Ladybug was about to go back to her daisy, but Bumblebee stopped her by saying, “Wait! I know why you have seven spots on your back! Wise Owl told me this morning. Seven spots—seven days.”
“And why . . .?” Ladybug wanted to ask another question, but Bumblebee stopped her again. “Wait. Let every day be a good one!” he said.
“What is the meaning of, ‘Let every day be a good one!’?” Ladybug asked in wonder.
“I don’t know, but that is what Wise Owl said. Sorry . . . I have to fly, but I’ll think about it!” Bumblebee answered and with that, he flew away.
“H-mm . . . Let every day be a good one.” Ladybug repeated Bumblebee’s words slowly and fell deep into thought.
Ant appeared on the road and Ladybug spread her wings to fly toward him.
“Good morning!” Ant greeted her.
“Good morning!” answered Ladybug and then exclaimed, “Wow! I think I understand! Good morning, good evening . . . Seven spots—seven good days. Let every day be a good one!”
“Of course!” Ant eagerly added, “Our mother always says: ‘If you have done something good for others, then your day will be good. From good days are built a good life!’”
Remembering her own upbringing, Ladybug said, “Amazing! My mother always says that! That’s why I have seven spots on my back! Thank you, and thanks to Bumblebee and Wise Owl!”
Ant looked around and asked, “Where’s Bumblebee?”
“He flew away,” answered Ladybug. “He said that I ask too many ‘Why?’ questions. Is that really bad?”
“I think it’s wonderful!” smiled Ant and added, “My mother always says: ‘If you have questions, you will always find answers to them!’”
Ant looked up at the Sky, jumped up, and exclaimed, “Look, the Sun is so high! Sorry, I have to hurry home.”
As Ant rushed off, Ladybug heard him say, “I’m happy we know why you have seven spots on your back!” She waves to him and says happily, “Thank you! Bye!”
Ladybug looked at herself in a dewdrop and laughed gaily. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven! Wow! Now I know why I have seven spots on my back! Let every day be a good one!”
Ladybug spread her little wings and flew to meet her good days, where there is always time for good deeds . . .
Teddy Bear loved to cry when it rained . . .
As soon as the first drops fell from the Sky, Teddy Bear becomes very sad, and from his round, little button-eyes, one by one, tears rolled down. They left thin paths on his soft wool, gathered on the tip of his nose, and then drip-drop-dripping down to the ground.
Today, Gray Cloud hung for a long time in a corner above the forest, then crawled out into the middle of the Sky, swelled, and splashed all with light rain.
“Oh-oh-oh! Again, the Sky is crying . . . Oh-oh-oh! I need to help!” Teddy Bear sighed and puffed, quickly running to the lake’s shore. There, under a big birch tree, he had his own favorite place where he could be with himself.
“I will help the Sky!” he had decided once, and from then always tried to help with his own tears. He didn’t tell anyone about his decision: he worried they would laugh at him. But what else can be done to help the Sky, Teddy Bear did not know. “When you cry alone, it’s so sad! It’s better if there are two!” he thought.
Teddy Bear sadly sighed once, and then a second time, finally feeling a familiar pinch in his nose. Drip-drop-drop . . . His tears were gathering on the tip of his nose and drip-drop-dripping with the raindrops, into the lake.
Two small carps peered out of the lake, shook their heads, and slapping their tails on the water in farewell, disappeared.
“Of course, the Sky cries. The Sky is sorry for us all!” Teddy Bear sighed again and began to remember sad stories to make himself cry, “Oh-oh-oh! Yesterday Ant pinched his paw between two pinecones. It’s too sad . . . and the little striped Beetle, who lives under the old stump, wet his belly in the morning and maybe froze, and probably caught a cold. Oh-oh-oh!”
Another drop rolled down to the tip of his nose . . .
Teddy Bear looked at the Sky compassionately. “Yes, yes, it’s all so sad, our neighbor, Motley Woodpecker screamed yesterday. Probably, someone offended him—there was a lot of shouting. Oh-oh-oh! Also, Cuckoo is poor. She left her eggs somewhere, and, maybe, is still looking for them.”
The rain kept falling. It was as if through a fine sieve, quietly dripping and sprinkling small raindrops drip-drop-dripping to the ground. It really seemed like someone unknown up there was also shedding tears. Even the whisper of the leaves under the drops created a sad rainy melody. Teddy Bear listened, occasionally wiping his wet eyes with his paw. Teddy Bear blinked his eyes a second time . . .
“Well, that’s enough!” said a voice. Startled, Teddy Bear looked around.
Green Frog jumped out of the water onto a large, yellow lily pad. She rotated so the raindrops were drip-drop-dripping straight onto her shiny back, and looked with a smile at Teddy Bear.
“How much can you cry? I’ve been looking at you—you have been crying for a long time! Why? If someone has offended—forgive him. Don’t cry, it’s hard for the Sky!”
Teddy Bear was confused, “Why is it hard for the Sky?”
“Because when someone cries, it’s hard for everyone: who weeps, has lost Joy!”
“Then why is the Sky crying?”
“The Sky doesn’t cry. The Sky gives water to us all. Rain is good!” Green Frog jumped up on another lily pad and added, “Listen! It’s funny how the raindrops joyfully sing on my back! It’s a real drum!”
“Oh . . . I think that the raindrops are Sky’s tears . . .” Teddy Bear shares with Green Frog his secret for the first time, and was not worried—he just feels: he will be understood.
“I cry because I want to help the Sky . . .” he answered, sniffling, and wiping his wet eyes with his paws.
“If you want to help, why is it necessary to cry? Who will your tears help?!” Green Frog asked in surprise.
“That is what I thought . . .” replied Teddy Bear, wiping with his paw another drop on his nose.
“In vain! I tell you; you can’t help when you are crying because you can’t see anything through your tears . . . ” Green Frog said.
“What do you mean?” asked Teddy Bear in confusion.
“What?! I said, “Hi” to you several times, but you didn’t hear or see me!”
Teddy Bear blushed and mumbled, “Sorry, I really didn’t notice you . . .”
“Of course, you didn’t! If there are tears in your eyes, what can you see?”
Green Frog smiling, jumped up, “Look around! See?”
“What?” Teddy Bear looked around in surprise.
“The World! Look how beautiful our World is! And interesting!” Green Frog exclaimed admiringly.
Teddy Bear looked around for a long time . . . then wrinkled his nose and responded uncertainly, “Well, maybe I see . . .”
“What?” Green Frog asked with a smile.
“Lake . . . birch . . . There are carps looking out of the water . . .” Teddy Bear said, sighed, and added, “They can’t talk . . . it’s so sad! Oh-oh-oh!”
“Wait, why is it sad?” said Green Frog in surprise. “They can talk! You just haven’t understood them yet!”
Teddy Bear looked at the carps in amazement . . . at Green Frog, and at the carps again, and whispered carefully, “Green Frog . . . they are smiling at me!”
“Well now! You finally noticed! Yes, yes, they are smiling . . . and have been smiling for a long time. And also, Duck wanted to tell you many times that from your tears the water in the lake will soon become salty!” Green Frog exclaimed and jumped to yet another lily pad.
Teddy Bear considered this for a little while, rubbed his wet nose, and said in embarrassment “I’m sorry, I really didn’t see . . .”
The rain was over. The last drops occasionally fell from the Sky, leaving large circles rippling on the lake. The circles expanded outward on the surface of the water and gradually disappeared. The Sun appeared, and the Gray Cloud did not seem so gray and bloated anymore.
The Forest sang in different voices. The flowers dried their petals. Many colored butterflies were flitting in the air. Teddy Bear looked around in admiration. “How much I haven’t seen . . .”
“We see what we are able to see. If you have tears in your eyes, what will you see besides your tears?” asked Green Frog, smiling, then added, “Nothing!”
Teddy Bear roused and shook off the raindrops. They flew in all directions with rainbow colors shimmering in the rays of the Sun. Teddy Bear laughed, at first quietly and hesitantly, and then louder and with Joy. His laughter, sounding like merry bells, spread throughout the neighborhood. Teddy Bear fell silent, wondering to himself . . .
“How happy to see our wonderful World”, he said thoughtfully, and then, after a pause, added quietly. “I don’t want to cry anymore! What is visible through tears?!”
Teddy Bear smiled, closed his eyes, and tilted his nose toward the warm sunrays. А beautiful bright blue butterfly cautiously settled on his nose. She gently flapped her thin wings, drying the wet paths on his fur. Teddy Bear stood still. He was happy! He stood there breathing in the warm air and smiled, feeling the last of his tears disappear . . .
Pink Cat was sitting on a cloud and gazing down. From above, everything seemed small, like children scattering their toys on a colorful blanket. Pink Cat stretched out and lay down cozily on his cloud to better observe everything happening down on Earth.
Life gradually awoke after a night’s sleep down there. Roosters sing, people hurry about their affairs . . . The river shone with a beautiful winding ribbon in the Sun, like milk in a saucer, leaving the remnants of a thick white mist under the hills.
Pink Cat narrowed his eyes, letting the Sun warm his back. Pink Cat was not only unusual because he sat on a cloud and was pink in color. His unusually large blue eyes seemed to look at the whole Sky and to see in the distance what others might not notice. Pink Cat was from the Land of Childhood. He lived on a cloud and composed dreams. When night came, he sent them, like precious postcards, to people on Earth.
The dreams were different: funny, humorous, sad, but all were bright, kind, and gentle, as if from the tender hands of a mother. The People did not know where these dreams came from. Children were just happy for them. The adults were surprised and looked for secret signs that would explain their meanings. But everyone who saw such dreams forever saved a wonderful feeling of joy and harmony. This is probably why everyone who saw them, didn’t want to talk about them. People carefully kept their dreams as a great treasure in the most secret place in their own hearts, enjoying the warmth and beauty.
Behind making dreams, time flew by imperceptibly. When the last stars closed their sleepy eyes, Pink Cat also felt sleepy and went to rest. Only this time he could not sleep because he saw Little Girl . . .
Little Girl ran to the river, like a mischievous grasshopper, jumping high so as not to wet her skirt with dew. Her thin legs were glistening among the grass. Her braid unraveled, and her light linen hair rose easily in the air.
Little Girl had a marvelous pink dream today! Such a beautiful dream! She ran to the river and, laughing happily, plunged into the cool morning water. Little Girl, “Good morning!” to her friend Duck, raised her head, and . . . saw Pink Cat on a cloud!
Little Girl was surprised by the unusual spectacle but was not afraid.
“Hello!” she said to Pink Cat.
“Hello!” he smiled back.
“What are you doing there?” asked Little Girl.
“I live here,” purred Pink Cat. “I compose dreams and send them to people on Earth as postcards. Do you want to come here, closer to the Sun?”
“Yes! I want to!” Little Girl exclaimed happily. “How do I get to you?”
It was the first time Pink Cat had made such an offer. He thought a little bit and then remembered what he had seen before. The Wind had been blowing and scattering fluffy clouds across the Sky, becoming like long, thin, white strands of wool. Pink Cat carefully scratched the edge of the cloud with his paw, and a part of the soft cloud’s wool came out.
Little Girl knew how to twist wool into threads. She often sat next to Grandma, looking at how she made wool yarn and had even tried to help her several times. But she didn’t make it very well at the time: the thread was uneven. Grandma kindly comforted her, saying that Little Girl is still small, but when she grows just a little more, everything will work out at the right time.
Now everything worked out: a thin, but strong white thread stretched from the Sky down to Earth. The cloud decreased in size, and Pink Cat couldn’t lay down on it as cozily as he had before. But at the bottom stood Little Girl, clutching the end of the thread in her hands, and with hope, looked up at the Sky.
Pink Cat picked up with his paw, a barely visible thread, and pulled it to himself. As a small sparrow flies off a branch, Little Girl broke away easily from the Earth and rose into the Sky.
She settled down next to Pink Cat and looked around. Sitting on the cloud was soft and cozy. The sounds of Earth came up from below as a light bee buzz. Large fluffy clouds floated across the Sky. If they were a little closer, Little Girl would have jumped to them like an air grasshopper.
“Where did you come from?” she asked Pink Cat.
“From the Land of Childhood,” he purred.
“This is why you are pink?” Little Girl asked.
“Yes!” replied Pink Cat.
“Your eyes are like the Sky,” Little Girl said. “How beautiful the Sky is!”
“Your eyes are also like the Sky,” smiled Pink Cat.
“No, my eyes are like cornflowers! My mommy told me so!” Little Girl laughed and clarified. “Cornflowers are like your Sky. They are bluest and beautiful!”
“We all have one Sky,” smiled Pink Cat.
Pink Cat and Little Girl sat on the cloud and talked. They seemed to have known each other for a long time.
“You know, today I had a dream,” said Little Girl. “It was a bright and happy dream! I didn’t tell anyone down there. Do you want me to tell you?”
“I know your dream,” Pink Cat closed his eyes. “I sent this dream to you last night.”
Little Girl laughed merrily.
“Oh! Yes, of course! How could I have not guessed it, I’m still asleep!” To make sure of that, she pinched herself and exclaimed in pain, “Ouch!”
“Why did you pinch yourself, I would have told you that you are not sleeping!” purred Pink Cat.
“So, you are real?” Little Girl said in surprise.
“H-mm. How else would you come up here?” said Pink Cat thoughtfully. “I am the real Pink Cat from the Land of Childhood. If you do not believe that such a country exists, then I really do not exist . . .”
“No, I believe, I believe!” Little Girl hurried to assure him. “But it is sad that Childhood disappears over time.”
Looking intently at Little Girl, Pink Cat nodded. “Childhood will never disappear if you people remember it.”
“I will remember!” Little Girl assured Pink Cat decisively. “Childhood is like a big, beautiful fairy tale! Where everything can be! And thank you! I will never forget your dream.”
They were silent for a moment, looking down at Earth. Little Girl asked, “Is it difficult creating dreams for us people?”
Pink Cat smiled, “No! But sometimes it’s harder to send dreams to someone who needs them.”
“And what happens to those dreams?”
“They remain in the Sky, flying in the air like invisible birds.”
“If someone calls his dream, will they be back?”
“Of course . . .”
Little Girl thought, and then firmly said, “Everyone needs your dreams! From them, a heart is filled with joy! You know, my grandma always says: “Joy, Love, Kindness will fill your heart like a spring water quenching your thirst on the path in life.”
Little Girl looked down at Earth. “Oh! I need to back home,” she said. “Look, my mommy is already looking for me!” She gently stroked Pink Cat on his pink fur. “I will always remember you! Thank you!”
“There will always be a place on my cloud for you,” said Pink Cat, and closed his eyes so Little Girl would not notice the sadness in them.
Grasping the thread, Little Girl easily slid down and immediately became like a small dot on the river. She waved to Pink Cat and ran home to the earthly affairs that awaited her.
White clouds had continued on their own journey in the high blue Sky. It seems there was no meeting, but Little Girl remembers that she is connected with the beautiful blue Sky by a thin and very strong thread.
Little Girl knew up there, on a fluffy white cloud, lives Pink Cat from the Land of Childhood and in whose eyes you can see what you want to say.
Pink Cat, basking in the Sun, fell asleep. He knew his dreams would always be needed. When the next night comes, he will fold new ones and send them to people so the thin threads that connect Earth with Sky will be saved . . .
Young Grasshopper anxiously waited for the Sun to set, occasionally glancing at the little green Violin that lay beside him. Wrapped in soft moss, this Violin had waited a long time under the Christmas tree, and finally, it was needed . . .
How many times did Young Grasshopper remember his Grandpa Grasshopper playing his own Violin . . .
His green Violin was small and old, with scratched sides and a tiny crack in the middle, but its sounds could be heard from far away and everyone in the whole neighborhood loved to listen.
Every evening, when the last rays of the Sun disappeared behind the tops of the trees and the first stars twinkled in the Sky, Grandpa Grasshopper took out his small green Violin, carefully adjusted the strings, and played. Beautiful sounds, like magic threads, connecting to each other creating a gentle, beautiful melody that floated in the air . . .
One day he called Young Grasshopper over, held out the little green Violin, and said with a wise smile, “Take it . . . Play your Song!”
“What about your Song, Grandpa?” Young Grasshopper asked him in surprise.
“My Song is with me. Now you have your own Violin to play!” Grandpa Grasshopper said and gently stroked Young Grasshopper on the head.
“But I can’t play like you!” exclaimed Young Grasshopper.
Grandpa Grasshopper nodded knowingly and said, “It isn’t necessary. Everyone has their own Song to play.”
“If everyone has his own Song,” asked Young Grasshopper, “why do our neighbors listen to you every evening?”
“To remind them of theirs . . .” responded Grandpa Grasshopper, gently strumming the strings of the little green Violin.
Puzzled, Young Grasshopper thought for a while and then asked, shaking his head, “What do you mean?”
“Everyone has their own Song in their heart, but sometimes this Song is so quiet.” Grandpa Grasshopper said.
“Does your Violin help them hear their heart’s Song?!” Young Grasshopper exclaimed with growing excitement.
“I hope so!” Grandpa Grasshopper said with a smile.
“Are all Songs from the heart the same?” Young Grasshopper asked.
“No, all Songs are different!” Grandpa Grasshopper answered.
Young Grasshopper was silent for a while. Then he carefully touched the Violin and timidly asked, “Grandpa . . . What will my Song be?”
“About what your heart sings.” Grandpa Grasshopper answered with
a smile and hugged Young Grasshopper.
Young Grasshopper thought for a moment, then sighed and said, “No! I can’t . . . I don’t know what to play!”
Grandpa Grasshopper thoughtfully stroked the little green Violin, smiled encouragingly, and said, “Just remember, you have a Violin!”
Young Grasshopper carefully took the Violin, thanked his Grandpa, and jumped away. The little green Violin made him happy, but he did not know any melodies. So, he just wrapped up the Violin in soft moss, hid it under the Christmas tree, and hurried away to play in the meadow . . .
There were no familiar Violin sounds in the meadow. The neighbors, accustomed to its wonderful music, missed it and asked each other every evening when the Violin would play again.
Everything has its right time . . .
One day, Young Grasshopper looked around and saw what he had not noticed before. How beautifully the new day began!
In the meadow, colorful flowers draped their soft petals towards the caring bright Sun. Drops of dew glittered on the grass, like diamonds. Even the gray clouds gathering over the hill were not menacing and angry but looked like fluffy grey mice. Young Grasshopper jumped up, threw his thin long legs up high, and laughed, marveling to himself, “How did I not notice such amazing beauty before?!”
Young Grasshopper anxiously waited for the Sun to set, occasionally glancing at the little green Violin lying beside him. Wrapped in soft moss, this amazing Violin had waited a long time under the Christmas tree, and finally, it was needed . . . Evening came and changed the colors from blue to dark blue. The stars leisurely appeared one by one. A light breeze brought a soft fresh fragrance. All became quiet . . .
Young Grasshopper took hold of the little Violin. Carefully he touched the strings with his bow—once, twice . . . and his Song called throughout the meadow.
Young Grasshopper played!
Life sounded in his wonderful Song: the fragrance of flowers, the warmth of the Sun, the sound of rain, the whisper of the Wind.
Young Grasshopper continued to play . . .
The sounds merged and rushed into the evening’s moist air! Each heart sings a Song when the time is right. Out of the little green Violin, enchanting sounds flew into the boundless concert hall that is our Earth. There were piercingly high, then mysteriously low, and swept into the heights, singing about what lived in his heart. Young Grasshopper’s Song pleased, excited, and filled everything all around . . .
He finished playing, looked around, and was surprised that all the neighbors had gathered in the meadow!
“We thought that we would never hear that Violin again, but it is singing!” a neighbor spoke gladly into the silence.
“This was my Grandpa’s Song.” Young Grasshopper responded quietly.
“He sang it differently. It is your Song! Thank you!” said the neighbor.
It was quiet. The inspiration of one had been passed on to others . . .
The neighbors gradually went to their homes, carefully keeping in their hearts the melody they had heard. And with it, everyone felt in the depths of their hearts, their own Song.
Young Grasshopper sat on the tip of a blade of grass, gently pressing his little Violin to his chest while looking up at the starry Sky . . .
Chamomile carefully spread her petals, sighed, and guessed again.
“Loves me–loves me not . . . Loves me–loves me not . . . loves me not. Oh! Nobody loves me! No matter how much I try!” Chamomile said sadly, bending her last petal . . .
She thought for a while and added stubbornly, “I’m trying again!”
As soon as she whispered the words of eternal divination, she heard a mocking giggle. Chamomile stopped and carefully looked around. Under the fence, her neighbor Nettle was comfortably situated.
Nettle was not friends with anyone, and the inhabitants of the vegetable garden knew from personal experience: it was better not to touch her!
“So, you’re starting again?” Nettle asked Chamomile sarcastically.
Chamomile lowered her head and murmured sadly, “You are lucky. Your flowers are small.”
“What do you mean?!” Nettle asked with surprise.
“There is no need to guess about Love.”
“Huh?! Why do we need to guess about Love!”
“It’s sad if no one loves you.”
Nettle looked at herself and chuckled arrogantly, “I don’t need it. I love myself. That’s what’s most important!”
“If you know someone needs you, it’s easier to live in our World,” Chamomile said thoughtfully.
Nettle leaned over to Chamomile and asked softly, “If no one loves you, maybe you can give me some of your space?”
“How can it be?” Chamomile was confused.
Nettle leaned over to her again and explained, “Well. If no one needs you, then why take up so much . . .”
She did not have time to say the last word as a kind voice emerged from somewhere. “I love you all! I need you all!” Chamomile raised her head and looked around, but saw no one.
Nettle, looking back fearfully, edged a little further from Chamomile. “Er, that’s right . . . just asking . . . I don’t need anything!”
“Nothing?!” Raspberries, living nearby Nettles, exclaimed in outrage and continued indignantly. “And who is always stinging?!”
“Come on! I only touched you once, accidentally,” snapped Nettle.
“Hey, guys! Did you hear that?! Nettles—and ‘accidentally’!” a chorus of vegetable garden inhabitants complained loudly.
The big yellow Squash, who was still calmly basking in the Sun, turned and gently asked, “Dear me, please, a little quieter!” Nobody listened! The plants looked for who, when, and to who had been offended. There was such a noise that Chamomile did not know where to hide her head. No one remembered how it had all started! The quarrel grew like a big dark cloud. It seemed that a little bit more and a thunderstorm would erupt.
“I love you very much! I need you all!” the voice again emerged from above . . .
These quiet, kind words spread peace and tranquility to the garden. The plants stopped quarreling and looked around. All the same familiar faces. Whose voice had addressed them?
It sounded again, quiet and affectionate: “You are all my children. How can I not love you?”
Squash, not understanding where these beautiful words came from, clarified, “You love everyone. Really?”
“Everyone!” the voice answered.
“Excuse me, . . . even Nettles?” Raspberry asked in a whisper, looking around in surprise.
“What?! What about me? You’re clinging to me again!” exclaimed Nettles.
Whispering, while looking around and not yet understanding who needed them all, the plants again listed their grievances. Seeing this, Squash said firmly, “Don’t quarrel! Quiet!”
In the unexpected silence, everyone heard the gentle voice of Chamomile. “Loves me–Loves me not . . . Loves! Love!” she repeated joyfully. Spreading her whitish petals and closing her eyes, Chamomile smiled happily and pulled her bright yellow head towards the blue Sky.
She opened her face to the gentle sunny rays and whispered gratefully, “Thank you, Sun!”
“What is she saying?” Nettles asked Squash in surprise.
“What? Thanking the Sun for loving us all!” Squash answered Nettles and carefully rolled as far away from her as possible.
It now became clear to everyone where the tender words had come from.
“Sun!” Sun loves us all! Without his love, as without Water, Land, and Sky, we would not live!” exclaimed Raspberry.
“Yes! Yes!” All the plants supported her in unison, excitedly jiggling their leaves.
Only Nettle was unconvinced, “Humph! Who needs this love! I can live without it!”
“Everyone needs it!” Raspberry replied firmly.
Sun, with his warm rays, gently stroked Nettle’s prickly leaves, which were belligerently sticking out in all directions.
“Oh. What am I? I don’t . . .” she whispered, and suddenly exclaimed admiringly, “Look how beautiful our Chamomile is!”
Everyone looked at Chamomile . . . How beautiful she was!
Her white lace head shone in the bright blue Sky. Like gentle sails of celestial ships gathered in a boundless ocean sailing across our great World.
Chamomile looked at the Sky and was grateful for those who did not care how many petals you have, what color they are, what size are your leaves, or if you have thorns or not.
Chamomile thanked those who loved her for just being on Earth . . .
It became quiet in the garden . . .
The inhabitants were grateful for the sincere love of One to All . . .
Each in its own way, not paying attention to the outside.
If you love sincerely, giving the light of your heart from each cell, does it matter where you are or how loud are your words? If you share from your heart, can anything stop it?
Little Fluffy Cloud was cleaning the Sky as she always did.
Today, she looked at the early morning smudges that required her attention, and grumbled, “The Sky is so big but I am so small! How can I clean it? This job is so hard for me!” She stopped for a minute, looked around, and thought, “Maybe Wind can help me.” But Wind was nowhere to be found. Feeling sorry for herself, Little Fluffy Cloud sighed and started to work again—slowly.
Sun woke up, saw Little Fluffy Cloud, and said cheerfully, “Good morning!”
“Maybe for some the morning is good, but for others, it isn’t!” Little Fluffy Cloud answered and began to clean the Sky so forcefully—it was a wonder, that a hole did not appear.
“Is it so hard to clean our Sky?” Sun asked, smiling.
“Yes! Because the Sky is so big and I’m so small!” Little Fluffy Cloud muttered.
“When you don’t think about it, everything will be done easily.” Sun smiled and spread her warm rays more brightly in the morning Sky.
“It would be better if someone helped me!” complained Little Fluffy Cloud, looking around.
Sun rose higher into the Sky and said, “When you are waiting for help, resentment will come if someone is late, or does not appear.
“It’s hard . . . There is a lot of work!” sighed Cloud.
“Are you tired?” Sun asked, and gently stroked Little Fluffy Cloud with warm rays.
“Not really . . . But still, the Sky is so big, and I’m so small! I’m wasting my time, losing my fluffy strands!” Little Fluffy Cloud mumbled stubbornly.
“You’re on again . . . Look at me—I don’t regret my rays; I just share my light with everyone every day! Sun smiled and continued, “What you do sincerely, and with generosity, always gives joy and will be good for everyone. Look how clean and beautiful our Sky has become!”
Little Fluffy Cloud glanced sideways at the Sun, puffed up, and sprayed her rain at him!
Her droplets sprinkled all over the Sky! Sun laughed merrily. Each drop mirrored Sun’s smile . . .
Small shiny drops fell to Earth creating a miracle bridge! A rainbow bridge between Sky and Earth!
All the colors of the World were woven into it with magic ribbons of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, blue, purple . . . Little Fluffy Cloud looked around in delight and no longer grumbled. How can you grumble when you see such beauty? She showered with light rain and rejoiced, together with Sun, as the rainbow drops carry to Earth colorful gifts from the Sky . . .
Paper lay on the table and sighed, looking at herself with pleasure from all sides. “Oh, I’m so beautiful, I’m so white!” she said.
Next to Paper lay a new box. Paper saw the box and thought in surprise, “Hmm, what is this? Yesterday there was nothing near me!”
In this new box live Colors and Brush. Brush is very quiet, but Colors are actively curious. Colors begin to jump in the box.
“Oh, what are you doing?!” Brush quietly exclaimed.
“We want to see what’s out there!” Colors answered and began to jump even higher. The box opened, and Colors peeked out. “Wow . . . It’s so beautiful! I want to draw it so much!” Colors shouted in glee and again started to bounce up and down excitedly.
“Oh-oh, be careful,” Brush whispered.
“Why?” Colors asked indignantly.
“Oh-oh, I think you’re being too loud,” Brush said shyly.
Colors wanted to say something but noticed that Paper was next to them on the table. Colors greeted her, saying, “Hello! You have so many beautiful white sheets! It’s inspiring! We can draw on your sheets with our bright colors!”
Paper looked at Colors and snorted, “What?! Draw on my beautiful white sheets?! I won’t give you even one of my sheets! Never!”
“Why not?” asked Colors in confusion.
“Because I’m so beautiful as I am! I always want to be white!” Paper said proudly. She shuffled away from the box where Colors and Brush lived. Pausing, she added, “Definitely not! I want to stay pure and white!”
“We’re sorry,” said Colors sadly. They looked around again, sighed, and hid back in their box.
Brush saw that Colors had returned to their box and that they were sad.
“Why are you so sad?” Brush asked with concern.
“Oh!” Colors sighed and said, “We looked around, and saw colorful beauty and wanted to paint it on our neighbor, Paper. But she said: ‘No! I always want to be white.’” Colors sighed again and grumbled, “Hmm! What is so great about being white? It’s so boring!”
“No colors? Nothing to see? Just blank white sheets!?” Brush exclaimed with surprise. Brush paused, sighed, and added sympathetically, “You know . . . I also like drawing with you. You’re right, it’s sad!”
Paper was listening and heard the whole conversation. Indignantly she said, “What are you saying? It’s much better to be white than to have the ugly spots that you want to smear on my wonderful leaves!” Paper moved away from the box with Colors and Brush in a huff.
Brush heard Paper’s words, carefully leaned out of the box, and spoke apologetically, “Hello, dear Paper! I’m sorry, they are not ugly spots! They are beautiful because . . .”
Paper cut Brush off, retorting loudly, “What?! There is nothing more beautiful than my white sheets!”
Brush, scared by Paper’s outburst, falls back into the box. However, Colors stood their ground, and looking out from the box said, “You’re wrong, dear Paper! Let me tell you . . .” But Paper shouted so loudly about her beautiful white sheets, that she could hear only herself! Voices continued to escalate . . .
At that moment, Sunny Ray peered through the window and asked with
a smile, “Good afternoon! What’s going on here? Why is everyone so agitated?”
“Good day!” Colors answered and sighed sadly.
“Good afternoon to you!” Paper angrily responded. She moved to the edge of the table and continued to grumble, “Colorful World . . . No! I only love my white sheets!”
Sunny Ray paused, then asked Paper, “What color is your favorite?”
“What kind of a question is that?” Paper exclaimed. “White, of course!”
Colors, looking out of the box said, “Sorry, but other colors are also beautiful. What about red, yellow, and blue . . . and green!”
“If . . .” started Brush, timidly peeking out of the box.
“No, white is the best!” Paper declared stubbornly. She looked at herself and added, “Only white! I am so beautiful just as I am!”
“Everyone has their favorite color,” Sunny Ray said thoughtfully. After pausing for a moment, he added, “Look around. Our World is very colorful and beautiful! Each color is an amazing gift from Nature.”
Paper turned and said in frustration, “What do you mean? What is this gift? Where is this gift?”
Colors and Brush were also surprised and asked in unison, “Excuse me, but how can color be a gift?”
Sunny Ray smiled and said, “Look through the window! Do you see the flowers? What color are they?”
“Red!” Colors responded excitedly.
“There’s your first gift!” Sunny Ray said with a smile.
Paper continued to grumble, “Thank you for the gift, but white is better!”
Sunny Ray smiled and went on, “Look there! What color are the oranges in the basket beside you?”
“Orange!” Colors answered. “Orange is such a cheerful and bright color!”
“Of course!” Sunny Ray exclaimed and beamed rays of light over the table. It was so beautiful that Paper, Colors, and Brush all suddenly burst out laughing
Sunny Ray went on. “We can always learn something new! And when we learn something new, it’s wonderful!”
Brush said thoughtfully, “Hmm . . . Yes, we have learned something new.”
Mumbling, Paper continued to hold out, and grudgingly said, “Yes, but white is still the best color!”
Sunny Ray smiling, responded, “Each color has its own beauty. Look! There is pink, crimson, and many other shades of red. All colors make our World amazingly beautiful!”
“Yes, but my color is the best!” Paper muttered.
Sunny Ray smiled and said, “You have a wonderful color! But would you like it if everything were white? What if we had a white Sky, a white Sun, white grass, white river, white butterflies, and white flowers?”
“Oh, I don’t know . . . Probably not,” admitted Paper. She was silent, rustling her white sheets for a long time, sighed, and added, “You know . . . I do like dandelions! I really enjoy how they look . . . First, dandelions are yellow, then they became white like me!”
“I also like dandelions! Especially drawing them on . . . oops! Sorry!” Brush shouted excitedly, before ducking back into the box.
Paper smiled and said, “Yes, dandelions are always beautiful. When they are yellow, they look just like the Sun.”
Popping out of the box, Brush agreed joyfully, “Yes, yes!”
“We also have yellow!” Colors said with pride and showed their yellow paint.
“Yellow is like the sun that gives everyone light, warmth, and joy.” Sunny Ray said and stroked Paper gently.
“Mmm . . . Thank you!” Paper whispered softly.
“You’re welcome!” responded Sunny Ray. He settled on the edge of the table and asked everyone, “Do you like the color blue?”
“Of course! Blue is beautiful, just like the Sky!” Colors exclaimed enthusiastically and added, “The bluebells near the fence are the same sky blue.”
“And the butterfly flying outside in the garden had blue wings. I saw it through the window yesterday,” Paper said fondly. Paper was not angry anymore. She was eagerly looking out the window.
“Oh, wait. What about green?” Brush asked, then added quietly, “I love the color green!”
“Of course!” laughed Sunny Ray. “Look! Grass, leaves, trees with all their amazing shades of green!”
“Yes! They are so beautiful! Oh, I want to paint them!” Brush said enthusiastically and peeked over at Paper.
Paper lay quietly on the table, not even moving her sheets. She said softly, “I love to watch the sunset! Most evenings, I see it through the window.” Paper sighed and added, “One color is so special. But it must be so difficult to find . . .”
“It’s easy! When we blend red and blue, we create purple!” Colors answered excitedly. Sunny Ray smiled affectionately and said to Paper, “There’s another color for you!” He looked out the window and added, “Evening will be here soon and you will see that dusky purple.”
Everyone fell silent . . . Suddenly, Paper moved toward the box with Colors and Brush. She unfolded her white sheets and said resolutely, “Okay, you can paint your colored spots on my sheets.”
Protesting, Brush looked at Paper and said, “Excuse me, it’s not just spots.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you,” Paper said apologetically. “I’ll be happy if you create a colorful painting on my sheets!”
Sunny Ray smiled warmly and said, “It’s wonderful! Together, all of you will create a beautiful painting!” He looked up at the Sky and added, “Sunset will be soon. Sorry, but I must fly. Goodbye!” Sunny Ray rose higher, ran across the table, then along the walls of the room, and paused for a moment before disappearing.
Now Paper, Colors, and Brush are good friends, and beautiful paintings appear. Paper is proud of these paintings on her white sheets. Why? Because they show our wonderfully colorful World, where we all live together . . .
Dandelion dreamed of flying!
He wanted so much to soar high in the Sky, like a bird. He wanted to travel all over, looking down at our beautiful Earth.
“Bird told me that our Earth is really big and beautiful. I’ll be so happy when I can fly and can see it for myself!” he thought.
Every day, Dandelion woke up, straightened out his green leaves, and stretched his bright yellow flower-head to the Sky.
“When I grow up, I’ll climb high in the Sky and fly like a bird!” thought Dandelion. He didn’t know how, he just really wanted to fly . . .
As usual, Dandelion woke up early, so early that his neighbors, Bluebell and Chamomile were still asleep. As usual, Dandelion straightened out his green leaves and raised his bright yellow head.
“Just a little while longer, and I will fly!” he whispered to himself.
“Heh-heh, you are so silly!” came laughter close by.
Dandelion looked around and saw another neighbor, Big Toad.
“Good morning!” Dandelion said cheerfully, then asked, puzzled, “Excuse me, why am I silly?”
“Good morning to you!” Toad answered and laughing derisively said, “Heh-heh, because it’s very foolish!”
“Excuse me, but why is it foolish?” asked Dandelion politely.
“Because your roots are growing in the ground, so you can never fly! It’s really very foolish to believe otherwise! Heh-heh!” Big Toad laughed at him again.
She looked at Dandelion with her big bulging eyes, then at the Sky before asking, baffled, “Hey, anyway! Why do you want to fly? Why?!”
Joyfully Dandelion cried out, “Oh! Because when I fly, I’ll travel to different places and I’ll see our beautiful Earth!” And then he added, with pride, “It’s my dream!”
“What? Dream?!” Big Toad exclaimed with amusement.
“Yes. It’s my dream . . .” Dandelion answered in confusion.
“That’s a silly dream! It’s impossible! Heh-heh . . . You’re only a dandelion; you’ll never be a bird! Ha, just look at yourself!” Big Toad said mockingly. “You’re so long and thin! You’d be better off hiding your head in the grass!” Big Toad laughed again, “Heh-heh!”
“Excuse me . . . but why do I need to hide in the grass?!” Dandelion asked in surprise.
Big Toad looked scornfully at Dandelion with her bulging eyes and said, “You’re really silly. Because Wind will blow and break you! Look at yourself! You’ve become quite long and thin! Heh-heh!” Looking up, Big Toad said, “The Sun has risen high, it’s getting too hot, and I don’t like the heat!” She heavily hopped over to a nearby stone, and hid in its shadow, away from the warm sunlight.
Dandelion lowered his yellow flower-head and sighed sadly. “Oh, yesterday Red Fox laughed at my dream too. Now Big Toad is saying I’m silly.” Then, he looked up at the sky and saw birds and whispered wistfully, “But how wonderful it would be to fly like them!” And he again began to stretch to the Sky with all his might. His bright yellow flower-head rose even higher over the green grass.
“Hey, good morning to you!” said the beautiful friendly Butterfly, as she flew to the meadow, collecting pollen from the flowers. Alighting on Dandelion’s flower-head she said, “You are very bright and look just like the Sun!”
“Good morning!” Dandelion responded and added. “Thank you for your kind words! I really love the Sun and want to fly up into the Sky!”
“Oh!” Butterfly exclaimed, then asked, “Why do you want to fly up into the Sky?”
“It’s my dream! I want to climb high in the Sky like a bird and travel all over our beautiful Earth!” Dandelion said quietly. He sighed and added, “But Big
Toad and Red Fox laugh at me. They say that I’m silly.”
“Why do they think that you’re silly?” Butterfly asked.
“Because they said that I will never be able to fly. And also, that I am so thin and the wind will break me,” Dandelion sighed.
“Why are you worried about what Big Toad and Red Fox said?” Butterfly asked in surprise.
“What do you mean?” Dandelion asked uncertainly.
“It’s your dream! Why worry what someone else thinks about your dream?!” Butterfly said and then asked, “Do you believe in your dream?”
“I don’t know,” Dandelion answered quietly and sighed. “Today, Big Toad said that I will never be able to fly because I’m growing in the ground. Yesterday, Red Fox . . .”
“Wait! Look at me! I used to be a caterpillar and caterpillars don’t fly!” exclaimed Butterfly.
“Wow, that can’t be!” Dandelion cried out in surprise.
“Yes, it can be!” Butterfly said and, saying farewell, she added, “If you believe in your dreams, they will definitely come true. Good luck!” With that, she continued on her way collecting pollen from the flowers.
Time passes from one day to the next . . .
Sunlight gently caresses Dandelion, giving him warmth and light. Dandelion believes in his dream. Every morning, he straightens his green leaves and continues stretching his yellow head to the Sky.
His neighbors Bluebell and Chamomile also enjoy the warmth and light of the Sun. Dandelion does all that he can and feels that with a little more time he will rise to the Sky and fly like a bird. He often recalls the words of Butterfly saying, “If you believe in your dreams, they will come true.”
On this day, the first rays of the Sun woke the birds. Their marvelous voices rang everywhere, proclaiming a new day.
“Good morning!” Dandelion greeted his neighbors. As usual, he nodded to them with his flower-head, straightened out his green leaves, and again stretched up to the Sky . . . But . . . today he felt different, something had happened to him while he was sleeping! He couldn’t quite tell what it was.
Dandelion swayed his head from side to side. Maybe . . . yes, his head felt lighter!
“Oh, look! Dandelion, you’ve become a cloud!” he heard Bluebell’s delighted whisper.
“Оoh! Yes, it’s amazing!” Chamomile agreed excitedly.
“Good morning, excuse me, what do you mean?” Dandelion asked, embarrassed by his neighbors while again shaking his head from side to side.
“Your yellow flower-head has become white and fluffy!” Bluebell exclaimed and added, “Good morning! Dandelion-White Cloud!”
Chamomile agreed, “Good morning, you really do look like a cloud!” Looking around Chamomile asked, “I wonder, how did your yellow flower-head turn into a white fluffy cloud head! How did this happen?”
“I don’t know,” Dandelion answered in confusion, “What are you talking about?”
Big Toad leaned out from behind the stone. “Heh-heh! What are you talking about? I don’t know!” she mimicked Dandelion. Then she laughed and added, “I know! And I’ve told you so many times that your dream is silly!”
“Why is his dream silly?” Bluebell and Chamomile asked together in surprise.
“Because he wants to fly!” Big Toad replied tartly. “But he will never be able to because he isn’t a bird! And he has to be careful because . . .”
“But this is his dream!” Bluebell exclaimed and added kindly, “And his dream is so beautiful.”
“It’s so wonderful when you have a dream!” Chamomile supported him enthusiastically.
“All dreams are foolishness!” Big Toad grunted and, rolling heavily from side to side, again climbed to her favorite place behind the stone.
She wasn’t mean, she just didn’t understand how wonderful it is to have a dream. Big Toad stopped and wanted to say something else, but she didn’t have time to say something . . . Wind came and blew on Dandelion’s white fluffy flower-head! An uncountable number of small seeds from his white fluffy flower-head rose to the Sky! Each small seed had its own amazing small wings! Dandelion’s dream had come true . . .
His seeds set off on a long journey through our beautiful Earth. And every seed had the most valuable treasure, the continuation of life on Earth. Wind blew again and again. Like birds, Dandelion’s seeds climbed higher and higher in the Sky. So that far away, after a long journey, every seed will settle down to our beautiful Earth and become a new dandelion . . .
Time passes from one day to the next . . .
“It’s time to go!” Wind said, and carefully began to send each small Dandelion’s fluffy parachute-seed to the Earth. The fluffy parachute-seeds joyfully called out to each other and descended onto the Earth one by one. Wind left each one where each one was needed . . .
“Now it’s time for me!” the next Fluffy Parachute-Seed said and flew like a small silver star to where, what was called one great Word, “Life”, was waiting for him. Fluffy Parachute-Seed landed on the ground and looked around . . . “It is very noisy here!” he thought.
Bees buzzed, collecting pollen from the flowers. Bluebells discussed the latest news. Grasshoppers hurried somewhere jumping over each other. A ground beetle dragged a large piece of food by herself and moaned loudly about how hard it was to find food for the poor ground beetles. A lizard warmed its sides in the Sun and watched the butterfly, which sat on a blade of grass and sang, carelessly examining itself in a mirrored drop of dew.
After the silence of the spacious blue Sky and fluffy white clouds, it was unusual and funny to see and hear all of these cares.
Fluffy Parachute-Seed was about to fly further when he heard very close by, “Hey! Fluffy guy!” He looked around and saw a big fat toad.
“Who are you?” Toad asked in surprise and, heavily waddling, moved closer.
“I? I am Dandelion!” Fluffy Parachute-Seed said proudly, thought a little bit, and added, “I can fly!”
If you believe in yourself, and follow your dreams, they will come true . . .
Old Apple Tree rejoiced the next morning . . .
She did not count how many there would be. She knew that she had very little left, but this feeling did not give her last days a sad tone.
“All mine,” she replied to Gray Crow, who asked about it in the Winter. Crow sat down on a branch and brazenly asked how much she, Old Apple Tree, still thinks about standing and whether will she be able to bloom this year.
There had been almost no apples on her in recent years, so Old Apple Tree did not hold a grudge against Grey Crow. She understood that it would not be long. Some of her branches were withered and her trunk, long torn by severe winter frosts, leaned to the ground.
Spring came in cold, with rains and frosts. The real heat came very late. Her younger neighbors, some from overseas and very valuable varieties, did not even bloom.
Late in the evening, Old Master approached her. “You are getting old, just like me.” He kindly stroked her bark with wrinkled hands and slowly went into the house.
Old Apple Tree and Old Master were the same age, as far back as they could remember, they had grown up with each other.
The children loved them so much. They enjoyed Old Apple Tree’s delicious juicy apples, and because she was good to sit on, dangling their legs . . . O-oo, how many children’s secrets she knew!
Children loved Old Master’s toys, which no one created better than he . . .
When the first truly warm days began, Old Apple Tree gathered all her last strength and blossomed, feeling the fragrant spring air! Each bud from the still-living branches helped her, adorning Old Apple Tree with white-white blooms. The flowers covered the blackened branches with a magnificent veil, and Old Apple Tree, just as in its youth, easily swayed them.
“The apple tree, Old Apple Tree has blossomed!” chattered the children.
Old Master was not surprised, he stroked her trunk and said thoughtfully, “You want to go, Belle . . .”
Old Master had been living alone for a long time, but he was not alone. Is it possible to be lonely if kindness and love live in the heart? That is probably, why children so loved his toys. Small and made of clay, the toys were always different from each other not only in appearance and colors but also in sounds. Toys made by Old Master sang. The sounds were so beautiful, like singing spring birds, river water, bumblebees in the meadow, and whispering tree leaves.
Children and even adults sometimes brought the small lump of clay to their lips and a song poured out into the air. Everyone sang with their own, so the sounds were different. Some were bright, happy, strong; others soulfully poignant, and sad.
How glowing were the faces of those who sang along with the toy! They talked to each other and shared joy, like a spring stream happy to quench the thirst.
Lately, Old Master made a lot of toys and, without regrets, sincerely gave them to people. Those who share the warmth of their hearts with others do not feel sorry for giving away their works.
His heart was a little tired of the lived years, and more and more was reminded of it, but Old Master was not worried. “Everything has its own time.”
Old Apple Tree was blooming, and she knew for the last time . . . she would give delicious pink apples to Old Master and everyone who came to her.
Apples with fading red stripes on the sides carried a special aroma and taste. Nobody knew what kind it was—there was no such variety in the whole neighborhood.
For so many years, Old Apple Tree shared the wealth she had in the Autumn, even as it was becoming more and more difficult for her.
This year she was losing all her strength and did not regret it.
“It would be better if you were to grow up just for yourself with joy, for your pleasure, and you would live longer,” said Gray Crow, looking at her dissatisfied.
“Why do you give someone else the last one?” she asked Old Apple Tree, perched on a branch. Old Apple Tree didn’t know what to answer: to do otherwise, she couldn’t.
Everything you give sincerely carries love and awakens feelings with which the one who considered himself weak becomes stronger. Gray acquires color when you understand that next to everyday worries and difficulties, there is the greater joy of life . . .
When you see in others’ eyes the light of happiness, is it possible to feel sorry for the warmth of your heart? Old Master did not regret it. Even knowing it was the last.
Summer had given way to the autumn days. Wandering birds stretched into the Sky like thin ribbons. The Sun covered the neighborhood with its gilding that shone, surprising with its richness of colors. Light cobwebs were flying in the air. Silence, and only occasionally the crystal cries of cranes were heard.
Old Apple Tree sighed, looked at her still-living branches, and smiled . . .
Pink, fragrant apples hung on them. How many there were! Nobody could remember such majesty. But everyone understood: this was something special. Even the children waited for the apples to ripen and did not pluck them earlier so that later, at a certain time, they could carefully hold in their palms the amazing miracle of inspiration.
Old Master had finished his last toy—a gift. The toy finished quickly and somehow was especially beautiful. It always happens when there is beauty living in the heart. Old Master will give it to the little boy with a bell voice who ran to him yesterday . . .
He sighed, “A little rest would be nice!” He went to Old Apple Tree, sat down, and leaned against her back.
Old Master and Old Apple Tree were together.
How much did they have left?
They did not count the time, did not think about what will happen tomorrow or whether tomorrow will be at all . . . They watched the Sun drop down and were amazed at this miracle all over again . . .
White Cloud looked in her pocket and saw the last Little Snowflake there . . .
“How didn’t I notice you?” White Cloud asked in surprise. The pocket was big . . . Last Little Snowflake was sitting quietly in the corner and not moving. White Cloud looked down at the Earth and asked, “Why are you hiding here? Your friends—other little snowflakes flew down there a while ago! And you’re in no hurry . . . Why?”
Little Snowflake clung to White Cloud’s soft fluffy pocket and said quietly, “I don’t want to! I’m fine here! With you.”
White Cloud swayed in the Sky, ” Everyone begins their journey someday . . . It’s time for you.”
“I don’t know, what is my journey?”
“If you do good deeds, your journey will be good.”
“I’m very small! Can I do good deeds?”, Little Snowflake asked, looking around uncertainly.
“You can! From small deeds, large deeds come. It is important to do them sincerely!” White Cloud smiled, carefully raising the last Little Snowflake up in her pocket. “Look!”
Little Snowflake looked down on the Earth far below and saw all her little friends, the many small snowflakes. They were circling in an enchanting dance, slowly floating down to Earth. They were so wonderful! They looked similar and, at the same time, so different. Each snowflake had its own unique, elegant pattern and shape. Snowflakes sparkled beautifully in the Sun quietly descending to Earth. Creating a large white blanket, they were gently covering all corners, to protect every living being from the winter’s frost.
“And what will happen next?” asked Little Snowflake, looking up at White Cloud, then down to the Earth, which was becoming completely white.
“Our Earth will become stronger: resting in Winter, waking up in Spring, and will give everyone the joy of Life.”
“And where will we snowflakes be?” Little Snowflake asked looking out from White Cloud’s soft fluffy pocket.
“You will return to me as drops of water, and after a time, will be wonderful snowflakes again!”
“Will it always be so?” Little Snowflake asked in a delighted whisper.
“Yes, always!” White Cloud replied.
Little Snowflake sat still for a little, clinging to the edge of White Cloud’s soft fluffy pocket, and then jumped and flew away . . . A little sparkling beauty was circling in the cold winter air. Catching up with her friends, she slowly floated down, to support our Earth to be stronger . . .
Forest lived on Earth. How old he was, Forest could not remember. None of his inhabitants even knew: it all happened such a long time ago. Forest himself never thought about it; he just lived.
Forest loved the Sun. He felt at peace and warm, happily stretching his arms–branches. Forest thanked the Sun for being on Earth. The Sun loved Forest and greeted him every day, touching him with warm sunrays.
Forest lived in a cycle of time. Outside there were the singing voices of birds, waking up to Spring. Breathing the aroma of flowers and honey in Summer. He sincerely gave away all his treasures in the Autumn, then weary, rested for the Winter. Winter covered him with a soft white blanket, and Forest fell asleep to wake up at some point continuing the harmonious cycle: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.
Little Fluffy Cloud was recently born. She was childishly mischievous, even a little naughty. Little Fluffy Cloud was curious about everything going on around. And she loved to run across the Sky in a race with Light Wind. Her grandmother, Old Heavy Cloud, looking at them, was not angry but muttered occasionally, “Ooh! There is no stopping you!”
Little Fluffy Cloud ran across the Sky too much and got tired. So, she leaned up against Big Pine Tree growing on a hill and decided to rest.
Forest noticed Little Fluffy Cloud in the morning. The naughty little girl slept sweetly on Big Pine’s crown. Forest smiled when he saw how tenderly Big Pine had covered the fluffy traveler from the cool of the night. He sprinkled drops of dew on both and they woke up.
“Why are you bothering us?” asked Little Fluffy Cloud grumpily.
“The day has begun; time to wake up!” laughed Forest.
At first, little Fluffy Cloud hid under the branch, but then came forward, settled upstairs, and said, “It’s been three days since I was born!”
She looked around and asked curiously, “And when were you born? When is your Birthday?”
Forest was confused, “I don’t know. I don’t have one . . .”
“How can it be?” asked Little Fluffy Cloud to Big Pine.
She lowered her branches shyly and sighed, “Nobody knows. It was a long time ago . . .”
“You need to know your Birthday!” Little Fluffy Cloud spoke decisively.
The new day began, and the Sun rose to work again: cherishing, combing, hugging, and warming.
Dried, Little Fluffy Cloud called out to Light Wind. They whispered about something, and he quickly disappeared as if he had never been there.
Little Fluffy Cloud rose into the Sky above, and announced loudly, “Do you know that today is our Forest’s Birthday?”
The announcement was so unexpected that everywhere became quiet. It was the first time Forest’s inhabitants had thought about the birth of someone who always had been a reliable friend.
“Do I have a Birthday?” Forest whispered in surprise.
“You have!” Little Fluffy Cloud laughed.
Light Wind appeared in the blue Sky, pushing Old Heavy Cloud in front of him. She was grumbling unhappily. Little Fluffy Cloud whispered something to her . . . and Forest felt a warm gentle rain shower down from above! Small sparkling drops of water fell from the Sky and jumped on the green steps of foliage, descending lower and lower to Earth. The Sun laughed, and his smile shone in these drops, cheerfully shimmering in different colors . . .
“Look, look! It is a Rainbow gift to our Forest on his Birthday!” cried out its inhabitants in awe.
“Wonderful! I’ve seen it before, but to give it away on a Birthday! What
a precious gift!” Big Pine said enthusiastically.
She was supported by Light Wind. “What is done sincerely is wholeheartedly most valuable.”
“Thank you for the congratulations, but I’m sorry, I don’t remember . . .
if I have such a day?” Forest smiled modestly.
“It will be now!” replied Old Heavy Cloud, puffing slightly at her weight.
“Everyone should have their own Birthday!” said Little Fluffy Cloud summing up the conversation.
And suddenly, it became clear to everyone: Little Fluffy Cloud was right! The young, childishly naughty Little Fluffy Cloud had said something that was, and will always be, very important. If there is Life in the World, it must have been born someday. Everyone has their Birthday in the World . . .
Birthdays and Life are equally joyful, one cannot exist without the other. It doesn’t matter when or where you were born what is most important is, that it happened!
Starling walked along the path, occasionally looking around. Proudly folding his wings behind his back, throwing forward his long thin legs, he thought about only one thing, “Do I look significant?”
He stumbled upon an earthworm, looked at him, sighed, “Well, I do need to eat something, but . . . ” and went on. At first, the worm was terrified that he would be eaten, but then he came to his senses and, slipping off the path, quickly crawled to hide in the rain-softened soil.
Neighbors–wagtails laughed when they saw what had happened. But Starling turned up his beak and saw no one but himself. Yes, yes! He admired himself more and more, imagining himself from all angles.
Recently he had become more and more worried, “Am I significant enough?” This question troubled him. So, today he walked out on the path and marched on it back and forth, waiting for one of his acquaintances, and perhaps a stranger, to say something nice about him.
“If you raise your head higher and turn your beak to the side, it will be quite good! Er . . . it is a little bit uncomfortable, but no one walks like me!” he thought, stumbling occasionally on pebbles scattered on the path.
Starling reached the tall reeds that grew on the shore of the pond, and then, spinning gracefully on one foot, turned back. He did not count how often this routine was repeated, he just walked while waiting for someone to finally notice him. But no one noticed him.
Everyone was hurrying. “Well, now Ground Beetle will definitely pay attention to me. Look! She is running exactly in my direction. Well! I will raise my beak higher, and I won’t even say ‘Hello!’ If she gets offended, I will say,
‘I don’t have time! I have a lot to do!’” Starling thought and raised his beak even higher.
Ground Beetle did say “Hello”, but she ran somewhere so fast she didn’t notice more. An acquaintance, Crane, was carrying something tasty. He looked at Starling and, saying nothing, flew away. “Well. I also need to eat something.” Starling thought again, sighed, and continued his routine.
“Hey! Not tired yet?” Someone’s question suddenly came from the reeds. Starling stumbled and plopped down on the path. His thin, long legs, with funny knotty knees, ridiculously stretched forward. Starling looked at himself, “Oh! Well, that doesn’t look so significant!” he thought, got up, and raised his beak even higher. Without turning his head, he asked, “Excuse me, did you want to have a conversation with me?”
“What?! Do you want to have a conversation with me?!” Someone mimicked from the thickets. “I have nothing for you! I take care of my kids! But I noticed how many times you’ve been passing by here: forward, then back, and then forward again. I thought you might be lost or something and maybe I could help, but no. So, what are you doing?” Finally, Water Rat’s sharp nose protruded from the reeds.
“Hey! Why are you wasting your time?” he asked with surprise.
Out of the blue, Starling lowered his beak and, blinking his eyes, looked at Water Rat, and did not know what to say. Finally, he turned, showing his back, and responded, “Well, I am thinking of something very significant!”
“What is it?!” Water Rat giggled.
“Well . . . “ Turning, Starling responded but remembered his significance, threw his wings behind his back, turned, and continued forward.
“What is he?” Magpie asked the Water Rat.
“I don’t know . . . something about Significant . . . And you need to know everything!” muttered Water Rat before hiding back in the reeds.
“Ah–ah, everything! I already understand everything!” Magpie said with a confident cracking voice and hurried on, “Well, good . . . goodbye!”
“You didn’t understand anything!” Water Rat grumpily responded from the reeds, but Magpie was now far away.
The Sun filled the day with warmth. Starling, tired of walking on the path back–and–forth, sat down on a birch branch.
“Look, look, Starling!” someone whispered from above. “Magpie said that he is thinking about something very significant!”
Starling listened with pleasure, “Ooh! This is what I have been waiting for! It’s about me!”
Two tomtits were talking to each other above him.
“And what is significant?” Smaller Tomtit asked the larger one.
Big Tomtit was silent for a while, then replied, “Something very significant that everyone needs . . .”
“And me too?”
“I would say so!”
“O–o . . . And . . . this something significant will be enough for everyone?”
Big Tomtit laughed, “Is the Sun, Sky, Water, and Land enough for all of us?”
“That’s enough for all of us! Really? H–mm . . . Are those the most significant things?”
“No. There is still Love.”
“There is enough Love for everyone?” asked Small Tomtit in surprise.
“Yes!” confirmed Big Tomtit.
“Why? How can it be? Everything ends!” Small Tomtit said incredulously.
“Love can’t end because Love can’t be measured. It has no boundaries.” Big Tomtit kindly responded.
The tomtits flew away. Light Wind slightly swayed the branches as if agreeing, “Yes, yes, yes . . .”
Starling sat on the birch branch and thought about his significance. Only now, for him, it was different. Starling remembered how good it was to see the beautiful morning Sky and the Sun from his house! How good it was to fly home and know that someone awaits you there.
“Is life possible without? No!” he thought.
Bright and warm memories came one after another. There were so many that the day would not be long enough to see them all . . . And the more he was reminded, the less important it seemed how he looked. If you see in life not only yourself, you notice what you have all around.
Starling looked at his thin, long legs with funny knotty knees ridiculously stretched forward and smiled, “Strange how much time I lost looking for my significance!”
Magpie sank to the branch beside him. She noisily folded her wings and asked, “Hey! How’s your head?” and without waiting for an answer continued, “Hey, everyone is wondering what is the meaning of the significance that you are thinking about all the time?”
Starling sympathized, “Are you tired of looking at me?”
Magpie bowed her head suspiciously, looking: was he laughing at me? But her curiosity was stronger, so she could not resist and clarified, “Not tired, but . . . What does your significance mean? Have you found it?”
“Yes! I think so!” Starling smiled. “I have found it!”
Magpie shook her head in surprise and asked carefully, “What is it?”
They discussed it for a long time, sometimes agreeing, sometimes differing. The Sun hid behind the tops of the trees, and took with it the light of the day, making the Sky colorful shades of purple.
Starling and Magpie sat on the birch branch and decided for themselves the really important questions to anyone who ever asks themselves in life, “What is most Significant in life?” Light Wind, slightly swaying the branches, listens to them and seems to agree. “Yes, yes, yes . . .”
Curious Piglet was poking his inquisitive nose everywhere . . . His nose was really very inquisitive. Actually, it was difficult to call his nose a “nose”. Button! Yes! Yes! A button, with two small holes! This button-nose always appeared where nobody expected it to be. When it appeared—what else, but along with it, questions, of which Piglet had many.
Perhaps that is why there were never enough answers. Piglet has pestered everyone in the Farmyard with his “What?” and “Why?” But proud Turkey was most of all bothered by curious Piglet. He had long held a grudge toward Piglet.
“Why do you, Mr. Turkey, have a long stocking hanging instead of a nose?!” Piglet had once asked. Since then, everyone in the Farmyard has addressed Turkey only with the name “Long Stocking”.
On this early morning, Piglet could not find the answer to yet another very important question. “Why do I need such a nose?” When he asked Turkey about this, Turkey grinned caustically and replied, “You can find what others do not see.”
“What do you mean?” Piglet asked.
Turkey was silent for a while, then giggling, added, “To find what others do not see, you need to dig deeper. Whoever is capable of this, is the smartest.”
“O-oo! That’s me . . .” Piglet whispered, proudly turning up his inquisitive button-nose. As soon as Piglet heard the word “smart”, somewhere in his stomach, he felt something very sweet. “M-mm . . .” he sighed, remembering when Mrs. Farmer called him the smartest when she brought him food. Piglet sighed again and, in a voice trembling with excitement, asked carefully, “Where should I dig?”
Turkey looked around him, nodding, “Everywhere!”
“Oh . . . How can I dig everywhere?” Piglet was surprised.
“Yes, of course! Everywhere!” Turkey continued very kindly, only his small eyes gleamed spitefully.
Piglet looked around and asked again enthusiastically, “Where is the best place to start?”
Turkey thought a little and responded, “Well. Where everyone is, but where they don’t notice what only you can find!”
“O-oo . . . But what will I find?” Piglet whispered in surprise.
“I don’t know! I don’t have a nose like yours! I have a sock hanging instead of a nose.” Turkey said these words in disgust, but probably not in vain because, after such sincere advice, Piglet was no longer there.
When Mrs. Farmer came out onto the porch, the yard was unrecognizable! Holes dug by Piglet stretched along the yard in orderly paths! What had happened near the fence was difficult to describe! Finally, Mrs. Farmer gasped and sat down on the porch stair with her head in her hands . . .
Piglet saw her out of the corner of his eye. “O-oo! It is she who is delighted with my smartness!” he thought. So, he did not stop working but, on the contrary, dug with even greater zeal, plowing a piece of soft earth with his button-nose right in front of the porch.
Something whistled and Piglet felt a burn where his tail grew from. It wasn’t so much painful as embarrassing. Curious Piglet did not understand why he could not show everyone how smart he was. Look! Really! No one had such a beautiful button-nose as he! He had worked hard and diligently to show his abilities, and there wasn’t even a “thank you”!
Piglet’s tail hung sadly. Finally, he stopped. “If they could just hear me!” He wanted to make something more with his nose but saw Mrs. Farmer’s furious eyes, looked back at his tail, and turned around.
“All in vain! Nobody needs my smart mind!” he thought. He sadly lowered his ears and tail and jumped over his pits as he left the Farmyard.
Turkey looked at Piglet with pleasure, pulled forward his long stocking, and hissed, “Well, it looks like you got a big thanks for your efforts! Right?”
Turkey closed his eyes, expecting to hear a humbled and offended Piglet’s lament, but . . . instead, nothing! Piglet plodded around Turkey, passed the shed, and continued on.
He sat on a mound, closed his wet eyes, and turned up his scratched inquisitive button-nose to catch the warm sunrays. He sat warming himself for a long time . . . and then thought, “H-mm, if I have a nose that is so convenient for digging, he absolutely has to find something interesting and smart. Not for someone’s sweet words or food, but just because it can always find something interesting and for the best. Really . . . otherwise, why do I have it?”
Piglet’s tail still ached a little, but his stomach didn’t feel the sweetness of being smart anymore. The burden of pride had disappeared, and he felt lighter.
Curious Piglet basked in the Sun, then got up and dug. Where? Where it is interesting . . .
Chicken laid an egg! Another one . . .
She looked around expectantly, then sighed—the egg was again plain, not golden. She expected exactly today she would have a golden egg shining over the whole chicken coop, “And now look!” As usual, it was slightly yellowish, with small spots on its sides! Chicken looked into the neighbor’s henroost and again sighed, “Just like the others have! Pff!”
She didn’t want to go to the yard—it was too noisy there. Instead, she sat down in the chicken coop by the small window, closed her eyes, and began to daydream, “When I lay a golden egg, it will be magnificent . . .” She really wanted it, but so far, all in vain. “Ooh, I’ll lay this egg and immediately become famous,” thought Chicken with pleasure, imagining herself in a beautiful chicken coop.
“Not just a chicken coop! It will be a palace! No less! Because the egg will be gold! Only a palace will do! Even the food will pour into my beak—just open up and that’s all. Ooh, this is the life!” Chicken became so obsessed with her own thoughts, that she actually fell asleep. Of course, birds sleep while sitting, and is a Chicken not a bird?
Chicken dreamed Mrs. Farmer had come to her and brought her grain. Not for everyone but just for her, Chicken. This grain is unusual: gold and big! Shining, shimmering so that it hurts to look at it . . .
“Here,” says Mrs. Farmer, “when you have eaten all the grain, you will begin to lay golden eggs. I will take these golden eggs to the farm fair and sell them. After, I will buy you a beautiful cage as a gift. The cell will be a real palace. There will be water in a saucer, with grain that pours into your beak—just open up, and that’s all. There will even be flowers growing in a pot. You will live in it like a real lady!” Chicken rejoiced, cackling as if a dozen such eggs had already been laid in Mrs. Farmer’s basket, and then . . . woke up. She looked around, what was before was the same now: chicken coop and a small window . . . Chicken sighed.
She wanted to go out into the yard, but there was something shining in the corner! Gold! Chicken’s heart pounded. Carefully approaching . . . such an excitement swept over her! Look! Grain! Golden! Big! Lying in the corner! Where did it come from?
Chicken remembered her dream and began to feed. Pecking frantically, as if there were no grains left! Looks around, and again—only her beak flickers! “Oh! Last ones!” taking the last grains up in her beak. Not even a minute has passed, and there was no more. Like it had never been! “Ooh! Done!”
Carefully looking around, she thought, “Hopefully, nobody noticed! Ooh!
I need to go . . . Mrs. Farmer is calling—probably looking for me.”
Chicken went out into the yard and saw all the chickens were also feeding, only their grain was the usual. “No,” she thought, “I won’t touch this grain now and I won’t tell anyone! I will wait until my golden eggs appear!” She puffed up and carefully walked back, waddling heavily.
It wasn’t easy, the grains were big, and she had eaten too much. “If I stumble, I’ll lose them! No-no, I’ve got it. I won’t tell anyone,” she thinks, “I’ll lay eggs like no one else. A palace will be built for me, just like for a real lady!”
“H-mm, Chicken doesn’t seem to want to eat anything,” Mrs. Farmer thought, closely watching Chicken. “Is she sick?”
Chicken, in turn, thought, “O-oo! Mrs. Farmer is waiting for my golden eggs! She is wondering what size they will be, and how well they will sell at the farm fair!”
She waddled heavily in the direction of the chicken coop, “I will sit somewhere in the corner and wait for my time.” Sitting down by the window again, “Maybe I ate a little bit too much. But oh well! How could I leave it for anyone else? Of course not! Let it wait in my beak, then somehow shake it down slowly” she sighed and began to daydream again, “I’ll live in a palace. If the golden eggs are big—let them also build for me a big palace. Yes, yes! Only big! A palace with carpets, and it will be nice if musicians played while I lay my eggs. Of course, the eggs are worth it!”
But Chicken must have really eaten too much. Sitting on the pole was very uncomfortable and she was finding it difficult to breathe. For some reason, the grain stayed up and did not fall down somewhere as usual. Sometimes it was like this: eat a little too much—it happens . . . But somehow it always settled down slowly in her stomach . . . But this—no, it stuck somewhere in the middle, even protruding forward in rough lumps.
“No problem!—It’s nothing!” thought Chicken, “Of course I’m suffering, the grains are golden! Not just anything!” She settled uncomfortably and dozed off. Suddenly she heard a furious howl.
“Ooh! How many days have I been hiding those seeds, and now there are none!” Chicken almost fell down! She clenched the pole with all of her strength and did not move a muscle.
In the same corner where the chicken’s golden grain had gleamed now sat Gray Rat. He was slapping his fat paws on his fat belly in despair and crying, “Oooh-ooh! How much work! How many nights I didn’t sleep! How many beginnings of corn pulled down, crushed, folded, and hidden! I only left for an hour and look! Nothing! How much work, how much work!” Whined Gray Rat, whimpering and clasping his head. Chicken looked down at Gray Rat, and the grain she ate seemed to grow a little bigger ready to spew on Gray Rat from above.
“Poor guy! How miserable he suffers!” she thought, clinging to the pole with greater strength. “Ooh! That’s how it is in life: someone is lucky and another not . . . I will have a palace soon, and someone else has nothing to eat.” She wanted to sympathize with Gray Rat but couldn’t! The grains propped up her beak.
Meanwhile, feeling sorry for himself, Gray Rat lamented, “It’s Autumn now, and Winter is coming soon! How am I . . . ? I will die of hunger!” He howled louder and louder, “And the grain! What amazing corn I collected! Like nuggets of gold!”
As soon as Chicken heard the words, “Like nuggets of gold!”, her not so intelligent head started to think, and then in a moment of clarity, everything fell into place.
With a loud “Ku-da! Ku-da! C-co-corn!” Chicken flew out into the yard and ran! Where?
No one knows . . . But, apparently, out of horror, or shame, the grain got lost on the way.
Chicken ran for a long time. And it became easier . . . Maybe because she did not feel the press of weight from that what was gold and shiny, which she was so sorry to lose. Or maybe, while running around the neighborhood, she began to understand that no beautiful palace could replace the feelings of running in a meadow . . . Even if you just run, and do not fly in the Sky. Even with the remnants of heaviness in her stomach, she is still a bird . . .
Chicken laid another egg . . . As usual, plain, slightly yellowish, with small spots on the sides. Not golden . . . Why did she need that?
In the Spring, tall corn grew, in different places, from the lost grain, surprising Mrs. Farmer: “Where did it come from?”
Yesterday Rooster lost his alarm clock. O-oh! This alarm clock was beautiful: little and graceful, with two shiny wands and a chic hat. O-oh! The alarm clock was always under Rooster’s wing, and now it is gone! O-oh! Actually, Rooster knew well when to wake up and go to sleep.
The inhabitants of the Farmyard respected him for his punctuality. But, of course, there is the value of time for each activity. Rooster would tell everyone this, and that time flies quickly, so you need to save every moment. He determined this by watching how quickly the sparkling wands in the alarm clock’s white circle moved.
Rooster didn’t understand why these wands were needed, but he felt the wands moved quickly with time.
“O-oh! Where is my alarm clock now? Will I be able to count time without it? And what will happen if I can’t?” Rooster looked around the Farmyard in confusion and sighed. “M-mm . . . It was such a spectacular alarm clock! How nice it was when I took it out and watched it! Especially when I tilted my head to the side, observed the movement and white circles with neat spots, and then stretched my neck, closed my eyes, and said, “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” O-oh! It was incomparable!”
So, the alarm clock had disappeared. It was nowhere to be seen! That very morning, Rooster searched around the whole Farmyard, even looking in each chicken’s nest. Vanished! It was so shameful. Losing that biggest of values—time!
In all honesty, that happened yesterday. But since early evening, Rooster had pretended that hadn’t happened. He walked with his right-wing outstretched, as if it were there, as always, and he had his alarm clock.
“H-mm. Where could I have lost it? I didn’t see too much fussing over at the food trough. Maybe I should ask the chickens about it? O-oh!
No, it doesn’t make any sense,” Rooster thought, walking back and forth in the Farmyard. “Better to look alone for my alarm clock!”
Rooster stepped back and looked closely at the inhabitants of the Farmyard. They paid little attention to Rooster engaged in their own daily affairs. “H-mm. Everyone bustles for themselves and isn’t worrying about anything else!” said Rooster. Sad thoughts left his head with anxiety. “I need to keep track of time, but I don’t have my alarm clock. Was it stolen!? Maybe! My alarm clock is beautiful! Of course, it could be!”
Rooster looked around suspiciously. “H-mm . . . Well, that fat Duck is always late. She probably doesn’t have enough time. H-mm! Old Goat looks different. Usually, he just stands there, showing his “goat’s eyes”, but today . . . O-oh, wait! Where is Motley Chicken? She has disappeared somewhere! H-mm, and it looks like she has still not laid an egg? She is so late!”
By force of habit, Rooster swerved his head toward his wing, where his jeweled alarm clock had always been. And again, was reminded—it is gone! A shiver ran all the way to his tail. “O-oh! And what if my alarm clock was not just stolen, but those sparkling wands were broken, and time stopped?! That’s right— stolen!” Rooster finally decided.
A feeling of self-responsibility strengthens everyone . . . Nothing in the world could stop Rooster from finding the lost time and giving time back to everyone. Rooster raised his head resolutely and said, “I will find it! Absolutely! Wherever it is hidden!” He looked around, enthusiastically jumping up once, then a second time . . . he looked around again, thought for a while, and, wagging his long tail, quickly ran to the big dump.
From afar, everyone could see pieces of rotten straw, remnants of greenery, and other things flying about. At first, the farm inhabitants paid no attention, but then looked closely, carefully asking each other, “What is it with Rooster? Why does he need to do this?” Nobody knew.
Pig, despite the lumps of garbage flying in all directions, went closer and sympathized, “Hard, isn’t it? Can I help you? I have more experience in such matters than you have!” But Rooster did not hear, frantically digging, he was looking for his lost thing, and only his toes flickered. It was an interesting spectacle! Gradually, there was no longer any more trash to go through. The farmyard inhabitants stood nearby and wondered, “Oh! Such a respectable bird, and now where is he . . .”
There was no alarm clock . . . Rooster was tired, his now dirty comb slipped over his eyes. At last, he stopped, sat down on what was now a pile of rubbish, and looked around. He saw all the spectators standing around and at first wanted to run away, but he remembered his responsibility for time and sighed, “I need to tell them the truth that there is no time now, and that I, Rooster, lost the alarm clock yesterday, and cannot find it!” Rooster opened his beak, but just before any sound came out, the small chicks rolled out to him one by one.
The little yellowish fluffy chicks were dragging something dusty on a thin chain. “Mr. Rooster! We . . . we . . . found your alarm clock!” one of them said, barely breathing from the quick run and heavy load. “We saved it from that shameless Magpie,” another one added proudly. All the farmyard inhabitants were agitated, making noises, discussing where and when such a valuable thing could have been lost.
Rooster carefully picked up what he had been looking for. Oh! His alarm clock! Little and graceful with two sparkling wands and a chic hat on top! Rooster affectionately wiped the lovely white circles and chic hat and pressed it to himself. “Oh! Moving! Time is running!” The wands moved as swiftly as they always had. “Time is not gone! Time is here! With me!” proudly announced the Rooster, raising his alarm clock up so it could be seen by all.
“Time was never lost,” Rooster heard from somewhere behind. Rooster looked around and saw old Goat. Goat stood, staring at everyone, slowly chewing some greenery. “Time cannot be lost. What you have sparkles, and it is a beautiful toy. But it only reminds us about time. Like you . . .” Goat continued, “Time does not stop . . . It always goes forward.” Goat went about his business. Rooster felt awkward.
Time had gone by without paying attention to where his clock was. He looked at the Sky. “There, the Sun in the Sky is already high! Hmm! I, Rooster, was so proud of being chief of time.”
The small chicks told everyone where they had found the alarm clock and how bravely they had fought with Magpie. The farm inhabitants were buzzing, expressing their excitement for what was lost and what was found. Then, finally, Rooster approached the fence and placed the alarm clock on it. He stepped back a little and looked again: “Perfect!”
He noticed Magpie sitting on a branch next to him and watching everything happening in the Farmyard. “Don’t steal it. Okay? Save it for everyone!” he said and started to leave, then stopped. He looked around again. “Beautiful!”
The alarm clock shone! It seemed that the Sun, along with the sparkling wands, moved on a whitish circle, reminding everyone of how quickly time passes and how precious every moment of it is.
What about Rooster? He is singing . . . As before. When? When it is necessary. He knows. As before, he is respected for his accuracy, and for his sincerity. He stretches his neck forward, closes his eyes, and calls out: “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” O-oo! It is incomparable . . .
Stone lay warming his back. As long as he could remember, he had laid there. Many times people had wanted to take him away: someone from them for a foundation, some for other needs, but nothing had worked. So he continued to lay . . .
Stone was distinctive: large, white, with smooth, moss-covered edges. Near Stone was a road. The road was almost completely overgrown, with only barely visible tracks.
Stone looked out at the road every day, and from time to time it reminded him of what was saved in his deep wrinkles forever . . .
Stone’s back finally warmed up. He happily absorbed the warm autumn sunrays after a cold night. His own weight did not bother him. It seemed that in recent years he had even risen a little closer to the Sun. Stone loved Autumn. She always brought with her bright colors from which all could feel good. Autumn also brought memories . . .
At that time the road wasn’t overgrown with grass. Along this road, people on horseback or on foot hurried endlessly, carrying with them the things they needed.
“Where are they all running to, and why are they dragging what they are not always really able to convey?” thought Stone smiling when someone again tried to pull him out of the place where he lay, and as far as he could remember, had always laid.
In general, people stopped near him quite often, because it was very convenient. It was difficult to find a better companion than Stone as he could not talk, but he could listen. And not only people, but also those accompanying them. Stone lay on a high hill, from which the whole neighborhood was always clearly visible.
On a cloudy morning, when the wind had not yet stretched the gray strands of thick fog, two figures appeared on the road: an old Mare and an old man, who, sweetly snoring, watched his dream from the deck of a cart. Mare was pulling very hard. Breathing unevenly, she slowly moved countless baggage: large and small bags, boxes, and something else wrapped in a rough piece of cloth.
Near Stone, Mare stopped in weariness, and then, not hearing the usual cry: “But–o, hey, go!” she carefully turned aside and began to slowly eat the grass, which, despite it being late autumn, here on the hill, was always juicy.
Deliciously crunching the stalks, she tried to move the reins as quietly as possible, but they rattled sarcastically, reminding her who she was, and who and what she was carrying . . .
Tug . . . How many years she had tugged, never even knowing where she was tugging. Where she was shown. Never asking if she was tired or hungry. “Mare? Tug—and that’s it!”
Mare tugged . . . At first, when she was young, she tried to kick, before calming down. “Others are also tugging, why am I better than them?” she thought. Mare was not against the burden. She was ready to take and tug on herself what they were not able to carry themselves, but to know where . . .
“If only a little bit less . . . Why so much?”
In her big beautiful eyes, like in a mirror, thoughts were reflected. Mare rubbed her snout against Stone and started her story . . .
The best help is . . . silence. Stone knew this and so, even if he was able to speak, he would still be silent. Silence keeps silence . . . Only in silence, can you hear yourself. Maybe then you will find the best for yourself?
Mare tells about her life. Without seeking pity, she talked with herself about herself . . . Stone listened and wondered: how many times he had seen tears, heard grievances, and even insults. Not now! Mare did not moan nor curse her lot in life.
Mare talked to herself about being tired of not going her Own Way. She watched as Autumn spread her motley handkerchief on Earth and, sighing, only occasionally, talked about how she would like to wake up where her big, gentle, and kind heart called.
She is not afraid of work, of course, she is a mare. But why the shouts and whip? Mare did not ask for help . . . She fell silent and carefully began to crunch the grass again, occasionally looking at the one who was still sweetly snoring, among the sacks.
Stone was silent . . . Could he help her? He, Stone, who had always been pleased with his position, was proud of his permanency, now painfully felt his helplessness. Big, smart, but . . . powerless! It is not true that stones do not cry.
The wheel of the cart caught the side of Stone once, twice . . . It is little known how much power is stored in inanimate beings, or how much joy or sadness they are sometimes able to convey! Stone tried . . . and how!
The wheel caught on his side again and, like a toy, shattered into small pieces! Along with the burden, the feeling of fate’s hopelessness disappeared.
The cart that had oppressed for so many years, collapsed! Numerous straps fell off, and Mare became free . . .
Mare stepped out of the shafts, the collar slipped from her, the bit dropped, and, miserably banging off Stone, fell to the grass. She did not hear the screams that flew after her.
She went on over the Earth and felt her . . .
Mare went where her big, gentle, and kind heart called. Sadness disappeared from her eyes, replaced by Beauty. Into these eyes, you can gaze endlessly.
What about Stone?
Stone saw the happiness of another and rejoiced. He was also happy . . .
Is there anything that can stop it?
How many times after that Autumn had come, Stone did not count. He would always recognize this Mare by her eyes. She was no longer on this road. She was going somewhere on her Own Way.
Stone lay and basked in the Sun, happily absorbing the last warm autumn rays on his back, saving in deep wrinkles, memories: Mare, Beauty, and Way . . .
The cold autumn Wind tore at the leaves in a large park for a long time. Tired, and wanting to fly on, Wind rested. As he calmed down and settled on top of a tree, he heard a faint voice singing. It was as if a transparent stream of translucent high-pitched sounds poured into the air.
Wind looked back and saw Last Leaf singing beside him. Among the gray clouds, barely holding on to a tree branch, Last Leaf swayed softly and, staring at Wind, sang!
“Hey! Don’t you see me?” asked Wind and was about to blow with all his might at the Last Leaf, until he heard quietly, “I see you! Please, don’t tear me off. Wait a little bit longer, okay?”
“Okay!” Wind agreed and asked, “Hey! Why are you singing? Who will hear you up here?”
Last Leaf finished his song and replied, “I sing for you!”
“For me?” Wind was surprised, “I am cold, cruel . . .”
“For you! Here, listen!” Last Leaf interrupted and sang again.
Not paying attention to the cold raindrops and Wind’s cold breath, little Last Leaf so sincerely created his high melody, that it seemed that with every sound the air around him became warmer.
“Hmm . . . Do you sing alone all the time?” Wind was confused.
“No, not alone,” Last Leaf smiled. “Others also sang.”
Wind was silent for a long time and then asked, “When?”
“Whenever you were with them.”
Wind was ashamed, he had never listened to others . . . When he wanted, he just blew with all his power.
Wind quieted down and then said weakly, “If you want, I will not touch you. Okay?”
“Wonderful!” Last Leaf rejoiced and swayed joyfully so much he almost fell off his branch.
“Quiet, be careful!” Wind exclaimed, gently supported him, and asked, “Do you know that Winter is coming?”
“I know . . .” Last Leaf shifted and sighed, “I would just like to have a little more time to stay up here, closer to the Sky.”
“Why? It’s getting colder. Even the sun’s warmth will no longer be able to keep you from the cold.”
“Let it not warm up. What of that? I know how beautiful it is here in Spring and Summer.”
“And what will happen next? Do you know?”
“Next will be frost and snow . . .” responded Last Leaf and sighed.
“Next will come winter Wind, who is even more ruthless than I. Down there, among your own, you will be warm. And here you are alone. Do you really need this?”
“Yes. I want it . . .” Last Leaf answered quietly and became silent again.
Wind rose into the Sky, and then turned back.
“Hey! You know . . . If you want, I could take you with me. Would you like that?” he asked.
“Yes, I would!” Last Leaf answered happily.
The cold autumn Wind carefully picked up Last Leaf and carried him across the Sky. Like a baby in a stroller, he gently rocked him on his air currents and listened to Last Leaf’s beautiful song.
He gently hugged the little miracle to himself and felt he, Wind, was becoming different.
His breathing was no longer so cold. The cruelty with which the Wind had previously plucked the leaves from the trees was gone. There was a warmth and kindness in him, although a little sad, but beautiful like Autumn.
In the heights, among the gray clouds, a small Last Leaf flies above and below, like an amazing farewell card, reminding everyone there is something on Earth that can warm even the cold autumn Wind . . .
Jester lived in a world, who had never seen strawberries grow . . .
“What are they?”, he repeatedly asked the King, but the question was uninteresting and, in general, King believed that everything he ate grew on plates. In the morning, on a gilded plate with a blue stripe which was always brought to him on his bed. At lunch, everything grew on large and small plates that stood in innumerable numbers on the oak table in the White Hall. In the evening on silver plates.
So, Jester’s question was at first taken as another joke, but over time it grew tiring, and when King heard it again today, he grimaced as if something very sour had entered his mouth, and said, “If you are so interested, find the answer yourself.”
Jester was confused: he had never, since childhood, left the gates of the palace. Everything he needed was also brought on a plate, only, of course, a much smaller one. He had to eat ridiculously, shoving food into his mouth with both hands, even if he didn’t want to eat at all. In fact, it was funny only to King and his retinue, while at the same time tears came to Jester’s throat. His tears were not of interest and unnecessary for them. The spectators had their own, so when they occasionally dug into Jester’s plate, no one noticed.
Jester could not understand where this question came from, just that for several nights in a row he saw strawberries in his dream. They, like red beads, shone among the green lace of leaves, enticing with their beauty. The Sun gently caressed and cherished each berry with its rays. And the scent! Incomparable with anything, its fragrance was felt even in his dream.
Jester could not explain why such a dream appeared . . .
Did his grandmother’s memory convey that memory to him? After all, he himself, as far as he could remember, had spent his whole life in the palace.
His mother had given him to the palace . . . Exhausted by hard work and daily worries, she did not know what to do with the frail child, whom beauty forgot to look at, sparing him her treasures. In the palace, the little Jester gradually became accustomed to ridicule, learning to hide from them behind his own jokes.
Along the way, his mind was not offended by life, and so when he accidentally caught the eye of the King, he was noticed. King liked Jester. Also, being small, crooked, with a large snub nose, he favorably emphasized the gilded beauty of the King and his palace.
But again, about the dream . . . Unusual, like a sign, it awakened in his heart a mysterious feeling that attracted him to nowhere, but Jester felt he definitely needed to know how to grow strawberries. So, confused at first by King’s unexpected offer, he resolutely packed his things and, throwing a small bag on his shoulder, went to look for what had been lately calling to him so much. He went to where strawberries grow . . .
The Sun from the heavenly heights watched with interest as the little stooped man walked along the dusty road. The birds, tired of the heat of the day, rested, and heard was only the hum of bees in the meadow that stretched on both sides. Soon the road meandered into the green coolness of a forest. The Sun shone so beautifully through the leaves that Jester stopped in delight.
He had never seen such a thing! There were gray stones, gilding, and foreign plants in all the rooms of the palace. But here . . . entirely different. Thin, seemingly inconspicuous petals of forest flowers.
Green was his favorite color, in countless shades, which are probably difficult for even an artist to imagine. The trunks of trees, light and dark, smooth and rough, as if the faces of people—young and old, where every wrinkle is a path of life. Silence, and a barely audible whisper of the wind about something . . .
Feet shod for laughter in too narrow and long shoes, with big heavy buckles, ached. Jester squatted down and, taking them out of the angry vices with great pleasure, stretched his legs out onto a soft blanket of grass. He closed his eyes, turned his face to the warmth of the sunrays . . .
It is unknown how much time has passed. Did it matter? Like a breath, slowly came to him a sense of oneness with all that existed around. It seems that the heart itself began to beat differently than before.
Gradually it was filled with peace and joy. Its strong and even thrusts spread on his frail body with some hitherto unknown to him sense of his own strength.
Jester listened to himself, marveling at the unexpected changes, tapped childishly with his little fingers red from the unusual journey, stalks of grass, and smiled . . . So, like beautifully smiling little children, giving adults their joy of life. Just because it, life, exists.
Jester fell asleep. Unobtrusively the Sun hid behind the Sky, stringing another day on its thread. A breeze blew and brought the scent of evening flowers that awakened the moths. The forest took on mysterious shades, the trunks of the trees darkened completely, their leaves hid the sun’s rays, allowing them to make their way down with a faint farewell note. The night was coming.
A sharp cry woke Jester. He opened his eyes and saw a rather large bird above him. She flew to another tree and cried out again, showing with all her might that she was the mistress in this place. Jester looked around. It was unusual to wake up here after the royal palace.
For many years he had seen every morning a familiar pantry lined with multicolored pieces of cloth. He did not want his home to be like that, but who asked him? You have to be funny and everything, even your house needs to be funny, which from time to time could be shown to others for fun. It was hard at first, but then Jester stopped paying attention to it.
But in his pantry, there was a window from which the Sky was visible. Sometimes piercingly sublime—the big blue ocean where airships of clouds occasionally float, sometimes gray, heavy, with a gloomy light drizzle.
The Sky was especially beautiful in the evening, when the Sun disappeared behind a dark strip of forest, leaving a canvas painted with the last rays of farewell. What can compare to this?
When the stars appeared in the Sky, Jester loved to talk to them. He was a true philosopher: in the events that took place around him, he noticed what others did not see. It didn’t matter that the stars were silent, but they knew how to listen, and probably they were the only ones in the palace that did not need his jokes. Such that the ones who laughed felt superior to others. The stars don’t need it—they are stars and are always so high above.
It was getting dark in the forest. Light clothing did not retain heat. Jester wanted to take a slice of bread from his bag, but the bird that woke him up shouted again and sat down impudently in front of him.
“Don’t worry, I’ll go now”, Jester reassured her taking his shoes in his hands, then looked at them, and placed them on a big boulder. “Maybe you can use it for something . . .”
He smiled at the bird and walked on the barely visible road in the dark. Bare feet seemed to feel every pebble and twig on the road. From time to time, Jester stumbled, fell. It did not anger him at all, and his steps became supple and light as if he had always walked this way. He did not know where this road would lead and what lay ahead. Jester was walking and for some reason was not worried at all.
It became even darker, the trees were close to each other, their leaves covered the Sky so tightly that it seemed that it was not a forest, but a mysterious large room in which you cannot see windows, doors, walls . . .
You know they exist, but you cannot touch them. Jester did not feel the weight of the darkness, he just walked because he needed to. How much time has passed? Who knows? There was almost no fatigue in his body, only the pebbles gradually began to seem sharper.
Something flashed ahead, once, twice . . . and soon the road led Jester to a small clearing. The trees parted, allowing the Sky to peek at the ground. Almost black, boundless, it shone with countless stars.
In the middle of the glade, a fire was burning, near which sat Old Man. Jester greeted and perched beside him without even asking permission.
It did not seem bad to him: it was very good to watch the fire with Old Man.
Old Man was light: everything about him was light: linen clothes, long silver hair, beard, mustache . . . But most importantly—his face was light. Old Man was not surprised by the night guest. With big green eyes, he looked intently at Jester and asked, “Tired of going?”
“No,” replied Jester, and only then did he feel the pain in his legs. He looked at his blood-stained soles and laughed.
“The stones are just . . .”
“It’s easier to walk barefoot on sharp stones with a smile,” said Old Man thoughtfully.
Old Man plucked the plant next to him, rubbed it in his palms, and gave it to Jester, “Take, it will be easier.”
Then he pointed to the same one on the ground, “Remember her, she will help you on the road.”
“Do you live here?” asked Jester, feeling a pleasant warmth in his legs that took away the pain and fatigue.
“And here too . . .”
“For a long time?”
“As much as needed.”
“It’s very good to be with you . . . thank you!”
“You are good with yourself . . .”
Old Man looked kindly at Jester and smiled.
“You’re glad you’re on your Way . . .”
“I don’t know where it will lead . . . I have not walked on this road before.”
“Listen to your heart, it will never deceive.”
“Yes, I’m listening. So here I am. You know, I want to see strawberries grow. I have never seen them before: they were never served at the palace. I so need to know! What are they? I have seen the same dream many times, I even remember their scent . . . But where do they grow? Maybe you know?”
“You will find them. It is your Way.”
“Are you on your own, too?”
“And you are looking for answers to your questions?”
“And when will the questions end?”
“I have them while I go.”
“And you’re not tired of this, all your life, go and look for answers? You’re completely white!”
“The road is life. How can I be tired? Each of us sees what we can see. Takes with us what we are capable of carrying. Meets the ones we need to meet. Hot, cold, easy, hard—it all depends on us. What we are, such is our Way . . .”
“Did you always know that?”
“No, I did not notice my Way before.”
“Probably me too . . .”
“That’s why you had a dream.”
“Did you have one?”
“No, I was called to the road by another.”
“Aren’t you sad to be alone all your life?”
“I’m not alone. What about you?”
“It is so much better for me.”
“It’s just that you haven’t found what you need yet.”
“Lost without noticing, now looking again.”
“Are you coming back? I left my chic shoes on the boulder! Wow! If suddenly I need them again, eh?!” exclaimed Jester loudly, and, as usual, wrinkled his face to be more ridiculous.
“If you need it, you will get new ones, the same . . . It is impossible to go back on the Way that you, and everyone has. Can you bring back what was before?”
Jester was ashamed. Looking down, he said softly, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.”
“You did not offend me, more often we offend ourselves. You are kind and listened. This is your strength. Just remember this and everything will be good.”
“It is difficult for the good and sensitive in the World, I have already felt it in myself,” said Jester sadly.
“It’s hard if you hide it and are ashamed of what you have. Life has given you a gift: you have appeared—there is only one of you.”
“Of course, there is no one like me! Even my mother left me!”
Unexpectedly for himself, Jester had said something that had tormented him for so many years, giving him no peace. Now it has broken free. Big tears of peas rolled down his face, washing away the many wrongs he had hidden behind laughter for so many years.
Old Man was silent and, only when Jester calmed down, wiping his snub nose with his bag, said quietly, “Don’t take offense with you. Why do you need that? It is difficult to go with resentment. Let it go . . . Soon a new Day will come and give you a Joy.”
“Is that why you’re so light?”
“Maybe . . .”
Old Man stirred his small stick of fire. The night breeze blew on the fire and carried into the Sky, which was already beginning to shine, a scattering of candles. They went up and took with them all that had gripped their hearts for so long. Breathe freely! Like after the rain.
Jester sighed lightly and curled up in a bagel by the fire. He slept so beautifully! Folding his palms under his cheeks, pressing his knees, he smiled sweetly in his sleep, occasionally sucking on his lips. His little face no longer seemed as wrinkled as before, not even his nose looked so big. Jester slept and saw his dream again . . .
The night gave way to a new day, that brought with him a morning that awakened the forest. Drops of dew dripped on Jester, reluctantly falling from the branches: one, the other, another . . . Jester woke up.
The first rays of the Sun could be seen in the glade through a thin handkerchief of fog. Enchanting in their intricacy, they circled in a dance only known to them. The fire was extinguished, but the coals were still slightly smoky, reminiscing of last night. Old Man was not around.
Jester rubbed his eyes and sat down. “Was he there at all? Maybe this is another dream and you need to come back? Go back . . . Where? Where did he come from?”
Jester looked thoughtfully from the gray fire to the grass . . . And suddenly his heart was filled with an unusual, never felt so strongly, joy! He saw strawberries growing . . . He didn’t know why, but he knew for sure that it was them!
Among the triple leaves, with different edges, were Sun glistened berries! Small and slightly elongated, they hung on slender stalks, slightly rough from seed. A bright red color—the color of life—gave them a unique beauty, standing out against the green background. It is a strawberry glade! Jester carefully, barely moving his fingers, plucked one berry, another . . .
No overseas sweets can ever compare to what grows in the places where you were born and raised. Everything around you, and living with you, initially exists in memory, becoming inexplicable, creating a burning desire to hold in your hands what once gave strength to your ancestors. The aroma, the taste, so vividly defined in his dream, came, filling the whole World! There appears to be no limit to happiness. It filled Jester’s frail body. After all, was his size bigger than his heart?
Jester laughed! What a happy laugh it was . . .
Clean-clean, ringing like a bell . . . laughing easily, like a child. The child who always lives close. The forest picked up this miracle and carried its transparent echo, as a most precious treasure, sharing joy with every living thing!
Jester laughed and began to realize that the jester was no more—there is someone who was . . . once. He rose from his knees, gently and carefully cradling the little red berries in his palms.
He did not yet know what to call her, but he knew that there was
a Woman in the World who a long time ago, along with the light of Life, gave him his Name.
He will go there . . . And there will also be happy strawberries. His strawberries . . . And he also knew that the Way he walks is his and only his Way, where you always make your own choices.
Long or short Way . . . Who knows? He was about to leave when he saw Old Man’s cane by the fire. “The light Old Man . . . No dream it was! Thank you!” smiling, Jester remembered his words: “We meet the ones we need to meet.” He placed his bag next to it and took only bread—why is the rest necessary? He went on the road . . .
The Sun from the height of the Sky watched as a Man goes on his Way with light steps . . .
As soon as Little Star was born in the night Sky, she opened her eyes, looked around, sighed, and said, “It’s so dark and cold.”
Seeing a large star nearby, she turned to him and asked, “Who am I?”
Big Star smiled, moved closer, and answered, “You’re a star!”
“So am I.”
Little Star looked around again and asked Big Star, “Why is it so dark?”
Big Star smiled, “If it weren’t for us, it would be even darker . . .”
Little Star looked at herself and sighed. “You’re so beautiful! I am not bright like you!”
“You just haven’t grown up yet.” Big Star responded.
“If you want to shine brightly, you need to grow up.”
Little Star looked at her surroundings more carefully and saw many other stars in the Sky, large and small, and asked, “What do I need to do if I want to grow up?”
“Think about someone who needs your light. Down there on Earth live many people, and each of them has their own star in the Sky. As long as there is life on Earth, then we will be up here, shining light on them.”
“Was someone born on Earth at the same time I was?”
“Yes, of course. A little child was born on Earth at the same moment when you were born in the Sky.”
“How will I know which child?”
“He will search the Sky for you.”
“As he grows up.”
“How long will that take?”
“Everyone grows at their own pace.”
“Will he notice me?”
“If your light shines brightly for him . . .”
“How do I do that?”
“When you think about someone with love, and wish him well, your light will shine brighter. The one who needs it, will feel it, and notice you.”
“Even in such a dark Sky?”
“Yes, of course!”
“Is it always so dark?”
“No. Our Sky also has day.”
“What is day?”
“Day is when one big Sun shines for everyone who lives on Earth.”
“Then what are we for?”
“We shine at night when it’s dark. The Sun shines during the day, at night, the Sun goes to sleep.”
“But don’t the people on Earth sleep at night?”
“Yes, they do, but someone may wake up. Everyone needs to know that there is always a light in the Sky for them.”
Little Star looked around and saw a barely visible star nearby and asked, “Why is this star shining so faintly?”
Big Star sighed. “She’s just tired of waiting for the moment when the person for whom she appeared in the Sky will notice her.”
“Surely, he understands that she is shining in the Sky for him?”
“Probably not. It’s a shame.”
“How much should I shine? Do you know?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why don’t you know?”
“Because each star has its own time.”
In the big, dark blue Sky, where there are no borders or depth (and why measure it?), two stars spoke together: the oldest and the youngest.
Old Star has lived in the Sky for a long time and felt that soon he would stop shining, the other had just been born. One had learned to shine very brightly for the one far away on Earth. The other, Little Star, still not quite sure why she had appeared in this dark blue Sky, was worried about the one who had started his life with her.
There, down on Earth, the Newborn was staring at the Sky with big bright eyes . . . The parents were surprised, “What a child! A miracle! Falling asleep just looking at the stars! Little Star and the Newborn searched, feeling what they needed . . .
They will find each other! Then it will be easier for both of them to grow, and the light of their life there, on Earth, and here in the Sky, will be bright . . .
Candle was burning . . . She didn’t know how much would be enough. Candle did not look around and did not listen. Bright or not, Candle didn’t know. She just shone as bright as she could.
Candle was burning . . . She straightened her back carefully, stretching her arms up—just stood and shone.
When you see darkness, you know there is Light. When you feel Warmth, you understand somewhere there is cold. If there is Love in the heart, there is always Light and Warmth . . .
Candle was burning . . . One by one, her hot drops were dripping to the floor. She smiled at them, looking at the image, which was gradually becoming herself.
Candle was burning . . . From her soft, gentle light, a heart beats steadily and strongly. It is amazing . . .
Candle was burning!
A Man was looking for a Fern Flower . . .
He had been looking for a long time. How often he had asked after them, but nobody had ever seen one. “When I find my Fern Flower, I will at once be happy!” thought the Man.
“As soon as I find it, I will plant it in my garden, and I will always take care of my wonderful Fern Flower as if it were myself. Of course, because it’s my Happiness!” he mused joyfully. The Man had countless riches in his house, but maybe something was still missing: so, he went out to search.
“What will this miracle Fern Flower look like? Big or small?” thought the Man, wandering through a forest. He imagined it as big and bright red, like fire, then small and blue, with gentle, sparkled petals. “I’ll find it! Just a little longer, and I am sure to find it . . .” he said to himself hopefully.
He wandered for a long time. The further he went, the greater his desire to find one. He stopped. “I’ll rest a little before going on,” he thought.
He sat down, looked around, inhaled the fresh air, and was surprised: How he felt at ease in the heart. “Maybe I don’t need to go any further?” he smiled. “How long I searched for my Fern Flower, but there is not even a sign of it. To know at least where to look!
People said in the thick of the deepest forest. Especially once a year, when the night is darkest, without any stars. I have looked for it many times during this time. I have passed through the darkness and followed further into the light, but there was still no Fern Flower.”
The Man sat, and, smiling, continued to talk to himself. He had no resentment, anger, or fear. He just wanted to find something that, probably sooner or later, everyone looks for in their life.
The Man wanted to find his Fern Flower. He walked, fell, and got up again. He did not count the days. Could this be more important than what he was looking for? He really wanted to find what he needed . . . If you go, you will find it. Sometimes unexpectedly, and not when or where you expect, but if you really want it, you will find it . . .
The Man sat, feeling the Earth and the Sky with all his being. You don’t need to know any language to understand this feeling. Just listen . . .
Even the darkness did not tire him, as he knew the Day would come. Darkness is only heavy for those who fear it. Easily and what had long been known, came to him—an understanding that the Fern Flower, his Mysterious Flower of happiness, was very close. He didn’t need to look for it anymore.
The Fern Flower is bright, beautiful, and lives within. Always . . . from the beginning . . . his Fern Flower had always glowed and cared for him, with its strong, warm, bright light. What color is this Flower? Whatever you wish it to be! “I have always carried this treasure within,” the Man laughed happily in delight.
He will tell all who also search: “Happiness is within! The most valuable thing ever is within ourselves. Everyone carries their own Fern Flower. It is always there for you to find!” He smiled, “It is so simple . . .” How simple now that he understood . . .
Bird wanted to find the Edge of the Sky . . . How often had she asked the other birds where it was, but no one knew. “Why do you need to know?” she heard in response. She became embarrassed because she wanted to know what no one else wanted to know. Bird could not keep asking herself why she so painfully wanted to know it.
Once, soaring into the air, she realized that today would be the day she would look for the Edge of the Sky. Saying goodbye to her friends, she rose to the heights, and quickly disappeared into the bluish haze above all the clouds in the Sky. Conversations about her soon faded, but occasionally Fidgety Jay lectured her children. “Don’t look up at the Sky for too long! You don’t need it! Look down, where there is food.” It had been a long time, and Bird was still gone. Even Wind did not know where she was, and what had happened to her . . .
Bird, meanwhile, was looking for an answer to her question. To exhaustion, she flew and flew through countless lakes, fields, rivers, and forests. The scenes changed like the images in a kaleidoscope where they were of the same parts but different each time. She flew, occasionally stopping and spreading her tired wings, allowing herself to rest and listen to the sounds of the Earth, which during the trip had become unusual, even alien. Surprisingly, she did not have despair in this endless search. Gradually, she came to an understanding, with a mysterious and very strong feeling, that everything around had no end. And that is what inspired her and gave her the strength to fly on. Why? Maybe to now know yourself, and to understand the meaning of your existence.
The journey had changed her: she became almost white, even silver-gray. From the long road, the ends of her wings turned black, and her beak and legs, from the wind, cold, and heat, remained red.
Bird was looking everywhere, and although realizing she was unlikely to find it, she could not stop.
The great amazing World asks unexpected questions to those who live in it indifferently, and then, seeing their search, just as unexpectedly helps with an answer. It seems like an endless deliberation with yourself, and the suffering to realize your path will last indefinitely. But a certain moment comes, and like a miracle, brilliantly and suddenly, there is an answer to what has troubled you for such a long time.
With a meeting . . . a clear look, words, a smile, and a feeling of relief, like a breath of fresh air, comes an understanding of all existence, as a unique phenomenon, free. Could something in such a World have an end? There is only a pause—that’s all . . .
Bird finally stopped . . . not from fatigue, nor from despair—she had seen many things under her white wings during the trip . . . She stopped in admiration of Beauty, that gazed at the blue lakes, fluttered in the trees, caressed the flowers, and listened to the songs of the land. She didn’t want to fly any further . . . And why fly when the Sky has no edge and the World is endless?
She folded her wings and looked around. Bird sees all around, clearly. She loves to see from heights. Bird did not worry that people lived close by—during her long trip she had lost her fear . . . It was just the habit of lifting one leg to rest faster and fly away, that had survived, but the voice compelling her to continue had vanished.
“How wonderful!” Bird thought. “I think I have never seen such Beauty anywhere! I will stay here forever,” she continued and sighed with relief.
“Look, look! Bird is back!” chattered voices below. Bird saw among the thickets, reed ducks.
“Fidgety Jay said yesterday that she would never return home . . .” they continued to shout, showing with all their might that it could never be otherwise. Bird raised her head and looked up to the Sky at the Sun already setting behind the lake, giving it a pink color . . . and suddenly she understood that the land she had been looking for, for so long was very near!
She was always where she had come. She felt joy . . . as if there had been no long journey, which is probably what it takes to understand . . .
Woman planted the Seed . . .
She caressed the Earth, smiled, and looked up at the Sun. Woman’s Seed was unusual. From this Seed only grows what you dream.
Many people have tried to grow this Seed, but not everyone had, even sprouts appear. Some say that if thoughts are clear, the Seeds will sprout quickly and never wither . . .
Woman planted the Seed . . . She looked around and saw much . . . She pondered . . . and remembered something deep within . . . Woman’s palms are warm and kind . . . It seems that little time has passed before a thin Stem appears. This Stem reaches for the Light with all the strength it has. How strong is this slender Stem! Maybe the Sun or the Woman’s thoughts are aiding?
Stem grows. Growing fast. The first leaf unfolds. Small and fragile yet. Woman looks at the Stem and rejoices. “That is my Faith appearing,” she thinks. My Faith that everyone on Earth always has light within.” The Stem is growing. Her Faith is strengthening.
Woman sees the next leaf stretching towards the Sun . . . How beautiful is this leaf! Maybe Faith is helping. The second leaf is growing very fast! Woman looks at it and rejoices. “Hope has appeared!” she thinks. “My Hope that Kindness always will be on our Earth.” The Stem is growing. The Wind gently sways it like a child in a cradle, whispering something. Maybe about how everyone on Earth needs this Stem. It is hard to recognize it as the thin Stem first appearing.
Yet another leaflet was shining in the Sun . . . This leaf was supported by the first two! “That is my Love appearing,” thinks Woman. “Love for those who live on Earth.” Gently she strokes the leaves, rejoices, looking at the Stem, and thanks Seed, Sun, and Earth for such Beauty.
Woman planted the Seed . . . Much time has passed. That Stem has not disappeared, and will never disappear! The Stem reaches for the Light! Thin, but strong . . . Its leaves: Faith, Hope, and Love shine in the Sun. Such is the need on Earth, giving joy to everyone with their Beauty . . .
Happiness lives in our World . . .
Where is this place? Nobody knows. But everyone knows what it is. Some say Happiness comes to everyone at least once in a lifetime . . .
A small gray bird landed on the edge of a window . . . folded her wings and waited for someone to come. A lot of time passed but no one noticed her. She flew away . . .
She visited others and called to them gently. They came to her and asked, “What do you need?”
“I am Happiness” the bird responded.
“How can you be Happiness?!” they exclaimed in surprise. “Happiness is great, and shines brightly! It can be seen from far away, but you are too small and quiet! Fly wherever you want!”
The small gray bird rose into the Sky and flew on. She saw light in another window and visited there:
“Do you need Happiness?” she asked.
There, others thought and argued for a long time: where to put it and whether it is necessary for them . . . “Sorry, we are not ready for you now, we have trouble enough counting all our worries. Fly away!” and closed the window. She flew away . . .
The small gray bird flew for a long time.
“Doesn’t anyone need me?” she thought . . . flew to a well, looked down into the water, saw herself and sighed, “Nobody even notices me!” and flew away again . . .
The small gray bird landed on the edge of a window . . . folded her wings and waited for someone to come. She closed her eyes, slumped wearily, and gently called only once to others.
Warm palms gently touched her . . . “Welcome Happiness!” she heard. Happiness opened her eyes and smiled joyfully. “How did you recognize me? I am humble.” In response, she heard, “Thank you for coming! How can we not recognize you? What is real is always visible . . . There are no bright and shiny colors—why does Happiness need to be so adorned?”
Happiness laughed, sang like silver bells, and spread her wings over those who recognized her . . .
Happiness stayed there for a long time, but she needed to fly on. How many more windows are on the road waiting for her . . . She doesn’t say “Bye!” Why is it needed?
She left her particles with a scattering of Love, Kindness, and Tenderness. They shine with rainbow colors in their hearts even now. It is the Light from them, that’s why they protect and care . . .
Happiness lives in our World . . .
Where is this place? Nobody knows. But everyone knows what it is. Some say Happiness comes to everyone at least once in a lifetime . . .
What is Life?
Air . . .
Infinity . . .
Rainbow in the sky after the rain.
Crystal cry of cranes,
Lightness and height.
Freedom and flight . . .
What is Life?
Water . . .
It, like the time, changes everything . . .
Even what seemed indestructible.
Waves of feelings,
Depth of thought.
Everything flows and everything changes . . .
What is Life?
Earth . . .
Green palms of leaves, bright flower heads.
Sparkling rays of the sun . . .
We run barefoot on it.
We laugh and rejoice in its warmth,
Like children . . .
What is Life?
Love . . .
A fire that never goes out . . .
It warms the heart
And in it, does not allow Faith and Hope to disappear.
It is Beauty and Joy.
It is a miracle that is in everyone . . .