A man loved a woman. It was unrequited, and his
sadness was watched by a nightingale. The man asked if he could dance with his
chosen one on the ball the next day? Not before you bring me a red rose, the
woman answered. The man was even more sorrowful - his garden held a few roses,
but no red ones this time of year. The nightingale was moved to tears, and
started singing as the man went to sleep. It sang so beautifully and for such a
long time that it woke the moon. The bird asked how could it find a red
rose? There was indeed a bush in the garden, but with no flowers.
The moon said - there was a way. But it was too
gruesome to reveal. The bird pleaded, and finally the moon told. The only way to
bring out a red rose - a way which the bird then proceeded to do - was that the
nightingale had to sing through the night, as beautiful and loud as ever, whilst
pressing its heart against the biggest thorn on the bush... Needless to say, the
next morning, with the final notes on its beak, and the moon only just visible,
the bird died.
The bush brought forth a beautiful, dark red
The man awoke, went outside, wondered for a second
about the dead bird, then concentrated on the beautiful flower. He ran to his
chosen one and produced the red rose.
She pushed him aside, stepped on the flower, went
back inside. The man went home.
My kids were left paralyzed on the couch, while von Linné's grandchild (obviously either lacking in empathy or used to this kind of stuff) jumped off his lap and went back to playing. Mine still remember this piece of "children's cartoon hour" with horror!
Now, I really don't need only happy endings for me - but for the kids, couldn't the bird's sacrifice at least have been for a purpose? Poor Jakob, cried himself to sleep...