The Crow who yearned to be a Peacock.
The crow sat mournfully gazing at her reflection in the lake.
She wasn’t happy with her image.
“Why was I hatched black” she asked herself.
Back at her perch in the high sycamore she watched the peacocks strutting their stuff in the gardens below. She looked at them preening and posing, as every so often, one of them, with a shaking, thrusting movement would splay open a great colourful fan of tail feathers, quivering them provocatively.
She became more and more convinced that she herself was ugly, to such an extent that she isolated herself from her friends, even though they were all black.
They would fly and swoop, and dip and dive, and in time pair off to nest together.
Meanwhile the discontented crow sat alone wishing she could be something other than herself.
Suddenly a large bubble floated down onto the water in front of her.
She leaned forward and pecked it.
As it exploded into a million specks of water, a bright shining fairy popped out.
“Oh thank you, thank you” uttered the fairy as she hovered.
“Thank you for what” said the crow.
“For rescuing me” answered the fairy. “I was imprisoned in that bubble by a jealous ogre, who wanted to be a fairy”
“I know the feeling” said the crow.
“Anyway” continued the fairy, “I now have to grant you three wishes”
“Humph” grunted the crow.
“C’mon now, everybody wishes for something. What would you like to wish for?”
“Well I wish I had a tail like a peacock” the fairy waved her wand and in a flash of bright light the crow had beautiful long coloured feathers extending behind her.
The crow was jubilant and immediately took off to display her new beauty.
However she found she could not fly as high as usual.
Several days later the disconsolate crow sat by the lake surveying her image. Her beautiful long coloured tail was wet and bedraggled. It dragged in the mud when she pecked for worms and insects.
Suddenly the fairy appeared.
“Well crow how are you today with your fine feathers”
“Awful” said the crow. “My beautiful tail drags in the mud, I wish I had longer legs” the fairy waved her wand and in a flash of bright light the crow’s legs shot up about two feet.
It proved to be disastrous. The crow could no longer fly at all.
While her siblings flew off and made nests together she was left stranded.
Days later, the sad crow sat by the lake surveying her image, her feathers looked beautiful, but she was very hungry.
The fairy again enquired about the crow’s welfare.
“I am absolutely starving” said the crow. “My neck is not long enough to reach the ground to catch worms, and I cannot fly high enough to eat the grubs in the trees.” She started to sob loudly.
“You know” said the fairy, “you had none of these problems before you started experimenting with plastic surgery”
“I suppose you now want a longer neck”
“No I do not, I wish I had never done it”
In a flash of bright light the crow was restored to her original self.
“I wish I could help you find happiness” said the fairy.
The crow looked at her reflection in the lake,
For the first time she realised how black and lustrous her feathers were, and how bright and beautiful were her eyes.
“I just wish I had a mate”
“Well you’ve had all your wishes, it’s up to you now” answered the fairy.
By Barbara Hawkins