Arete: The Meaning of Life
Bheeni Jajodia, Class VIII F
Author: Jasmine Prakash, Class X G
Twitty, a beautiful bird, had a nest on one of the oldest trees of the jungle. That day, the air smelled of a storm. Twitty was not worried about herself and her children as they were well protected under the dense tree. Though, she did worry about the other animals in the jungle.
Dark clouds covered the entire sky. It started to rain steadily. Twitty knew that this was just the beginning. She had enough experience to know that this storm would create havoc and take the lives of many.
Suddenly, she saw a ball of stark black feathers huddled together at the end of the branch of the opposite tree. She flew over to inspect it. On a closer look, she found that it was a baby crow, shivering in the cold.
“Hey”, she called out to him, “What are you doing all by yourself in the storm?” she gently asked. The baby crow looked up fearfully and said, “I can’t find my parents,” and burst into tears.
Twitty took pity on him. She knew he was miserable. She decided to take him under her wings. “Come” she said, “Rest in my nest until the storm passes.”
The next morning, when the storm had cleared up, they went to search for his parents. But on enquiring, they found that the crow family had not survived the storm. Twitty knew that the crow wouldn’t be able to survive alone. So, she decided to keep him.
Her decision was widely opposed. “You’re making a huge mistake” said the nightingale. “Crows are bad omen. You should keep away from them” said the sparrow. “Crows are unfaithful. They will destroy your sweet little family” said the pigeon. “Your family is so beautiful. Pretty yellow feathers and cute brown beaks. Why do you want that black sinister crow in your nest?” said the peacock. But Twitty didn’t listen to anyone. She trusted him. What could a small crow do? She raised him as one of her own.
One day, when Twitty returned to her nest, she saw that the nest was empty. She panicked and wondered where her children could be. Just as she was about to call out to them, her eyes fell on the crow. She felt relieved. But the relief went away as soon as it came. She saw blood dripping from the crow’s beak. Without thinking, she screamed in fury, “You traitor! You filthy black crow! I gave you a home to live and you killed my children!” In anger she attacked the crow and pecked him to death in her fury. Just as she was done, she heard the small voice of her children. Her blood ran cold. She turned and saw all of her children safe and sound. “Mom, he just saved us from the snake” they said still shaky from the experience. And indeed, there was a dead snake lying under the tree.