A little bird sits beneath the rosemary bush at the base of the wall at the bottom of the garden. It sits and quivers, nibbling at the young growth and waits patiently for the butterfly.
Once a day the butterfly arrives with a story. Today the story is longer than usual.
“Close your eyes little bird, and I will begin.”
As usual, a field of green unfolds towards a distant horizon as the small bird closes his eyes. The seen began to change, green turned to blue and the Bird Knight was standing on coarse pebble sand.
The waves showed no sign of stopping and the sun had returned to the sky. The pebbles supported drift-wood easily. Giant trunks and sprawling roots make a scatter-brained child’s artwork along the beach.
“What’s happening?”, the little bird asked.
“I’ve forgotten”, the butterfly replied.
The Knight started to walk left along the beach. The beach narrowed. The trees started to arc towards the water. Blocking-off the sky. The knight removed his armor and began to crouch, shuffling through the sand and pushing past the branches.
This isn’t where I thought I was going but there doesn’t seem to be any going back, the Knight thought.
Finally he could stand up. He looked around.
There was a wall. It was brick. It stood at the very edge of the garden in the shade.
The wall seemed familiar.
He found a small rosemary bush at the base. He found a small nest underneath. It was empty.
“Why?”, the little bird asked.
“We will find out shortly”, the butterfly replied.
He picked up the nest, carefully. He walked to the center of the grove. The nest nestled comfortably into the grass.
Again, the Knight would wait. It seemed to be his first choice.
The sun began to fade. Darkness never came.
The Bird Knight never took his eyes off the nest. By morning he knew every twig and each leaf used in its construction. He knew its geography and how each egg would sit if there were three or four or two, or even one egg.
The Knight wondered what this information would do for him in the future. He knew it come in handy or it would pad the corners of his mind.
Nothing touched the nest all night but a butterfly. The Knight stood and stretched. He moved to leave. No exit. No hole that he came through.
“What do you think he will do?”, the butterfly asked the little bird.
After much contemplation, he answered.
“He will fly out of the grove.”
The Bird Knight flew up, out of the grove. He saw the grove, round with a hole in the center. He saw the tunnel that joined the grove to the beach. He saw forest covering the last to his left. He saw ocean to the horizon on his right.
A mountain of clouds sat above the horizon and reached towards the sky. The Bird Knight wanted to see what the view from the top was like.
Nothing special. More forest. More ocean. A bigger horizon.
He flew back down to the beach. The pebbles made a slippery landing. He sat on a piece of driftwood and thought.
The nest seemed strange. In such good condition yet nobody and nothing touched it all night.
“Thats it, little bird”, the butterfly concluded.
“Wait…”, the little bird protested.
“I’m sorry, I must leave you now”, said the Butterfly, “tell me what you make of the story tomorrow.”
That can’t be it, the small bird thought. There wasn’t a moral. Stories have morals.
The little bird walked from under the rosemary bush and around the wall, uphill. He sat, nestled where mortar used to be. The sunlight warmed his tiny body. He dozed and thought about the nest, the grove, the clouds and the Bird Knight.
The Bird Knights motives always seemed a mystery to the little bird.
Maybe it was something about appreciation.