Songs of the Nightingale

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By: Naseem Achakzai

Once upon a time a butterfly was born in the thickest corner of a forest. She was the most beautiful butterfly in the world. This part of the forest had the prettiest flowers anyone had ever seen. All the animals were living peacefully, each one following the course of its life undisturbed.  

One of the whitest of all rabbits was a little bit naughty. The insects were all busy in their usual activities. They crawled, scampered and flew about, with no fear at all. One of the crickets, often hidden in the bush, would start saying:

Chirr, chirr, chirr as soon as night fell.

A swallow had artistically built its nest in one of the trees. The trees would swing day and night on the waves of the wind. Each living creature, rock or plant knew what to do. They had their own place and function. Life meant balance to them. Nothing went beyond its circle or limit.

Birds flew as high as they could. But they knew that they could not fly as high as an eagle can. Well, that beautiful female butterfly changed from a small larva into a beautifully colored butterfly. She flew about, oh so softly. She was extremely attractive. There never ever had been a combination of the kind of colors she had, in forest before. She had a kaleidoscope of shades and colors on her wings.

The very first day when she flew, the jungle grew silent in appreciation. Words were not enough to explain her beauty. First of all the rainbow was impressed by her colors. When she flew to the nearest branches of a wild rosebush, it gave her the gift of fragrance as a token of appreciation. She flew on the wings of air through the forest. 

The whole jungle very soon realized that the butterfly was unique. They all wanted to see and appreciate her colors. The news of her magic soon spread everywhere in the jungle. 

The willow tree became more flexible to catch her attention. The Juniper tree stretched its branches higher to give an impression of grace to win her. Whenever she fluttered through the air, the running deer and stags forgot their steps. They stared at her in astonishment. She was a floating arrangement of admiration in the sky

When she danced over the nearest streams or ponds of water the fish would stop swimming. The swans and ducks became still. Even the naughty and jolly rabbit was struck by her spell. In a few days, the butterfly realized that there was no one else in the whole forest more beautiful than her. She had no comparison at all. She was the only beauty. 

One day, wanting to find out her spell over the entire forest, she flew higher and higher. She was swept away by her vain hope to see herself in the eyes of others. 

The night ruled everywhere. Stars shown in the sky. Moon was full and remained like a bride in the circle of her own bright light. One of the nightingales started singing. After the birth of this butterfly he was called the poet of the forest. He composed lines after lines and sang all those lines throughout the night.

You are born to love,

To be inspired.

To dream,

Don’t scream!

Feel the world,

As it is.

 Taste the life,

As assigned. 

Stare at me, 

As I am.

 Touch the moon,

As it seems.

Listen to me,

As I sing. 

You are born to dream,

Please, don’t scream.

Look at me, 

As I am.