Our story begins in the middle of a forest. It begins in a forest, because in the middle of our particular forest, there was the most beautiful lake. The lake was beautiful because its water was the clearest and cleanest in the entire world. The sun would shine down on it everyday just to see his own reflection. At night the moon would dance around its embankment, casting gentle shadows on its surface, just so he had something pretty to look at. And, whenever the wind would blow through the forest she would always stop and sing to the lake. Keeping it calm as she played, teasing the leaves and the grass beneath her meddling hands. Yes, it was a very beautiful lake.
But, our story is not about the lake, the wind, or even the friendly sun. Our story is about a Swan, a Swan, who fell in love with a Blackbird. The Swan just happened to live on the lake. The Swan was handsome but arrogant, and would swim to the centre of the lake everyday, when the sun was high in the sky. So that its rays would bounce off his feathers and all the other animals of the forest could see just how handsome he truly was. Because the lake was so clear and clean, the Swan would spend hours staring at himself, admiring his features, and thinking what a lucky bird he was, for being born so pretty.
The Swan had many friends and admirers, and liked that the other animals of the forest would take time out of their busy days to come and visit with him. One particular sunny day however the Swan was gliding across the lake when he suddenly heard the most beautiful birdsong. The song made him stop suddenly and he tumbled in to the water head first. Embarrassed by his clumsy flying the Swan began swimming around the lakes edges trying desperately to discover the face behind the song.
Has to be a beautiful humming-bird he thought to himself, or the song of a Dove. As he circled the lake however the only bird he could spot was the Blackbird. Perhaps she heard it to he thought and swam across to ask her.
‘Blackbird.’ He shouted, rather rudely.
‘Good day Swan.’ She responded, gently.
‘Did you hear that beautiful song just now Blackbird?’ He asked as he reached her side of the lake.
‘Do you know where it’s coming from? I must meet the owner of such a voice.’
‘I do. It was me who was singing.’
‘No it wasn’t, don’t lie.’ Said the Swan, in another rather rude tone.
‘I’m not lying, it was me.’
‘Prove it then.’
‘Why should I?’ Asked the Blackbird, who was becoming quite annoyed at the Swan.
‘Because, I don’t believe you.’
‘I don’t care if you don’t believe me. It was me singing, and as long as I know I can and I believe in myself, that’s all that really matters’.
And with that the Blackbird flew away from the Swan.
It wasn’t her singing thought the silly Swan, a Blackbird couldn’t make a song that beautiful surely, and with that he swam back in to the middle of the lake to catch the last of the dying sunlight, how pretty I look in the sun he thought.
Many days past and life on the lake went on as normal; it was on a rather unusual cloudy day however that the Swan heard the birdsong once again. It was further away this time and he had to leave the lake and fly above the trees to follow it. He flew for an hour, following the song and its owner and when he was about to give up and return to the lake, he saw her. The Blackbird, singing, and he crashed in to a tree he was so stunned. He tumbled to the ground dazed and confused. When he finally landed on some leaves and had straightened himself up, he heard her laughter above him as she flew down and landed beside him.
‘I told you it was me singing.’ She said with a smile on her face.
‘I can’t believe it.’ Said the Swan, a little wobbly.
‘Try. Are you ok? You hit that tree pretty hard.’
‘I’m fine, embarrassed but fine. How did you learn to sing so beautifully?’ He asked unable to look at her.
‘I didn’t. I’ve always sung like it, just lucky I guess.’
‘I’m so sorry I didn’t believe you.’
‘That’s ok, it happens all the time.’
‘Well it shouldn’t’ Said the Swan, suddenly angry that he was just like every other creature and had underestimated the Blackbird. ‘If you’d let me, I would follow you wherever you went telling everyone we met that you are the owner of such a beautiful song and that I am your friend.’
‘I don’t need you to tell others that I am the owner of my own song, but I’d be pleased to have you as a friend.’ Said the Blackbird, she was touched by his efforts and grateful that he had seen his error towards her.
‘That’s settled then, we shall fly together as friends you and I Blackbird.’
And with that the Blackbird began to sing her happy song and flew above the trees and away from the lake. The Swan took flight and followed her.
They flew side by side for the rest of their days. The Swan learnt many lessons and had many tumbles but the Blackbird was always beside him, laughing and helping him back up on to his feet again. Her song took them too many places and they made many friends, and when the time came, as it all ways must. They returned to the lake where they first met and settled amongst it beauty, and as her song gently faded. The Swan carried her to the centre of the lake and watched as the sun’s rays lit up her feathers and warmed her cheeks, and he thought. How pretty you look in the sunlight, dearest friend.