WHY CANARIES ARE YELLOW
One hot and muggy summer day, Taylor, Theodore, and the wizards sat in Mimi's garden. Jamal began to speak. "It has been so hot for such a long time. I wish the sun would stop shining for just one day. We could use a break from all of this heat."
"Be careful for what you wish, Jamal. You never know who may be listening. Didn't your parents ever tell you the story about the time the sun stopped shining?"
"No, Taylor I do not believe that I have ever heard that story. Where did you hear it?" "Mimi, told me this story when I was a little child. Would you all like to hear it?"
"Of course we would. Mimi always has the best stories," said Theodore.
So Taylor began her tale.
"One day, many years ago. Mother sun looked down upon the sleeping earth. She had a long day. All day long she shined her golden rays upon and brought life to the dismal planet. As the people lay deep within their slumber, she began to wonder. I work so hard each day just to bring sunlight to people who little appreciate the good deeds I do. Many times they stay indoors and hide from my golden rays. Children stay indoors and watch television or play their video games. Television and video games have replaced their time in the sun. They complain that it is too hot or too cold. I can never seem to get it right. Yet day after day, year after year I work. I am so weary. Maybe I should rest for a little while. What harm could come if I just close my eyes for a few minutes?
So Mother sun closed her eyes and soon she was fast asleep. In a few hours the earth became dark and the air began to chill. The animals were frightened and ran to see Mother Nature.
'Mother, what is happening? The sun is not shining and the ground is growing cold. Soon no plants will grow and we will starve.'
'I do not know what is happening. In all of the years that I have been alive this has never happened before. I do not know what is wrong. Do not worry I am sure that by tomorrow everything will be fine. Return home now.'
Days passed and still the sun did not shine. The animals returned to Mother Nature.
'Mother, we grow worried, the ground is now solid ice, the ponds are frozen over. There is no food. What are we to do?'
'I am sorry, my children, I do not know what to do. I am at a loss. The sun is so far away and I have no way to go there to see if something has happened to her. I do not know what to do.'
From the back of the crowd of animals a small voice spoke up, 'Perhaps, I can help mother. I can fly up to the sun and find out what is wrong.'
The animal turned toward the voice. There stood a tiny white bird.
Leo, the Lion began to laugh, 'why it is just Kevin, the canary. Surely you are joking, Kevin. Do you know how far it is to the sun? You are much too small for such a great task. Surely you can see that.'
'What does size have to do with anything? I can fly, and someone must go. Is anyone else even willing to try?'
Kevin pointed at Leo, ' will you go?' Leo hung his head and backed up.
Kevin pointed at each animal in turn, 'will you go?' He went to the owls who just said who and flew away. He went to the eagles and to the elephants. Not one animal was willing to try. All of the animals stood staring at each other.
'Mother Nature, please give me your blessing. This is something I know I can do. I just need a chance.'
'Kevin, you are a very brave little bird. It is a very long and hard journey that you will be taking. No one has ever gone to the sun. It will be very dangerous. Are you sure you want to do this?'
'Mother, no one else has offered to go. Someone must try to find out what is wrong. I am not afraid,' said Kevin.
'Kevin, you have my blessings, please be careful,' said Mother Nature.
With those words, Kevin began his journey.
First he flew up into the tallest tree he could find, then up to the mountain top, then into the clouds. With each new height, his tiny wings froze over and he had to stop to warm them. For five days he flew straight up into the sky. He was cold. He was tired. He was hungry but he did not give up on his dream to reach the sun. On the sixth day he was circling the sun. His weary body was all but tired out. He began calling to the sun.
'Mother sun, please help me! My name is Kevin. I grow so weary. I do not know if I can go on.'
Mother sun turned her head toward the voice. Where is that voice coming from? she thought. Slowly Mother sun opened one eye. She was amazed to see a tiny white bird flying near her surface. In all the years that she had been in existence no one had dared to come near her.
Who is this tiny bird and what is it doing here? thought Mother sun.
Mother sun looked hard at Kevin. See noticed that he was nearly frozen. She felt sorry for Kevin and sent a sunbeam down to lift him to her surface. The moment the sunbeam reached Kevin, he began to feel the warmth of the sun's touch.
The sun brought Kevin to her. She noticed that Kevin's wings were frost bitten and his tiny toes had begun to turn black from the cold.
Kevin immediately began to speak. 'Mother sun, I have come so far to see you, why have you stopped giving us warmth. My people are afraid. They are cold and hungry. Please help us. We need you.'
With that final word Kevin took one deep breath and laid still.
Mother sun looked down at the brave little bird. He had given his life to save the world. How could she have been so selfish? There were still a lot of good people in the world. Just because a few people complained did not mean she was not needed. The sun looked down at Kevin laying so still and she began to cry. Her warm tears fell upon Kevin's still body. The warmth of the tears melted the ice from around his body and he began to breathe again.
The sun was so happy to see Kevin breathing again that she began to smile and as she smiled light once again filled the sky. Immediately one sunbeam then another began to make their way to the earth. The warmth of her smile began to heat the now frozen earth. When the first beam of light hit the forest the animals of the planet knew that Kevin had reached the sun.
Mother sun began to speak, 'Kevin, you are a brave bird. You have made me realize that I am needed. You have a very rare gift, my friend. You care for the people of the world. You were willing to give up your life to save your friends. As a reward for your kindness from this day forward you and all of your family shall be the color of the sun, a constant reminder to the world of your unselfish act. Go, Kevin, go back home. I promise that I will never again turn off the sun. I will be there for you always.'
With those words, Mother sun sent a sunbeam to lift Kevin and to carry him back home.
All of the animals were gathered outside of Mother Nature's home when Kevin arrived back at the village riding on a sun beam. They were amazed to find him arriving home riding on a sunbeam but even more surprised to see that his white feathers were now a bright yellow color. When the other animals glanced around they saw that all of the canaries were now the same bright yellow. To this day the canaries of the world are the same bright yellow color of the sun, a constant reminder to the sun of her promise to Kevin. To this day Mother sun has kept her promise to Kevin. Every day the sun rises and brings warmth to our planet. Thanks to that tiny little bird, Kevin. .
"So you see, my fellow wizards it does not matter who are what you are. How big or small you are. How old or how young you are. It is what is inside your heart that counts. For if you have a dream, you can make that dream come true. All you have to do is believe in yourself. Success is not based on who or what you are but your desire to succeed. Kevin, proved that if you have the desire and drive you can accomplish anything. Take this lesson with you my fellow wizards. For there are many lessons to learn in life and this is one lesson well remembered."
I have told this story at many schools and the children love this tale.