A Beautiful Bird

Once upon a time there was a bird who lived high up in the mountains, where the trees stopped and the snow continued on to the mountain peak. Occasionally, it would fly to the valley below, and see the people at their daily lives, and those who saw it would marvel at the beauty of this rare bird. Excitement would mount, but this bird could always fly back to its nest high up in the mountain where no one had ever come.

One day, in search of this bird, a kind gentleman hiked up and found her sitting in her nest. It was so peaceful there- the snow muting the sounds from all around, and smoothly covering the mountain up above it. Beyond the tree where it nested was only the snow of the peak, and this traveler wondered how a bird could live in such a cold place as this was. As he stepped closer, the bird saw him and quickly gathered up the chicks onto her back and flew away, choosing to keep a safe distance from him, yet watching all he did. He retreated away and set up camp for himself, that he might be able to watch the bird also and learn more about it.

Day after day, he came to watch. This bird was truly beautiful- her scarlet feathers had lovely splashes of blue on them, and spread out magnificently when she would fly. Daily coming just a little closer, but always respecting this bird's home, eventually he was able to climb the tree and sit across from her nest without her taking alarm and flying away. As difficult as the snowy camp was for him to stay at, he loved this bird and came to see it regularly. The bird came to trust him and enjoy his visits as well.

It wasn't until disaster struck that he learned the treasure he had found. One day, high up at the summit of the mountain, a rumble began to grow louder and louder as snow came down the mountain in a great avalanche. In a hurry, the gentleman tried to run out of its path, but the snow fell too quick and he was buried deep underneath it. What hope for escape did he have? No one else traveled these parts, or would even know he was there. The snow was much too deep, and he already was feeling the coldness of it so close to his body. Sadness came to him as he realized there was nothing he could do.

After a moment, he noticed something. It was strange that he should see a glow coming through the snow where he lay. Beneath him he saw it, and with amazement he noticed that it was growing brighter. What it could be he had no idea. As the glow came closer, the snow around it seemed to be melting, and the chill of the snow wasn't so bad any more. He could move around a little now, as the snow melted away, and finally he saw what this bright glow was coming from. There, shining in the midst of the snow like a sun in the night was his friend, the beautiful bird. As the snow melted around her, she made her way up to the great outdoors, and he was free once again.

This bird was a phoenix, the most rare and noble of all the creatures there were. And she was his friend!