I ran across this recently and enjoyed it very much. Fables can be so...instructional.

A Little Fable

Once upon a time in a sunny land not so far from here lived a bird. Her plumage was OK, and she wasn't very gainly in flight, but she had, when she chose to share it, quite a wonderful song.

When she was a young chick, she met and fell in love with a very cool cat. They made a happy if unusual pair for a while...until the bird began to notice that, as a result of being his chick, she felt somehow obliged to sing very quietly, if at all. Inevitably she ended the romance, for reasons not very well understood to her at the time. (The cat remained cool, and met and married another fabulous feline, hopefully for ever after.)

Many years later, in a rainier clime, our avian heroine sparked a romance with a local species of frog. Despite their apparent differences, they shared many interests-- for instance, they were both avid insectivores. After a year and a half of delightful romance, the bird once again noticed her song had grown quiet. She struggled, unwilling to silence her most engaging quality, unhappy at the prospect of ending an otherwise lovely love affair, uncertain about what appeared to be emerging as a troubling pattern. In a panic, she ungracefully dropped the frog, explaining in a flustered voice that she couldn't quite figure out what was wrong, but something had to change....

Shortly thereafter, she amused herself with a few purely animal flings--one with a sleek but submissive greyhound, another with an enchanted and lusty old goat. As the months passed, she missed the frog more and more, and they began, tentatively, to date again. "I think," she chirped, "that I need to share my song with other species." The frog, who was not without his royal attributes, croaked with a smile, "I never asked for it all for myself, birdbrain!"

Much to birdie's surprise and delight, the frog remains her prince to this day, and they plan to share a long life with a small brood of feathered tadpoles. The goat retains an important and juicy, if geographically distant, place in her barnyard. In the intervening years, birdie has enjoyed singing to and with a variety of finned, feathered, and furred creatures, in fine friendly romances and romantic friendships. Of late, she seems to be kindling a lovership with an intriguing but curious lion, and only time will tell if he will join the bird and the frog in a menagerie a trois.


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