The Bluebird’s Song by Brittany Miller

Once there was a young bluebird named Brandon. He lived with his mom in a tall tree that was in a forest full of every kind of animal you could imagine- bears, raccoons, squirrels, and rabbits. Brandon was an attractive bluebird and he had a few friends, but he didn’t feel very lucky. He and his mom were poor with only a small nest to live in, and Brandon didn’t feel very talented. He could sing, but he didn’t think that singing was all that important. Sometimes when Brandon was feeling sad and lonely, he would sing to himself to make himself feel better. It usually helped.
One day Brandon was flying through the forest alone when he looked down and saw Jim. Jim was a jackrabbit who was known all over the forest for being a comedian- someone who has the ability to make others laugh. Jim was the forest favorite; the funny jokes that Jim would tell and the impersonations he would do of the other animals drew forest creatures from miles around. In fact, Brandon couldn’t remember a time he had ever seen Jim without a smile on his face.
But Jim the Jackrabbit didn’t have a smile on his face today. He was hopping so slowly through the forest that Brandon could hardly call it a hop, and his ears hung so low that they dragged along the ground. Brandon was confused at this; he had never seen Jim act like this. Finally, curiosity got the better of him and he flew down to the ground, landing in front of Jim.
Jim was startled at the sudden appearance of the small bluebird, but he couldn’t say that he was surprised. He had become used to the forest animals appearing out of nowhere, expecting him to do an impersonation for them or to tell them a joke. But Jim didn’t feel like telling a joke today.
“Hey, kid,” Jim the Jackrabbit said. “Who do you want to see?”
Brandon the Bluebird was confused by the question. “What do you mean?” he asked. “I want to see you.”
“No one ever wants to see me,” Jim countered. “They either want to see an impersonation of Boris the Bear or Otis the Owl. They never want to see Jim the Jackrabbit.”
“I do,” said. Brandon.
Jim shook his head. “Sorry, kid, not today. There wouldn’t be much to see anyway.” And Jim the Jackrabbit continued on his way.
But Brandon had never been one to give up easily. He took to the air and again landed right in front of Jim.
“Look, I don’t mean to be rude,” Jim told him, “But now is not a good time, okay?”
“What’s wrong?” Brandon asked. “Maybe I can help.”
“No one can help me,” Jim said, shaking his head.
“Why not?” Brandon wondered. “My mom says that a little love can help anybody.”
“Nobody loves me,” Jim said sadly.
This surprised Brandon. “What are you talking about? Everybody loves you! The other animals come from miles around just to see you!”
“Nobody loves me,” Jim repeated emphatically. “Others love what I can do. Others love the way I make them feel. They don’t love me.” With this, Jim the Jackrabbit hopped quickly around Brandon.
But once again, Brandon wouldn’t let him get away. “I love you!” he exclaimed.
“Look, kid, let me explain something to you,” Jim the Jackrabbit sighed. “You can’t love someone you don’t know, okay? You can’t love me because you don’t really know me.” And then under his breath he added, “Nobody does.”
“Then let’s hang out together,” Brandon exclaimed, “And we can get to know each other.”
“Why would you want to get to know me?” Jim asked blankly.
“Why not?”
Jim thought about this for a minute, then felt a smile creep upon his face. “Listen, kid: It’s real nice of you to want to talk to me and all that, but. . .how can I put this to you gently? I can’t hang out with you, okay?”
“Why not?” Brandon wondered.
“Because. . .” Jim began. He thought about it, but he couldn’t think of a good enough reason.
“It’s okay to be sad,” Brandon told him. “Sometimes I get sad, too. When I think about how poor my mom and I are, I get sad. When I think about how talented my other friends are while all I can do is sing, I get sad then, too. Everybody gets sad sometimes.”
Jim looked at Brandon and blinked.
“One time,” Brandon continued, “I was flying with my friends and they started laughing at me because I couldn’t fly as high as they could. I started crying and they all called me a crybaby. I flew home and told my mom about it. She took me under her wing and told me everything would be okay. And do you know what? She was right! The next day, we were all friends again. My mom says that if you have a forgiving heart, you’ll always have friends.”
Jim was silent. He hadn’t been this silent in a long time.
“It’s okay to be sad sometimes,” Brandon smiled. “But when you start thinking about all the good things in your life, you probably won’t be sad anymore. Maybe I don’t have a lot of stuff, but I have a mom who loves me and cares for me. Maybe I can’t do very many things well, but I can sing. It’s hard to be sad when there are so many reasons to be happy.”
Jim the Jackrabbit’s smile had now spread all the way across the face. “If it’s okay with you,” he said to the bluebird, his ears beginning to perk back up and his eyes beginning to shine, “I’d like to hang out with you for a while. I can’t fly like you can, but maybe I can learn how to sing. . .again.”

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