Learning to Work Together
Phoebe Kautt (age 10)
Once upon a time, there lived a bat in a beautifully colored tree beside a river, which was called, by all that lived in the city, Li. The bat was a wise little bat. There also, in that same tree, lived a nightingale. The nightingale was prideful, because she had a beautiful voice. The nightingale had such a beautiful voice that the Emperor and all his royal court would come every night to listen to the beautiful voice. While she would be singing, the bat, without being seen by the Emperor and his court, would gulp up the mosquitoes. One night the nightingale asked, "Are not you ashamed of yourself, swooping about, consuming mosquitoes, not even singing just one note? What kind of life do you live?" The bat did not answer, for he caught sight of a mosquito flying about. He swiftly swooped and caught the mosquito and gobbled it down. Then he replied, "It is a very, very important life I live." Once he answered he was off again catching another mosquito, and into the thickening dusk. "You call that an important life!" Screeched the nightingale. "Just look at my life. I sing for the Emperor and all his royal court." She preened her feathers proudly and then exclaimed again, "What is catching mosquitoes to that?" The bat flew by once again chasing another mosquito, but as he flew past intoned, "If it were not for me the Emperor and all his court would never come to the river bank." "What nonsense!" Cried the nightingale, "He does not come here because of you, but he comes to give heed to my singing."
The bat did not reply, but smiled to himself. Then the very next night, a very warm and sticky night filled with mosquitoes, the bat did not go out chasing mosquitoes, but instead sat in the beautifully colored tree listening to the nightingale sing. It was so beautiful, so magnificent, gorgeous, it made the bat sad. But right at the most gorgeous part the swarms of mosquitoes were biting the Emperor and his royal court, so they started getting restless and shifting from one foot to another. The Emperor finally fled for the palace because of those biting insects. They were tripping over their royal robes as they slapped mosquitoes and jogged away. Only the bat stayed to hear the nightingale’s magnificent performance.
The nightingale sprawled quietly in the beautiful tree; just then she recognized the importance of the bat’s job. From then on they both worked together in harmony. The Emperor and his royal court came back, because the bat and the nightingale both worked together in harmony. The bat and the nightingale both have important jobs that they need to stick with. So the moral of the story is simply that the two cannot work without each other.