Now Red the squirrel was a most enchanting creature of the forest. She loved to spend each day jumping from branch to branch high in the boughs of the trees on the search for nourishing nuts and lush red berries. As she did so she would sing to herself little melodies of summer, raindrops and of the beauty she saw all around her.
But some of the other forest creatures, especially the grey rabbits, were jealous of Red because her coat would catch the sunlight glowing like fire, hues of red, orange, gold and it was beautiful. They mocked her little melodies as silly and whimsical. They especially disliked that all the birds of the forest loved Red because every day she would leave them little bundles of berries and nuts, gifts she had found while exploring the forest.
So caught up in their disdain of Red had they become that they mocked her and they called her hurtful names. They laughed at her kindness to the birds of the forest and they slowly made feel Red hurt. As much as she tried to ignore them, her heart was gentle and tender and their words cut it like a knife.
So over time Red sought to dull her beautiful coat by rubbing it with moss from the forest floor, hoping to cover its beauty and colour to stop their painful words. She stopped too singing her sweet little melodies, and no longer left her gifts of berries and nuts for the birds of the forest.
So Red became sad and tired, worn down by the other creatures unkindness. Red lost her beauty and soon she forgot to see the beauty around her, instead she felt only pain.
We are all different but all beautiful in our own ways. We have different personalities, gifts we can give to others and things that make us unique. Sadly we sometimes come across people who wish us to not reach our full potential but instead seek to control us and bring us down. They may do this by being openly cruel and hurtful, calling us names or being critical of the good we do. Sometimes they may be more covered and seek to do us harm by spreading lies or trying to damage our reputation. Sometimes this may even come from those closest to us, in that they withhold their love and support, critical of the things we do or the choices we make.
In time surrounded by those that seek to bring us down, we can lose sight of our beauty and gifts, We may even seek to dull ourselves, not letting it our inner light shine, to ward off the painful blows of others. We can hide our voice, feel we have no worth or place, and nothing to offer. This in turn can cause us to give up trying to help others as we try to keep ourselves safe. We try to blend in, become someone that no one notices, hiding away and losing who we really are.
One day in Autumn as the days were getting shorter, colder and the trees where turning gold and bronze, Red saw a majestic bear in the forest. The bear was busy preparing his cave to hibernate and Red watched him for the longest time, marvelling at his great strength yet gentle manner. She noticed the deep rich brown of his coat and magnificent paws. Lost in wonder she began to sing again a little melody and bear heard.
Bear, hearing Red’s melody, called her down from the tree’s. Bear asked what her melody was about and Red explained it was about him and his gentle manner but great strength. Bear looked over squirrel and saw how dull her red coat had become. It was covered in moss and wondered why she had done such a thing and he could see a deep sadness in her eyes.
Over the next few days he asked about Red to the other animals in the forest. While some mocked and laughed at her, the birds recounted her kindness and how they missed her beautiful melodies that use to drift through the trees each day. Bear became heavy in heart because he knew that Red was hurt and was hiding who she really was, seeking to fit in and be something she wasn’t. She had lost her uniqueness and beauty. So he devised a plan.
One crisp frosty morning bear waited by the icy pool in the middle of the forest. As usual after a while, Red appeared high up in the near by Oak tree. Bear calling her down to sit by the pool, asked Red to tell him about the other creatures of the forest. So Red told him about the rabbits and how beautiful they were with coats that shone like spun silver, of the deers and their amazing grace and poise. She spoke of the badgers who worked hard each day and the birds who bravely searched the forest to collect food for their young.
Bear asked Red to look in the pool, So Red peered in the pool at her own reflection. Bear dipped his gentle paw in the water and began to wipe Red’s coat. Slowly the moss fell away, and as the evening sun cast its last glow, it fell upon Red and she shone with more beauty than ever before. “Look” said bear, “Look at your own beauty”, for you have forgotten who you really are. Then out of the forest all around, came all the other animals. For they had heard Red’s description of them and felt stricken at heart. The birds of the forest flew down with small gifts of berries and wild flowers and even the rabbits hung their heads, because they knew they had allowed jealousy to take root deep in their hearts.
From that day on Red never hid her beauty or her kindness again, in fact it shine more brightly than ever before and the other animals in the forest never mocked her again. Instead Red, the rabbits, the deers, the Badgers, the birds of forest and of course bear too, would all come together to share stories of their adventures they had enjoyed that day.
Never should we allow others to bring us down, to make us hide our gifts or stop us being who we are. Not everyone will support us or help us on our journey, but there will be those that love us for who we really are. These instead of being critical will help us see clearly our true reflection. They will encourage us and offer us all we need. They will not be twisted with jealousy but seek to see us soar. Then together we can share our achievements and magical journeys, and make magical melodies that rise far above the treetops.
Never lose sight of who you are but sing it from the tree tops, let your voice be heard, let your light reflect for all to see and be your own beautiful YOU .