Home > Leadership and Management > The Cuckoo and the Sparrow Series - Part 3

The Cuckoo and the Sparrow Series - Part 3

By G. Balasubramanian


The cuckoo recognized the familiar voice. “Oh, Is it you, my friend, sparrow?”

“Yes, here I am again”, laughed the sparrow.

“That is good, I really was waiting to ask you some question” the cuckoo prepared herself. “Please go ahead” chirped the sparrow.

“Have you seen multicolored parrots?”

“Of course, I do see them oftentimes”

“Have you ever felt why we are not born like them?” asked the cuckoo. “God has been unfair to us giving these dull colours.”

The sparrow laughed uncontrollably. “Again, you are back to square one. You seem to be defeating yourself often. The physical features, the colour and such things are not in your hand. They are divine gift or nature’s play. You need to feel good with whatever you have.”

“But, people love parrots much better than you and me“, said the cuckoo.

“That is an impression that you have created in your mind. You suffer mostly because of these impressions and perceptions. Further, humans find some utility value in them. They love things which can be of some use to them. They know that parrots are trainable. People capture them and train them to speak the way they want, to do some gimmicks to show case to others. And some of them are even tortured to play in a circus for just a peanut”

“We could also do all that parrot does and we might get a good followership , said the cuckoo.

“Why do you under-estimate the self when you are gifted with such a unique talent of singing?” snubbed the sparrow. She continued “ you know, before being trained, they are put into a cage. They lose their freedom. They are sometimes tortured to speak the way humans do and that only a few words. Many don’t understand that parrots can never speak the way humans do. Yet they admire something different in them. You and me are free. We are never caged. We sing the song of life and not conditioned to speak what they want. As such many people use these tricks to fill their own pockets.”

“You always have a counter-point to whatever I say” lamented the cuckoo.

“Listen. When you sing, people close their eyes and enjoy the melody. They lose themselves and enjoy your existence. But it doesn’t happen with a caged bird. The caged bird can’t even go and seek the food of its choice. It has to eat what the master gives. Isn’t it a life of slavery? Do you want it? Though you are rich by yourself you are yielding to self-pity by looking at others” the sparrow put across a line of arguments.

The cuckoo was listening silently. “But” she continued ‘everybody clicks a photo with the parrot and they display them at home, and no body seeks me or wants to have a click with me.”

“ha, ha ha…” laughed the chirping bird. “When you yield to such temptations of false glory, a day you don’t get that click, you will become mentally sick”, explained the sparrow.

She continued “you know when humans sing nicely, they say your voice is as melodious as a cuckoo. But when some one repeats what others have said, they say “he is parroting” and they say it in a contemptuous manner. Imagine, you are placed in a higher pedestal of life. Never be carried away by the colour of the skin and the feathers one carries on the head or on the wings.”

“Well, you see how much I am admiring the parrot. Likewise, are there others who admire me?”

“Honestly yes. The other day when I was talking to a vulture, she told me ‘what a scintillating voice the cuckoo has.”

“OMG! Is that true? What does it show? What message are you trying to give me.”

“Very simple, It means that the other side is greener. Vulture has a great power. Ir flies so high and it has such a visual insight that it can come down in split seconds and vanish with its prey. Yet, it regrets it doesn’t have a voice like you. Everyone wants to possess something what others have and do not appreciate the riches that they have with them. Everybody wants to lose their happiness in pursuit of a few petty things which they can never have.”

The cuckoo said “hey, though you are so tiny, you are a great soul. You have a lot of wisdom packed In your brain even though you have a very small brain.”

The sparrow said “Wisdom is all about your making a purposeful, contextual meaning of what you know. It comes through continuous learning and through experience. Learning is not about the size of your brain. It is about using it. That is why people say about the brain ‘use it or lose it.” The sparrow said that it has a lot of other friends to meet and hence moved away.

The cuckoo sitting on the tree wondered how do people use their brain. It was curious. Just at that time, it heard a young boy crying and hence looked down. It saw on the road, a father dragging his son in tears to the school, as the little boy was unwilling to go to the school.

Another man who crossed his path, asked the father ‘Why is the boy crying?’ The father replied ‘he is refusing to go to the school. How will he learn to use his brain if he doesn’t go to the school?”

The cuckoo wondered ‘Does going to a school help in effective use of the brain?’. She reserved her doubt to ask the sparrow on another occasion.