A/N : Something that popped into my head during writing class. When it comes towards the end, it starts to rush a bit and I apologize for that. Total of 2 chapters. Second chapter will be their reincarnations.
This has not been beta'ed, so if you find any mistakes please point them out to me. Criticism appreciated, thank you.
Like the Sun
Once upon a time, in a land of possibilities, there was a crow that lived in the rafters of an old barn. This crow had lived his whole life lonely, and because of that, he turned his loneliness into greed, and he stole from the surrounding wood animals. All the creatures knew to look out for him, and when he flew near, they quickly hid their belongings.
"He's come!" A sparrow would sing to the others.
"Thief," the squirrels would murmur, scrambling to their nests.
"Quickly now, back into den," the foxes would yelp to their cubs, for they were even afraid that the Crow would take their infants.
There was once a time when the Crow would fly down to the woods because he wanted to become friends, however crows were not to be trusted, and the animals avoided him. When the Crow saw this, his heart became terribly cold, and his resentment towards them grew with each passing day.
One day, he looked at all the things he had stolen over the years, and burst into tears.
"All I want," he cried, "is for someone to talk to!" After all, just because he was a crow, didn't mean he was bad.
It was a bright spring day, when the Crow's fate changed. Thirsty and wanting a drink, the Crow had flown to clear blue lake in a small meadow. Taking a small sip, he stepped back startled as obsidian eyes stared at him from the waters.
It was a small fish with sun-like scales. She was a wise one, that fish, and she had heard of the notorious Crow. Taking one look at him, she realized the good inside the greed, and smiled gently at him.
"Hello there," she greeted and the Crow looked at her with astonished eyes.
"You're not…going to run away?" he asked with a tilt to his head.
The Fish only shook her head. "You are not bad as everyone makes you out to be," she told him, voice quiet and soothing as the waves. "Why don't you take one more chance?" The Crow only stared sadly at her.
"Why should I?" he scoffed. "The animals have never given me a chance. What is the use in trying?"
The Fish sighed. "Yet here I am in front of you," she whispered. "We are friends already, don't you see?"
It was then that the Crow met his first friend and marked his happiest days. Every day, he flew down to that lake to talk to the Fish, and she would greet him with that quiet and gentle smile of hers. She was changing him, making his resentment fade away and anger forgotten. They would talk of many things, but at the end of every day, the Fish would ask him the same question.
"Would you give the animals one more chance?"
However, the answer would always be the same.
"I'm sorry. I can't do that."
What the Crow did not know was that since he met the Fish and stopped stealing, the animals had been too afraid to talk to him because of their pride and that they never talked to the Crow to work out their misunderstandings. For the Fish had talked to them and told of his goodness.
"He's lonely," she had explained. "Even if he seems bad, he has his reasons. His loneliness has hardened his heart, so won't you talk to him, please?"
They all trusted the Fish, but their embarrassment had prevented them from talking to the Crow. And he went on, anger cooled down from his meeting with the Fish, but not understanding.
One day after many but short seasons had passed, the Crow noticed that his friend seemed tired and worn, and her once glossy scales had dulled. When he asked her what was wrong and if she was feeling well, she only smiled as she always had and answered that everything was okay. She explained to him that it was a natural thing, something that happened to every fish. He did not understand.
He did not understand that fish grew and matured more quickly than any other animal in the woods.
She was dying.
He went on blissfully aware as he told her happily of a strange country he had visited when he was younger and impulsive. "There was a huge creature," he laughed. "A creature with a long nose that could suck up water and spray everywhere!"
The Fish smiled, closing her eyes, and laughing along with him. She hoped not to worry him, and she knew that if she did not tell him soon, then he would find out the hard way. But she could not bring herself to do it and instead, wanting to pass more days like this, she continued to listen. When she talked to the Crow, she forgot about her failing heart, and when he left would she remember.
The Crow and the Fish had already become very close.
When he came to the lake one day and did not see her, he did not worry, for she will come soon. Right?
He waited. And waited. And waited.
The other animals saw this but still did not approach. "Oh, he will be so sad," one creature had said. They had seen the two's relationship, and did not have the heart to tell him. What will they do? Would he believe them?
The Crow still waited, leaving the lake only to eat. He began to worry. He began to fret. Finally, he started to scream.
"Where are you?" he called to the water. "Where are you?" There was no answer.
He finally left the banks, only to come out with a huge bag full of all the treasures he had stolen. He dropped this in the middle of the forest in full view of the other animals shocked faces.
He came back to the lake. "If it was why you won't talk to me, then I returned everything! Everything!" He smiled, but his expectations were crushed. There was still no answer.
A mouse finally decided enough was enough and approached him.
"She's not there," he said bluntly. "She's gone."
The Crow was only confused. "Gone? Where?"
A bluebird flitted down from a branch and chirped sadly, "Stupid Crow. Open your eyes and see."
He probably already knew, but the Crow as in denial. He only shook his head and smiled. "She'll come back, won't she?"
A vixen came from behind a tree. A family of chipmunks joined. Soon, all of the woodland animals were there. They finally told him what happened. The Fish was dead, they explained.
The Crow was quiet. Tears were running from his coal eyes by the time the animals were done. A turtle stepped forward and gave a cough.
"We would all like to apologize," he said. "She was probably the only one that saw the true you, yet us creatures were too ignorant to see what was beneath. Can you ever forgive us? And let us start over…and become friends." The animals all stared at the Crow. Sniffling, he wiped his eyes with a wing and smiled.
"I already forgave you a long time ago," he said with a sad smile. "Thanks to her."
It was after that moment that the Crow was finally relieved of all loneliness. He talked to the animals just as he did with the Fish, and them to him. Their favorite thing to talk about however was the Fish who had left many happy memories behind with them.
It was a bright spring day – just like his first meeting with her – that the Crow decided to go explore more of the world. The animals all worried of him.
"Where will you go?" they asked.
"Anywhere!" was their reply. "Don't worry, I will be fine." The Crow left after many 'good-luck's and 'farewells'.
"First destination," he said to himself. He looked at the sun, and knew where he was heading to. With a powerful beat of his wings, he flew and faded towards the blue.
"I hope…that someday, I'll see you again, my dear friend."