By Beverley Little

One crisp winter morning, as the early rising sun reflected its magnificent, warm, rich colours on the waters of the lake, a beautiful swan elegantly glided by, close to the shore line. Breaking through crystals of ice like diamonds and so creating the sound of slowly cracking glass.

On the verge of the lake a multitude of birds scurried along the shore looking for a share of sparse crumbs for their winter breakfast. Among these birds was a little pigeon, wings folded, head down, who randomly pecked with the others (although not nearly as hungry as she already had feasted on a breakfast of croissant crumbs in town)

A duck bobbed happily close to the shore admiring the beautiful swan and watching the industriousness of the other birds, in particular the intelligent little pigeon who visited the lake very briefly each morning.

As the swan glided close to the shore the other birds stopped what they were doing, anticipating that the majestic swan was about to speak. With her head held high, shoulders back and a slow velvet richness of tone to her voice, she commented on the beauty of the sunrise, and how lucky they all were to live on and around such a stunning lake. She suggested that the promise of a fine day may bring a bounty of visitors to the lake with bread to feast on. The birds hung on her every word, waiting for any wisdom she might wish to share.

The little pigeon with shoulders hunched, head and eyes down, feeling happy and excited about his news, spoke quickly and hesitantly. He was telling of the opening of a new duck pond in the centre of the park in town, with a new children’s playground, ice cream van, cafe (serving best pastries ever) and every day loads of visitors bringing their tasty sandwiches to share.

But the swan sailed by and the other birds carried on with their pecking not listening to the lunch recommendations he was sharing. Only the little duck who worked hard on really listening and reflecting on the words of all the birds heard his words.

Pigeon said to the duck “no one listens to me in the same way as they do the Swan and I could share so much”, and duck replied “dear pigeon it is not what you say, for your words are wise and generous, why do you think this is the case?”