Once upon a time there was a golden songbird that lived in a beautiful garden. It spent all its days singing the loveliest songs to the honour of its maker and the delight of all the people who heard it.
But the keeper of the garden, who was a foolish and greedy man, coveted the little songster, and one day he made a cunning net in which he snared it. The little bird begged the man to release him and promised to tell him three great secrets if only he would let him go. Now the gardener really was a very greedy man and rubbing his hands together, he eagerly released the bird.
Then the songbird told him it’s three great secrets:Never believe all that you hear; Never regret what you have never lost, and never throw away that which you have in your keeping.
The gardener was furious when he heard this and said he had known these so-called ‘secrets’ since he was a little child and shouted that the bird had tricked him. But the songbird quietly replied that if the man had really known these three secrets, or only the last of them, he would never have let him go.
Then the bird added:”I have a most precious jewel weighing over three ounces hidden inside me and whoever possesses that marvellous stone will have every wish granted.”
On hearing this, the keeper roared like a lion and cursed himself for setting the songster free. But the little bird only added fuel to his rage by explaining that since he weighed no more than half an ounce at most, as anyone with eyes could plainly see, how was it possible that a gem weighing more than three ounces could be hidden within it’s tiny body?
At that the man tore his hair and lunged at the bird in a towering rage, but the little songbird flew to a nearby branch and added sweetly:”Since you never had the jewel in your hands you are already regretting what you never lost, and believing what I told you, you threw it away by setting me free.”
Then the little songbird told the man to study well these three great secrets and so become as wise as the bird himself!