~ 197. The Bird's Advice ~

"Let me go," the bird said to the bird-catcher, "and I'll teach you three secrets."
The man let the bird go.
"First: don't believe anything absurd."
The bird hopped away. "Second: don't grieve; when you lose something, let it go."
The bird flew up in a tree. "There's a pearl in my stomach as big as an apple."
The man started weeping.
The bird laughed. "Remember: don't grieve, and don't believe something absurd. I'm smaller than an apple myself!"
"What about the third piece of advice?"
"You're a fool and don't deserve it!" the bird replied, and then flew away.

Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in More Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 119 in the book. This folktale eventually entered the European Aesopic tradition: The Nightingale's Advice. In Rumi's version, the three pieces of advice are spaced out: one on your hand, second on your roof, third from a tree.

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