The Sunbird and the Sea
A World Tale retold
There was once a pair of little sunbirds that lived on the shores of a great ocean. When the time came for them to start a family, Wife turned to Husband and said. “Where should I lay my eggs, Husband?”
Husband said, “Lay them here on the beach, Wife, where else?”
Wife fluttered her feathers and eyed the ocean. It was calm today, but she knew it wouldn’t stay that way. “Are you sure, Husband?” she asked. “Lay them on the beach? What if the sea rises up and takes them?”
Husband puffed up his little chest and ruffled his feathers. “Don’t be silly Wife,” he said. “The Sea would not dare take my eggs.”
Wife looked at her little husband, all puffed up and cross. She looked at the sea, calmly lapping at the shore.
“But Husband,” she said. “We’re just little sun birds and the Sea is... well the Sea!”
“Do you not think I can look after our eggs, Wife?” Husband asked.
Wife didn’t want to upset her husband. “Of course you can look after our eggs, Husband,” she said. “But if the Sea did decide to take them, there’d be nothing any of us could do to stop it,” she added.
Husband flapped his wings and hopped from foot to foot. “I will stop it,” Husband insisted. “Don’t you trust me, Wife?”
Wife loved her husband very much, even if he was being stubborn.
“OK. OK.” she said. “Don’t get your tail in a twist. I’ll lay my eggs on the beach.”
So, Wife laid her eggs on the shore of the ocean and nothing more was said about it.
However, the Sea had been listening to this tweeting pair and was not impressed. How dare a puny, insignificant little sunbird think that it could take on the great and mighty ocean? The Sea decided it would take the sunbird’s eggs and teach the little twit (birdy?) a lesson.
So, when Husband and Wife were out fetching dinner, the Sea rippled and swelled into a huge wave, and carried away their eggs.
Later, when the sunbirds returned to the beach, Wife knew instantly something was wrong.
“My eggs are gone!” she cried, seeing that their nest was filled with seawater. Husband flapped his wings. “The Sea has taken our eggs!” he chirped. “The Sea has taken our eggs! What are we going to do?”
Wife was distraught. “My eggs are gone!” she cried again. Then turned on her husband. “I told you this would happen! Why did I ever listen to you?!” And with a flap of her wings and an angry tweet, she flew off to see the Sea.
“You took my eggs,” she screeched. “I want them back!”
The Sea bubbled and laughed at this angry little bird, a speck hopping up and down on one of its many beaches.
“They’re mine now,” the Sea replied. “And there’s nothing you can do about it.”
We’ll see about that, thought the wife. She may be small, but she would not be bullied. Wife went straight to her friend the Stork and told her all about the Sea taking her eggs.
The Stork was outraged. If the Sea could take the Sunbird’s eggs, what was to stop it taking the Stork’s eggs too?
The Stork told the Pelican, who told the Heron, who told the Eagle, who told the Crane, who told the Flamingo, who told the Pigeon, who told the Ostrich, who told the Parrot, who told everyone.
Soon the sky was filled with birds squawking over the story of the Sunbird’s eggs. If the Sea could take one bird’s eggs, it could take them all! This could not be allowed to fly. With a flock of angry supporters at her back Wife headed to the Palace of the King of Birds.
The King of Birds saw the charge of angry birds heading in his direction and wondered if it was the end of the world.
“My dear little Sunbird,” The King of Birds said, after hearing her story. “We will not allow this to wash!”
A mighty chorus of agreement sounded.
“We will take your case to the King of the World, only he can quell the Sea.”
So, the flock of birds swooped into the palace of the King of the World. Who usually liked birds… when they sang. But these birds were squawking and screeching and hooting. It gave him a terrible headache.
“My dear little Sunbird,” the King of the World said, after hearing her story.
“The Sea has overflowed its shores. I will help you.”
The King of the World, put on his battle armour. He called his army. And he marched to the Sea.
The Sea was enjoying a day of calm reflection, languishing in the sunlight. When the sky darkened with angry birds and the beach was overrun with soldiers.
The King of the World marched up to the shore and demanded the Sea’s attention.
“My Lord,” simpered the Sea. “What is all this fuss about?”
The little Sunbird landed in the king’s palm.
“You took my eggs,” she shouted. “I want them back!”
This time the Sea did not laugh. It lapped at the shore for a moment. Then rippled into a swirl that became a wave on which the eggs were returned. “My apologies, little sunbird,” the Sea said withdrawing from the shore, “I did not know who I was dealing with.”
A twitter of chirping resounded through the sky. They had done it, by flocking together they had beaten the Sea.
With their job done, the birds returned to their nests. The soldiers returned to their homes. The King of the World and the King of Birds returned to their palaces. And Wife went home to her husband, who had already found them a new nest, far, far away from the sea shore, where they could raise their eggs in peace.
Which is what they did.
And the next time Wife made a suggestion, Husband didn’t ruffle his feathers or puff up his chest,
He said, “Yes, dear. You know best.”