Nightingale's song

Two brothers sat, admiring the song of a nightingale.
Suddenly, the Fairy of Nightingale Song appeared before them.
She marvelled at their devotion
and decided to grant each of them this wish:
That the nightingale’s song would never leave them.

Yet she stated further that each wish
would be given according to the brother’s hearts,
and that this would determine the shape of it.

So it was that a cage appeared next to the first brother,
and a nightingale nearby climbed inside.

Each day, as the brother walked about his home,
he heard the beautiful song of his captive nightingale.
But it was a mournful song, full of sadness.
It was only the last remnant of the nightingale’s heart –
to sing to herself of her woe.

But this the first brother never noticed,
because he was too delighted at showing his friends
the wonderful bird that had been given him.

The second brother, meanwhile, instantly disappeared.
He was transformed into a lake of pure, crystal water,
where he sat patiently, in deep silence.

After several years, the nightingales came to trust him.
They would fly out each day, to drink of his pure water,
and to sing anthems of joy at his wonderful service.

He had sacrificed his own being – as he knew it –
to receive something in return far more enduring:
a bond whose joy was shared by all.