The Song of the Bird

A Christmas gift last December was the book, The Song of the Bird  by Anthony DE Mello. It is a collection of both modern and ancient stories and parables from a variety of traditions. The summary on the back cover of the book states “that each story resonates with life lessons that can teach us truths about ourselves and our world.” The book has 124 short stories and poems but I have taken the liberty to choose four of them to share with you.

“Dropping the “I”

Disciple: I have come to offer you my service.

Master: If you drop the “I” service would automatically follow.

“Love’s Forgetfulness”

Sinner: “Remember not my sins, O Lord

Lord: “What sins? You’ll have to prod my memory. I forgot them long ago.”

( First Corinthians 13:5  “Love keeps no record of wrongs”)

“The Contented Fisherman”

The rich industrialist from the North was

horrified to find the Southern fisherman

lying lazily beside his boat, smoking a pipe.

“Why aren’t you fishing?” said the industrialist.

“Because I have caught enough fish for the day,” said the fisherman.

“Why don’t you catch more?”

“What would I do with it?”

“You could earn more money” was the reply.

“With that you could have a motor fixed

to your boat and go to deeper waters

and catch more fish.

Then you would make enough money to buy nylon nets.

These would bring you more fish and

more money. Soon you would have enough

money to own two boats…maybe even a

fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich

man like me.”

“What would I do then?

“Then you could really enjoy life”

“What do you think I am doing right now?”


“The tourist”

In the last century, a tourist from the States

visited the famous Polish rabbi Hafez Hayyim.

He was astonished to see that the rabbi’s

home was only a simple room

filled with books. The only furniture

was a table and a bench.

“Rabbi, where is your furniture?”

“Where is yours?”

“Mine? But I am only a visitor here.”

“So am I,” said the rabbi.