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The Brave Little Parrot

Source: Buddhist Legend
(Rafe Martin's Adoption)


"The Brave Little Parrot" is taken out from Buddhist legend. This short story deals about the importance of continuous helpful effort done by a little parrot to other creatures in the jungle.

Long ago, the Buddha was born as a little parrot and went to live in the jungle. One day, there was lightning, and the thunder struck the jungle, and the fire took the jungle in its grip. All the birds flew away to save their lives. Many animals got trapped on the flames and smoke. While the parrot was flying to the rivers, he saw on the way that many animals were trapped in the fire. The little parrot saw the plight of the animals. He was kind and brave. Not being able to tolerate the sufferings of animals, the little parrot made a plan to save their lives. The parrot flew towards the river, dived into the water, flew back and dropped the water of his body over the fire. But the water disappeared before reaching the fire. He continued his effort. Though it was too tired, the little parrot repeatedly went to the river & came back with drops of water with the hope of extinguishing fire.  His wings and legs burn, his eyes became red like burning coals, his lungs ached and he felt giddiness (dizziness). Meanwhile some gods were watching all this from heaven. They thought that parrot was foolish and laughed at his fruitless effort but one of the gods was worried about parrot. So he disguised as golden eagle and came to the parrot. He advised the little parrot to give up his effort and save himself. But the little parrot replied that he needed help than any advice. The answer of the parrot melted the heart of the golden eagle; he felt ashamed & began to weep. The tears of the eagle came down on the earth as a cool rain and put out the fire. Miraculously the tears gave new life to everything including parrot.  The fire was extinguished. New life sprung where the tears fell on. All the dead animals & the plants got their life back as if nothing had happened in the jungle. Multicolored feathers grew on the parrot’s body and he looked very handsome. The revived animals thanked the little parrot very much.


The writer may be trying to show the importance of selfless service. This beautiful story is probably trying to give the message that we can get success at the end if we continue our efforts without any hesitation. Because of its strong determination, the little parrot got victory over the deadly fire. Similarly, it also tells us that even the God has to bend its head in front of little creature like parrot if it takes the path of selfless welfare.


Though this story teaches very good moral lesson, some ideas of the writer are not convincing. The story is successful in spreading the Buddhist philosophy of social welfare. But a lot of questions emerge in the mind of a critical reader. Do Gods exist? If so, what is the proof of them? Can the Buddha really disguise as a parrot? Can the birds like the parrot have the feeling of help? Can the drops of tears put out such big forest’s fire? Can once dead animals and plants revive? So these are some of the situations in the story that are not agreeable.


The story is based on a myth. The story beautifully draws the Buddhist philosophy of ‘live and let live.’ After reading the story, I truly understood the value of living in a society. We are growing selfish these days. The story teaches us the principle of community service. Before reading this story I used to laugh at others troubles and I didn't use to help needed people and animals. But this story brought great change in my thought and behavior. I also learn that we should devote ourselves in the selfless social service to become great person.  The story motivates its readers to be laborious, and help the others in need. Value of brotherhood is glorified in the story.


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