The Bird of the Most Beautiful Song

©2012 Christopher Agostino      — re-telling a fable from the Pygmy people of the Ituri forest

A young boy was walking through the forest when he heard a song, a song so beautiful that he followed the sound to see who was singing and he discovered a bird—the Bird of the Most Beautiful Song in the Forest. He asked the bird to come home with him, and when he returned to his house he asked his father to let the bird join them at their meal. The father was annoyed to have to give food to a mere bird, but he agreed. After the meal, the bird flew away.

The next day the boy again heard the singing in the forest, and again he brought the bird home for a meal. The father was more annoyed than before, but again the bird was fed. 

Then a third day, and again the song was heard! This time when the boy returned home with the bird, the father decided it was enough, their food was too precious to share. So he sent the boy off on an errand, and when the boy was gone, the man took the bird into the forest and killed the bird, and with the bird the song died as well, and with the song the man died—for the bird was gone forever; and with the bird, the most beautiful song of the forest was gone forever; and with the song, the man was gone, gone from the forest forever.

I have been wanting to tell this tale ever since I came across it, and I performed it for the first time this past Sunday at the North Hempstead Ecofest at Clark Botanical Garden. Continue reading