TheFableCottage.com presents

The Bird and the Whale

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(This story is available on our sister websites in Spanish, French, and Italian)

Once there was a bird who fell in love with a whale. And a whale who fell in love with a bird.

The bird loved the whale's beautiful smile. He loved the way she swam through the water so gracefully.

The whale loved the bird's handsome white feathers. She loved to watch him soar through the sky.

And they both loved to eat lots of tiny fish.

All summer, the bird and the whale met in the bay. They talked and talked.
They talked about the moon, and the tides, and the ships in the ocean.

The bird told jokes and made the whale laugh. The whale sang beautiful songs that made the bird cry (even though he didn't know why).

"One day, you could meet my family in the ocean," said the whale.
"And you could meet my friends on the land," said the bird.

Everything was perfect.

But the world does not stop turning just because a bird and whale fall in love. Summer turned into autumn, and autumn turned into winter. The ocean turned cold, and all the other whales left for warmer waters.

"Come with me to warmer waters," said the whale. "It’s a wonderful place. It's always warm, and there are so many fish to eat."

"I love to eat fish," said the bird. "And I love you. I will follow you anywhere. But first, teach me to be a whale?"

"Like this!" said the whale, "follow me!", and she dived deep into the water.

"OK!" said the bird, and he also dived deep into the water.

Deeper and deeper he went. "I'm swimming!" he laughed.  "I'm a whale!" But soon he couldn't breathe. He returned to the surface, gasping.

He tried and tried and tried again, but he ran out of breath every time.

"I don't think a bird can become a whale," said the bird. "Come with me instead. I live up on the cliffs. It is a wonderful place. It's warm and cosy, and every morning you can watch the sun rise."

"I love to watch the sun rise," said the whale. "And I love you. I will follow you anywhere. But first, teach me to be a bird?"

"Like this!" said the bird. "Follow me!", and he flapped his wings and soared into the sky.

"OK!" said the whale. She squeezed her eyes shut and flapped her fins, just like the bird. She flapped and flapped, up and down. Water splashed everywhere. "I'm flying!" she laughed. "I'm a bird!"  

But when she opened her eyes, she wasn't soaring in the sky. She was still in the water.

She tried and tried and tried again, but she could not fly.

"I don't think a whale can become a bird," said the whale.

"But if you can't fly, and I can't swim, where can we live together?" said the bird.

"We will stay here — in the waves!" said the whale.

But the bird shook his head sadly.
"You love to swim deep in the ocean," he said. That is your favourite thing to do. You would never be happy here."

The whale sighed.
"And you love to fly and soar into the sky," she said. "That is your favourite thing to do. You would never be happy here either."

And so, because the bird and whale loved each other so much, they said goodbye.

But they never forgot each other. Every time the whale saw a bird flying high in the sky, she thought of her bird. She hoped he was enjoying the skies — just like that.

And every time the bird saw a whale diving deep in the ocean, he thought of his whale. He hoped she was enjoying the ocean — just like that.

(This story is available on our sister websites in Spanish, French, and Italian)

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