Thursday, May 5, 2011

Vintage Thursday: Gone to the Birds, and a Story

I don't usually do themes on my table (well, except Christmas and Fall) but I noticed that I had a few bird things around so I gathered them up. The milk glass hen-on-her-nest is one of those things I've kept around but it's not a real favorite. She might go on eBay, although I've noticed there are many just like here on there and they don't seem to sell.

I found these two parrots at Goodwill last winter. I would guess them to be from the 1940's or 50's? Anyone know? The green felt on their bottoms is very worn.

I also don't have many silk flowers--I prefer the real thing--but I have always liked this arrangement. The little bird came off a Christmas arrangement and seems happy with the nest I found a few winters ago in one of my forsythias.

Little birds in one of my paperweights...

This poor old hen has been on the nest so long she's nothing but a skeleton! She came in a box of auction junk, and she and her wooden eggs have been in my kitchen or on the porch for years. The little brass bird seems to like the shadows.

Since we're on a birding trip, here's a few of my favorite bird stories:

The Jay and the Peacock ( from Aesop)

A jay venturing into a yard where peacocks used to walk, found there a number of feathers which had fallen from the peacocks when they were molting. He tied them all to his tail and strutted down towards the peacocks. When he came near them they soon discovered the cheat, and striding up to him pecked at him and plucked away his borrowed plumes. So the jay could do no better than go back to the other jays, who had watched his behavior from a distance. But they were equally annoyed with him, and told him, "It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds."

The Three Proverbs--Poland

A rich man was once walking about in his garden. He was cheerful and happy. Suddenly he noticed a small bird that had been captured in a small net. He took hold of it and was more than a little surprised when it began to speak, saying, "Give me my freedom, dear man! Of what use is it to you to lock me in a cage? Looking at me will not please you, for I do not have beautiful feathers. I cannot entertain you, for I do not sing like other birds. And I cannot provide you with nourishment. I am much too small for that. But I will tell you three wise teachings if you will give my freedom."

The master of the garden looked at the little creature and said, "If you do not sing then of course you cannot entertain me. Let me hear your wisdom, and if it teaches me anything, I will give you your freedom."
Then the little bird said, "First: Do not grieve over things that have already happened. Second: Do not wish for that which is unattainable. Third: Do not believe in that which cannot be possible." 

Then the master of the garden said, "You have indeed taught me something. I will give you your freedom."
Letting the bird fly away, he thought seriously about its words. Then he heard it laughing quietly. Its voice came from a tree where the bird was sitting.

"Why are you laughing so cheerfully?" shouted the man.

"About my easily won freedom," answered the bird, "and more than that, about the foolishness of humans who believe they are smarter than all other creatures. If you had been smarter, only just as smart as I am, then you would now be the richest man."

"How would that have been possible?" asked the master of the garden.

The bird replied, "If, instead of giving me my freedom, you had kept me, for in my body I have a diamond the size of a hen's egg."

The man stood there as though he were petrified. After recovering from the surprise, he began to speak, "You think that you are happy because I gave you your freedom. But summer will soon be over and winter with its storms will arrive. The brooks will freeze over, and you will not be able to find a single drop of water to quench your thirst. The fields will be covered with snow, and you will not find anything to eat. But I will give you a warm place where you can freely fly around, and you can have as much water and bread as you want. Come down, and I will show you that you are better off with me than with your freedom." 

Thus spoke the master of the garden, but the little bird laughed louder than before, making the man even angrier.

"You are still laughing?" asked the man.

"Of course," replied the bird. "See, you gave me my freedom on account of the teachings that I gave you, and now you are so foolish that you do not take the teachings to heart. I earned my freedom fairly, but you forgot my teachings after only a few minutes. You should not grieve over things that have already happened, but still you are grieving that you gave me my freedom. You should not wish for things that you cannot obtain, and yet you want me, for whom freedom is my whole life, to voluntarily enter a prison. You should not believe that which is impossible, and yet you believe that I am carrying about inside my body a diamond as large as a hen's egg, although I myself am only half the size of a hen's egg."
And with that the bird flew away.

How the Philippines Began

The universe was once made up of the Sky (on top), the Sea (at the bottom), and a large Bird which flew constantly between the first two. The Bird grew tired of flying since he didn't have any place to rest, so he started an argument between those two best of friends, the Sky and the Sea.
The Bird told the Sky that the Sea wanted to drown him with her mighty waves. Then the Bird told the Sea that the Sky wanted to hit her with stones. The Sea reacted by throwing waves of water towards the Sky.
The Sky moved even higher, but when he saw the Sea's waves rising some more, he then threw soil towards the sea. The soil quieted the Sea and also made the Sky lighter. The soil turned into 7,000 islands and that is how the Philippines came to be.

Now I have to fly away. Have a great Thursday!


Janet, said...

I love your birds (and chickens).

Angela said...

I love the birds! My kitchen is decorated in birds and birdhouses.

Granny Sue said...

I didn't realize I had bird things until I started looking. I like them too, Angela. I need some more real birdhouses in my yard--maybe a winter project this year.

Janet, I bet you have the same milk glass hen on her nest, don't you?

Janet, said...

Believe it or not, Susanna, I don't have one of those. By the way, I just looked around on the internet and I think that thing I got today is what they called a clothes "stomper." Wash day sure was something else back in the old days, wasn't it.


Granny Sue -- Liked your stories. Also found the charming bird with a reall nest beautiful -- barbara

Granny Sue said...

Stomper, that's the word I was trying to think of, Janet! Good deal.

Maybe my hen needs to go to your house. I think she'd be more at home there :)

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