Fernihough, Jo

The Crow and the Peacock

(2) PS In this (unattributed) fable, Crow feels perfectly content with his life until he encounters a cooing dove in her nest. "Her bright feathers make mine seem so dull, and who would want to listen to my loud 'caw caw'?" He flies up to compliment her, saying she must be the happiest bird in the world, but it turns out Dove feels that Nightingale, with her more beautiful song, is truly the ­happiest bird. Bright splashes of color create a lush backdrop as Crow travels from bird to bird seeking the epitome of happiness. Nightingale looks to Rooster, who looks to Swan, who looks to glorious Peacock, at whom everyone seems to be looking. The image of starstruck Crow finally meeting Peacock, whose ornate feathers burst through the bars of the small cage in which the emperor keeps her, creates a thoughtful juxtaposition. When Peacock says, "Every day I see crows flying free--and all I want to be is a crow," Crow begins to develop a new understanding of happiness and, equally important, how one can extend it to others. The bold, attractive art pairs well with this thought-provoking story.


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