The Teaching of the Quetzal Bird
following story was considered so valuable by the Aztec people of Mexico that it
was passed down through many generations. It was recently included in a book by
Margaret Wheatly titled Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to
Restore Hope to the Future. I have reworded and shortened it a bit.
A long time ago there was a great fire in the forests that covered our Earth.
People and animals started to run to escape the fire. Brother Owl was running
away also when he noticed a small bird hurrying back and forth between the
nearest river and the fire. He discovered it was his brother the Quetzal bird
who was running to the river, picking up small drops of water in his beak, then
returning to the fire to throw that tiny bit of water on the flame. Owl yelled
at him: What are you doing brother? Are you stupid? You are not going to
achieve anything by doing this. What are you trying to do? You must run for your
Quetzal bird stopped for a moment and looked at the owl, and then answered: I
am doing the best I can with what I have.
Soon, taking the Quetzal bird as an example, other animals and people started to
do the same. And that was how a long time ago the forests of the Earth were
What a beautiful story! And what great teaching! I just had to share it.