Baby Quail Who Could Not Fly Away
Power of Truth, Wholesomeness and Compassion]
a time, the Enlightenment Being was born as a tiny quail. Although
he had little feet and wings, he could not yet walk or fly. His
parents worked hard bringing food to the nest, feeding him from
In that part
of the world, there were usually forest fires every year. So it
happened that a fire began in that particular year. All the birds
who were able, flew away at the first sign of smoke. As the fire
spread, and got closer and closer to the nest of the baby quail,
his parents remained with him. Finally the fire got so close,
that they too had to fly away to save their lives.
All the trees,
big and small, were burning and crackling with a loud noise. The
little one saw that everything was being destroyed by the fire
that raged out of control. He could do nothing to save himself.
At that moment, his mind was overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness.
Then it occurred
to him, "My parents loved me very much. Unselfishly they
built a nest for me, and then fed me without greed. When the fire
came, they remained with me until the last moment. All the other
birds who could, had flown away a long time before.
was the loving-kindness of my parents, that they stayed and risked
their lives, but still they were helpless to save me. Since they
could not carry me, they were forced to fly away alone. I thank
them, wherever they are, for loving me so. I hope with all my
heart they will be safe and well and happy.
I am all alone. There is no one I can go to for help. I have wings,
but I cannot fly away. I have feet, but I cannot run away. But
I can still think. All I have left to use is my mind - a mind
that remains pure. The only beings I have known in my short life
were my parents, and my mind has been filled with loving-kindness
towards them. I have done nothing unwholesome to anyone. I am
filled with new-born innocent truthfulness."
Then an amazing
miracle took place. This innocent truthfulness grew and grew until
it became larger than the little baby bird. The knowledge of truth
spread beyond that one lifetime, and many previous births became
known. One such previous birth had led to knowing a Buddha, a
fully enlightened knower of Truth - one who had the power of Truth,
the purity of wholesomeness, and the purpose of compassion.
Then the Great
Being within the tiny baby quail thought, "May this very
young innocent truthfulness be united with that ancient purity
of wholesomeness and power of Truth. May all birds and other beings,
who are still trapped by the fire, be saved. And may this spot
be safe from fire for a million years!"
And so it
moral is: Truth, wholesomeness and compassion
can save the world.