Tuesday, August 28, 2012

truth in small tales


I don't know when, if ever, I'll ever get around to writing a story but it really doesn't matter so long as I can draw pictures and remain inspired by the stories others have written. Ever since my book of Aesop, parables have long been favorites. I hope you like this one:

The great fire and the little water

Among the Aztec people of Mexico, it is said that a long time ago there was a great fire in the forests that covered our Earth. People and animals started to run, trying to escape from the fire. Our brother owl, Tecolotl, was running away also when he noticed a small bird hurrying back and forth between the nearest river and the fire. He headed towards this small bird.


He noticed that it was our brother the Quetzal bird, Quetzaltototl, running to the river, picking up small drops of water in his beak, then returning to the fire to throw that tiny bit of water on the flame. 


Owl approached Quetsal bird and yelled at him: "What are you doing brother? Are you stupid? You are not going to achieve anything by doing this. What are you trying to do? You must run for your life!"

Quetzal bird stopped for a moment and looked at owl, and then answered: "I am doing the best I can with what I have."


It is remembered by our Grandparents that a long time ago the forests that covered our Earth were saved from a great fire by a small Quetzal bird, an owl, and many other animals and people who got together to put out the fire.


Source: "Turning To One Another"
collected by Margaret Wheatley

32 comments:

  1. Ah yes, I do remember this parable. It is an important to remember that we can all do our part, no matter how small that part may be. :)

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    1. No matter how little change we may see, every helpful step is good.
      :-)

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  2. I don't remember this one, an excellent one indeed. And a delightful drawing, Susan.

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    1. I'm very happy you're pleased with both.

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  3. a wonderful drawing, my dear!
    my pad isn't working so will stop but I want her haircut. you inspired me! xxxx

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    1. Sometimes my struggles with silly images provide the best results :-)
      See you soon xoxo

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  4. I don't remember this either, but it reminds me of the story Stone Soup. The message is the same. And so important these days when things feel so out of control.

    BTW, I think your pictures tell plenty of stories. They don't all need words. xo

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    1. Just like in Aesop's Fables the crucial lessons are the same but in different guises.

      Thanks :-) That's the same advice I get from around here too.

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  5. I don't like this one. I love it! Perfect read on this day of stormy weather and stormy rhetoric.

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    1. I'm very happy it brightened your day. I'm sure you agree the rhetoric is wilder than any weather and equally dangerous.

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  6. Beautiful. To bad there are people who do not understand this. We really do get by with a little help form our friends — especially when we all work together.

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    1. Good. I think there will always be people who don't understand this and so we must treasure every little advance. Remember the hundred monkeys?

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  7. You idealistic hippies! The world is doomed. DOOMED.

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    1. Were that completely true there'd never be such hilarious entertainment.

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    2. the more I hear this word the sillier I think it is--whoever came up with such a sound and put these syllables together? :)

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    3. Good question. Wikipedia (that great font of info) says it comes from 'dōm', the Anglo-Saxon word meaning judgement or law.. also taxes :-)

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  8. I just noticed the young crow perched upon moppet's finger! This is a delightful drawing, Susan. I am reminded, a bit, of Toad, from Wind in the Willows, one of my favorites. I wholeheartedly agree with Lisa that your drawings tell great stories, too.

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    1. I'm glad you noticed that. When I get around to making a painting of it perhaps he'll be easier to see. Wind in the Willows is one of my favorites too. Do you remember The Piper at the Gates of Dawn?

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  9. I like the way you draw frogs...and everything else. Delightful, as always.

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  10. Hi Susan,

    I like this one too AND I'll be in Kitchener at a conference with Margaret Wheatley this October. I like her writing and thinking a lot.

    Your drawings and writings are always inspiring and creative (and crafted too). I still have the coloured piece with the dragon and the couple...hanging in our entrance hall.

    Hope you're well in NS and love to see you sometime.

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    1. Nice to see you stopped by for a visit. I'm sure you're going to enjoy spending time with Margaret Wheatley this fall - I knew I liked her when I read her quote : 'Nothing exists in isolation'.

      Thanks for the compliment. It's nice to know you still have that picture.

      One of these days I'm sure we'll meet again.

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    1. Thanks, Jams. I hope you feel better.

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  12. Thanks for the lovely picture, susan ... and the story. The world surely needs more hope and less doom.

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    1. You're welcome.. and yes, that it does.

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  13. Hi Susan
    Just dropped in as have been tied up doing some voluntary tutorials at the University of the 3rd Age on value investing and only just now are responding to some blogging. Loved your drawing- the parable is similar to a australian aboriginal one.
    Best wishes

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    1. Nice to see you again, Lindsay. Yes, this is definitely one of those stories that has taken on many forms.

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  14. Thank you for your warm and encouraging words on my recent post. And speaking of grace and timing... this post of yours is just what I (in my new job) needed to hear today. And I love the frogs (you know I have a special spot in my heart for frogs). I actually have a frog painting in the works. As a matter of fact this post inspires me to get off my online rump and pick up my brush.

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    1. Hi Steve, I really was delighted to see your new post and learn of the recent changes you've made. I'm glad you like this drawing as I've been struggling these past months to complete anything. The frogs just appeared and I'm glad they did.

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