Today, yesterday and more of tomorrow, when the earth was young, and the crows couldn't fly, a tiny bird sat in a pool of water.
His little feet were covered in the water, and as he looked down, he noticed that his feet seemed to be much MUCH bigger than usual.
"Why? I have the wrong feet on!"
The little bird started to weep, tiny little tears, his feathers became fluffed up and ruffled and the tears filled
the puddle, as it grew deeper and deeper.
The little bird didn't want to move, he felt very ashamed of his HUGE feet.
Now there happened by a wise woman - well known in the local area for her problem solving ablities.
She stopped by the little bird, sat down gently and whispered...
"Why little bird, what is your problem?"
"Can't you see? Look at my feet! They've grown HUGE - I can't walkabout the world when I have someone else's
feet on the end of my legs!"
The little bird wept more and more deeply.
"Have you tried steeping out of the puddle?"
The little bird shook it's head vehemently - "OOh I couldn't do that - everyone would see my feet, and the owner
might want them back - then where would I be? I would be footless...Noooo, I can't step out of this puddle, I'll just have to wait for the thief to bring my own feet back.."
The wise woman sighed and went on her way - knowing that the problem would eventually solve itself, with, or without her intervention.
Next there came by a self-confessed wise and rich man from the village. When he heard the little bird's story he sat and thought.
"I have the answer to your problem little bird - but you have to trust me that it will help you..."
"Oh anything...anything to get my own feet back"
"I believe that the water spirit has taken away your real feet and has replaced them with his own, so the only way you will get your feet back is to appease him, with a gift!"
"What kind of gift would appease a water spirit?"
"The one thing that a water spirit needs, is a vision of the moon on a bright night, for the water spirit worships the moon, and welcomes the pull of the moon in the tides - we have had no bright moonshine for many months - so you must call to the moon, and ask him to help you."
The little bird thanked the wise man, and settled down for a long cold wait, until the night time.
At last the sun disappeared, and the moon rose, yet once again it was a dark and cloudy night, and the moon refused to show her face to the earth.
The little bird waited patiently...and waited, and waited. But the moon refused to shine fully, she kept her face hidden behind the clouds.
In desperation, knowing that the sun was soon to rise, the little bird sang to the moon, in silvery liquid tones which warmed the moon's heart. She beamed silver moonshine down onto the puddle, and the tiny bird smiled and sang ever more sweetly.
The sun began to rise like a golden crown on the horizon, and the moonglow liquid silver disappeared from the puddle.
The little bird glanced down at his feet, and there was no change. His feet still looked enormous.
Was there no answer to his problem? Once again he started to weep.
His feet were now beginning to lose their feeling, and the skin was beginning to pucker in their waterlogged state.
He was beginning to get hungry and his mate would be missing him.
It seemed that even the wisest man in the village could not answer his problem for him, so he must make his own decision, and find a way out by himself.
Thinking that it was very early in the morning, and that no other birds would be around to see his big feet, the little bird hopped accross the puddle, trying not to look at his dreadful feet - and at last reached dry land. He was tired and hungry, so he ran and flew up to the nearest branch.
At first he thought that his unsteady perch was due to the size of his feet, until he looked down, and noticed that he had his own feet again!
So - the little bird flew back to his nest, rested and remained with his mate for a long warm day, having learned that sometimes, keeping your own counsel is wiser than asking for someone elses...