The Tale of the Bird, The Snake and The Holly Bush

This is a story that was told to me by your ancestors, and it will last until the end of time. When all has faded, this story will echo in the stars themselves.

There was once a family of birds, a Matta-Bird, a Fattai-Bird and a Chidai-Bird. One day when the daddy bird was out looking for food for his family he was caught by a snake and killed, for that is the nature of life.

When Matta-Bird found the body of her partner she cried for seven days and seven nights.

"Why are you crying matta?" Chidai-Bird asked

"The world is a cruel place my son, your fattai is dead."

The death of Fattai-Bird changed Matta-Bird. Before she had allowed her son to explore the world around his little nest. Having lost her love, she became scared that her son would also be killed and she would be left all alone. So she forbid Chidai-Bird from leaving their home.

"Do not wander too far from the nest," said Matta-Bird, "you never know who you will meet in the big bad world."

So Chidai-Bird spent his days sitting alone in the nest, while Matta-Bird looked for food. Everyday, before she left she would repeat her warning. "Do not wander too far from the nest," said Matta-Bird, "you never know who you will meet in the big bad world."

However Chidai-Bird longed for the freedom he had once known. As he grew older his desire to explore grew too. One day after Matta-Bird had left him alone he decided today would be the day when he would once again roam as he did before the death of his fattai. He packed a small bad and left a note for his matta and went out into the big bad world to see what he could find.

After he had been walking all morning, for Chidai-Bird was too small to fly, he came to a clearing and sat down to enjoy his lunch of mixed berries. As he was eating saw the bushes in front of his perch.

"Who goes there?" He called, for although Chidai-Bird was small, he was brave.

From the bushes emerged a strange creature. It had no legs and crawled on it's belly. It slowly slithered closer to Chidai-Bird a slow smile on his face.

"Well," said the creature, "I am a snake, but tell me little bird, what are you doing all alone in the world?"

"You are a strange creature." Chidai-Bird spoke, for he had never seen a snake before. "Would you like to share my lunch?" At this the snake laughed, all the while slowly crawling closer and closer to Chidai-Bird.

"No, but I will eat you."

Chidai-Bird gasped and jumped to his feet, scattering the berries all around. "You can't eat me, I haven't done anything."

"Of course I must eat you," said the snake. "For that is the way of the world." With that the snake lunged at Chidai-Bird. However although Chidai-Bird was small, he was brave and very fast. He ran and ran through the forest until he eventually came to strange bush. It was very tall and covered in brittle leaves.

"Oh!" Thought Chidai-Bird. "If only I could fly, if I could make it up into that tree then I could be safe." Behind him he could hear the approach of the snake.

In desperation Chidai-Bird began to flap his wings. And he hopped, and he jumped and just as the snake reached him he rose into the air.

But poor little Chidai-Bird. He was brave and he was fast, but he was too small to really fly. Although he escaped the snake below him, he could not reach the branch above. He fell onto the holly bush, and where his blood spattered, the first red berries.

And the holly bush has a long memory, and he felt sorry for Chidai-Bird, so now every winter it blooms in red berries in honour of the bird. For he was brave and he was quick but he was too small to fly. It is said on quiet nights that you can still see Matta-Bird gathering the berries to take back to her empty nest.

So is the way of the world.