I should clarify that while I edited these and they were taken with my camera, the magic finger that made the picture happen was Maggie. Still had to share!
While many of the animals were beautiful, no one would contest the beauty of the Horse. The farmer took great care with her: kept her coat shinning, her hair combed and braided, and every other consideration was made for her care. She was taken to many competitions, winning most of them.
The Horse didn't care so much about this, though. Most of her days were spent on the farm with her fellow animals. She would go every Thursday to the chicken coop to see the hens and ask how their week was. The Goat was always grateful for her help in placing his paintings a little higher than he could on her own. If anyone needed anything, she was always happy to help.
One day, though, the farmer and took his time to comb and braid another horse’s mane. Later that week, the same horse was taken for a competition. The competition she attended every year.
The Horse started to look at her own reflection. She noticed flaws that she never had before. Her coat didn’t have that same shimmer anymore. She certainly wasn’t as lean as she used to be. Her mane had become tangled and lay across her neck blandly, and the skin on her face was not smooth, hanging just around her once striking brown eyes.
Each day, the Horse started to notice more and more; the scars that remained and the crack in her front right hoof. She started to hide away, staying in her stall instead of greeting her neighbors. She would be careful that no one else saw all that she had lost, because she was now certain that they would not love her anymore if they knew.
As she hid one afternoon on the edge of the pond, the Horse heard the Cat and the Goat talking.
“… very much so. Gorgeous,” the Goat said, handing a picture to the Cat, who nodded. “Really, very beautiful."
“And so kind too. Really, she’s one of the best animals I have ever known,” the Cat said. “Everyone loves her.”
The Horse’s ears perked up, wondering who this could be.
“I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t know her,” the Goat continued. “Friendly and kind. Always willing to listen… and I don’t know if there’s ever anyone that comes faster when someone needs help.”
“Never,” the Cat agreed. “And so sincere…”
The Horse didn’t know who they meant, but she did know she wanted to as they continued on. The Cat set down the picture as the two of them walked away, leaving the pond and the image behind.
The Horse had an idea: if she could get to know who this was, maybe she would be worth something again. This other animal was key to her being a part of the farm again. When the Cat and the Goat were gone, the Horse quietly moved forward, going to where the Cat laid down the picture and picked it up. To the Horse’s great surprise, the picture was of her.
Moral: Beauty is subjective, but character is constant.
Okay, so Fable Sunday doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Plans kept falling through, but at least I was able to get the third fable done! (With a big thanks to Carrie and her kids.) I probably will count this for two weeks, because of Spring Break. Enjoy!
Moral: Children listen.
The sun rose every morning at Soppy Farms to the crow of the rooster. The day started, the animals woke, the farmer would start his work, and the mother hen tended to her chicks.
There was one of these chicks that always seemed to get into trouble.
“Get away from the mud!” she would tell him. “You are always so filthy!”
Or when he would pick through his food, she would snap, “Why are you eating that way? You are odd.”
Then, of course, her feathers would ruffle up when he was too loud, or too shy, or too wild. “You are nothing but problems,” she would mutter often.
One day, the chick was no longer a chick, but a rooster. Instead of learning his job, though, he lounged around different areas of the farm: by the barn, near the sty, and around the pond. Days when he came back to the coop, the hen would shake her head disapprovingly, making comments about how he looked, how he acted, and what he did with his days.
When the old rooster retired, another came to take his place, but it was not the chick that had been raised on Soppy Farms. The day started, all the same. The animals woke. The farmer worked. The chick that had become a rooster meandered around with nothing to do.
And this was the true tragedy: that the chick never learned he could have made the sun rise.
Out in the fields at Soppy Farms, there was a Goat who painted all day, every day. The Goat would take his paints, a can of brushes, and his easel to spend the day working on a canvas. From the moment the first ray reached out to a blade of grass in the valley, to the time it bid farewell through a fleeting reflection on the window of the farmhouse, the Goat worked. No one noticed the Goat come and go until one day, his painting was finished and he hung it on the wooden fence near the silo.
Most everyone came and went, but the Pig stayed. The longer he looked, the more excited he became.
The next day, the Pig found paints, brushes, a canvas, and used an old ladder as an easel. He painted feverishly, throwing the paint as fast as he could think what to do next. As the sun went down, he came back to show everyone his own painting.
The Cow exclaimed “wow!”
The Cat purred in approval.
The Goat bleated and turned back to his own painting.
The Pig felt so good about his work, he hung it right next to the Goat’s. The next day he made another.
The Horse nodded.
The Chickens couldn’t stop chirping over it.
The Goat turned to look at it and, again, bleated.
The Pig hung this one next to the Goat’s and his own and spent each day making a new one, getting the approval from more and more of the animals to hang it up.
One night, as he was about to put another nail into the fence, the Goat walked up and frowned at the array of images, shaking his head in disapproval.
“I thought you liked these,” the Pig said, confused.
The Goat looked at him and stated, “I said they were ba-a-a-ad,” the word more clear and distinct than before. “You just never wanted to hear it.”
Moral: While some people create images worth a thousand words, others may end up creating a thousand images that require only one.