Once there was a rich man in Thailand. His name was Chulong. He was a very rich man. Yet he wanted more riches, more money.
One day he was walking in his garden. He saw a strange bird in a bush. It was very small. But it had very beautiful and colorful features. Its voice was also very sweet. Chulong had never seen such a bird in his life. He slowly went near the bush unseen. He caught the bird. Now the bird began to speak.
“Why have you caught me?” the bird asked.
“I want to make money. I can sell you for a big amount,” replied Chulong.
“But you are already rich. Why do you want more?” asked the bird.
“Because I want to become richer and richer,” replied Chulong.
“But do not dream of making money through me!” said the bird. It further added, “You can not sell me. Nobody will buy me, because, in imprisonment, I lose my beauty and my sweet voice.” Then it slowly turned into a black bird.
The beautiful features were now looking like the feathers of a crow.
Chulong hopes of making money were shattered. He said angrily, “I will kill you, and I will eat your meat.”
“Eat me! I am so small. You will not get any meat out of me,” replied the bird.
Chulong could not answer. The bird then suggested, “Well set me free. In return I shall teach you three simple but useful rules.”
“What is the use of the rules? I want only money,” said Chulong. He was irritated.
“But these rules can profit you greatly,” added the bird.
“Profit me! Really? Then I shall set you free. But how can I trust you? You may fly away,” said Chulong.
“I give you my word. And I always keep my word,” said the bird.
Chulong wanted to take a chance. He released the bird. It flew up at once. Then it sat on the branch of a tree. Its color started changing. It became beautiful again.
Chulong asked, “Now teach me the rules.”
“Certainly,” said the bird.
Then it added, “The first rule is Never Believe everything others say. The second rule is Never be sad about something you do not have. The third rule is Never throw away what you have in your hand.”
“You silly bird,” shouted Chulong. And he added, “These three rules are known to every one. You have cheated me.”
But the bird said, “Chulong, just sit down for a while. Think about all your actions of today. You had me in your hands, but you threw me away (released me). You believed all that I said. And you are sad about not having me. The rules are simple. But you never followed them. Now do you see the value of the rules?” so saying the bird flew away and disappeared from his sight.
[PHOTO: by rerunvp on photobucket.com]