It was during the time before the Pentecostal Movement, that there were two birds that were good friends. One was a Mynah. And the other was a Peahen. They both believed in God, in goodwill and in being good friends despite of their differences. As the years went by, Mynah met her mate and left to nest at another place. Peahen too met her mate and left to be at another place.
They maintained their friendship throughout the years and brought each other’s family over to mingle. Mynah’s children never ceased to be amazed by Uncle Peacock’s magnificent feathers. And Peahen’s children loved the beautiful songs that Aunty and Uncle Mynah sang in unison. And boy, could they both sing!
One day, as Mynah was looking for food for her young, a terrible accident happened. She was attacked by a cobra. The moment those fangs sank into her small body, she saw Death. The other mynahs in her community started screeching the moment they saw what had happened. They threw down whatever they could find to get the cobra to release Mynah. Mynah’s husband torpedoed himself into the cobra’s eye. The pain blinded the cobra. And the cobra released Mynah from its clutches and quickly slithered away. Mynah’s husband felt his blood turn cold when he saw Death in her eyes. He cried to the Heavens to give Mynah back to him. In his desperation, he swore to God, he made oaths, he promised everything and anything to have his Mynah back in his life. And the children were still so young.
The moment Peahen heard of what had happened, she packed her bags and ran to be with Mynah and her family. For 40 days and 40 nights, Mynah was in a coma. You could literally see Death cocooning Mynah. It would take a miracle for Mynah to escape the clutches of Death.
A miracle did happen. Mynah miraculously woke up from the coma. But for the first three years after the cobra attack, she struggled to regain her health. The venom had paralyzed her left wing. She could no longer fly. And her whole body was wrecked with pain. She could no longer be the mother and wife that she was. Her movements were restricted. Migraine attacks that caused aura debilitated her. She lost half her weight. And she became depressed and suicidal. Even the songs of the mynah community drove her insane. The pain just wouldn’t leave her. The smell of the fresh worms that her husband brought home made her sick. And she spent most of the days sleeping in the nest. Mynah became very bitter and angry. She cursed the community. She cursed her husband. She cursed God. ‘Why didn’t You save me from the snake since you are such a POWERFUL God!!!’ She would tell her husband that he should have let her died, instead of saving her and letting her suffer. She would go crazy and have screaming fits at her children and at her husband. She couldn’t deal with the pain in her body and in her soul.
Meanwhile, Peahen had returned home after Mynah had woken up from the coma and was out of danger. She had been away from her family for 40 days. It was during the second week after she had gotten home, that she bumped into another group of peahens at the market which were extremely excited, chattering about the miracle that they had just witnessed. When they saw Peahen’s interest, they shared the good news with her. ‘A group of birds were gathered in the upper bird-house praying when the sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole bird-house where they were sitting. And tongues of fire separated and came to rest on each of them. And they all chirped in tongues. Many mocked them, saying that they must have gone to the birdbath that was filled with wine instead of water. But the Eagle stood up with the Eleven and started preaching about what Joel the prophet said. And they performed miracles, signs and wonders!’ explained one of the peahens.
Peahen was extremely excited. She thought about Mynah. Maybe Mynah could obtain her healing in this manner. She sent Pigeon the messenger many times to Mynah’s nest with the message. But whenever Pigeon returned, he shook his head and told her that Mynah turned him away again and said that she needed to be alone. Peahen joined the Pentecostal Movement and was swept away by the phenomena and the signs and wonders. And she got more and more involved in the Church and with the newfound group of friends.
Mynah fell into a state of depression so deep, that even she herself began to feel afraid of the depth of it. She had lost her song and her soul. Her body was so weak and she was just so tired of waking up everyday to face her battles all over again. She became a recluse. She did not want to meet anyone. She did not want to talk to anyone. Her spirit was broken. And she needed to be alone to find herself again. Besides, the other birds that she met did not have anything good to say. It was either, ‘You do not have enough faith.’ ‘The reason you are like this is because you have not prayed enough and you’re not regularly attending church.’ ‘Are you sure your wing is really paralyzed?’ ‘Poor thing! If I were you I would wish that I was dead!’ ‘I think you should talk about God more. I hardly hear you mentioning God in your conversations.’
And it was during this time of reclusiveness that she cried out to God with all that was in her. And He heard. And He answered. Not in the way that she expected. But nevertheless He responded. She began to hear Him talking to her. And He was with her. And she began to heal. And she began to see things in a different perspective. She realized that she could be a better person. She realized that the things of this world did not matter. What mattered was in her heart and in her soul. Mynah changed. She could no longer bear the hypocrisy of the other birds that so proudly proclaim themselves as ‘Creatures of God,’ but yet could not show her genuine concern and support during her time of crisis. ‘Friends’ who chirped nothing EXCEPT about GOD, GOD and GOD but rebuked her when they realized that she became friends with the crows, sparrows, the one-eye Parrot, the owls, the chickens, the magpies and the BATS! And they quickly shook the dust of their feet and left in a hurry when one of her magpie friends dropped by. And so Mynah knew who were her real friends, who genuinely cared for her and who were the hypocrites. Though she did not regain the use of her wing, she learned to glide with one wing. And all her ‘assorted’ bird-friends cheered and went crazy when she did it for the first time. And her children and husband were so proud of her. But the ‘Creatures of God’ said that she had no faith. If she did, she would have fully regained the use of her left wing. But she was now a creature of steel. Her soul was strong. She knew what she was. What her worth was. And WHO she was. So what if her friends were magpies, and believed in the god with four-heads? So what if the crows caw 4-letter-curses? So what if the bats were gay? So what if the chickens’ poop were the smelliest poop of all? The important thing was they were genuine and sincere. They did not judge Mynah to be a ‘Creature of God’ and thus not one of them and rejected her. Of course they did not agree with everything. They had their arguments, their disagreements and their bird-fights! But they agreed to disagree. And they learned to RESPECT each other’s decisions. And they did all of this from their hearts. And that was what mattered the most.
During the duration of the 3 years, Mynah did think of Peahen and never ceased to be grateful for a friend like her. But Mynah had to go through ‘her hell’ alone before she could be the strong Mynah that she was today. She never did forget about Peahen. And so after 3 years, she contacted Peahen. She sent a message and gifts through Dove. But Dove returned with the message unopened and with all the gifts. ‘She was not home?’ asked Mynah. ‘No one answered the bell,' replied Dove. Mynah sent Dove a few more times to look for Peahen but Peahen never seemed to be home. One day, Mynah decided to go and see Peahen herself. She was worried that something might have happened to her good friend.
When she arrived at Peahen’s house, she marveled at the beauty and splendour of the majestic house. It was built for a king! Mynah was very happy that her friend had prospered. And she heard excited conversations coming from the compound. She rang the bell. The door opened and Peahen stood in front of her. ‘Peahen! How are you? How is everything? I have missed you so much.’ Peahen just gazed at her coldly and did not respond. Awkward silence ensued. ‘It’s me Mynah. I know I don’t look the same anymore. But it’s me.’ Peahen still did not open her mouth. ‘Are you alright? Is everything alright? How is your husband? The children….? ‘I AM alright! Don’t you see me standing in front of you? I’m breathing and talking to you which means I am still ALIVE!!’ snapped Peahen. ‘I’m very tired. What is it that you want?!’ ‘I sent Dove here a few times, but you were never home. I got very worried. Well, now that I have seen that you are ALIVE, I’ll leave you. I’m sorry to have bothered you. Take care my friend,’ said Mynah. Peahen went back inside and slammed the door shut. Mynah was shocked. But she understood if Peahen needed some time by herself as she had gone through the same thing. But she could not understand the coldness and rudeness that Peahen had given her.
Dove who stood in a distance, approached her and asked her whether she was ready for the ride home. Mynah suggested that they have some refreshments before the flight home. They stopped by a quaint birdbath and there were some crumbs that were scattered on the ground. As Dove and Mynah rested under the shade of a large tree after the refreshments, Peahen and her other peahen friends passed by the birdbath. One of them remarked, ‘Urgh, how can they even think of drinking from such a low-class birdbath? We simply must not allow ourselves to mingle with all these low-life creatures. Let’s go to the one we saw the other day, the one made of marble and has gold-trimmings all around. Our fellow believers go there quite often. The water taste splendid there. Even our pastor and his wife drinks from there.’ Another one then exclaimed, ‘Oh really? Well, praise the Lord! Yes, we shall go there.’ And as they walked on, a magpie accidentally bumped into them. ‘How dare you touch us, you filthy creature! Are you trying to give us bad luck?!’ shrieked another peahen. And they made such a big commotion over a small thing. The magpie apologized and flew away in haste. Peahen said, ‘Well, we’d better go ask our pastor to bless us and pray for us. We wouldn’t want any bad luck to befall us. I already have one bad luck today in the form of a Mynah! I wouldn’t want another one.’ Another peahen said, ‘We creatures of God of the same faith must always stay together. We are His children! God be praised! Oh, how I love God! I am so blessed to have you as my sisters!’ ‘Amen!’ chorused all the other peahens. And off they went to their ‘high-class’ birdbath.
Mynah was sad that her friend had changed so drastically. No wonder Peahen was so cold towards her. She wasn’t a ‘creature of God’ to Peahen. She was just another ‘unbelieving low-life’ bird. Mynah prayed for her friend and then she and Dove went home.
7 years later
Mynah was a successful gliding coach. She would teach all the chicks in her community how to glide. She even found other birds with the same belief as hers. And the ‘assorted’ bird community lived happily ever after. What about Peahen you asked? Well, her husband left her to be with 3 of her ‘godly’ peahen ‘sisters’. And when she was struck with cancer, all of them left saying that she did not have enough faith. And she died alone.