The Old Lady and the tiny Bird: A Lesson

Photo by Chris Czermak on

Once upon a time in a beautiful valley in the mountains of Europe there was a small village. In the village lived an old lady. She had the reputation for being very wise. People in the village often used to go to her and ask her for advice.

In the same village there also lived two young boys. Despite the fact that they were not living in the age of Professor Google, they nevertheless had reached the age of infinite wisdom. There was not much they did not know (or so they thought).

One day the two boys decided to test the wisdom of the old lady to see how smart she really was. They were sure they could catch her out. Easily. This is what they did.

Photo by Aenic on

They caught a small bird. A bird so small it could fit into the palm of their hands. They told their friends about their plan. “That old lady does not know much. She is really old fashioned. Here is what we are going to do. I am going to put this bird in the palm of my hands.Then we are going to visit the old lady. We will tell her that I have a tiny bird hidden in my hands. Then I am going to ask her if the little bird in my hands is dead or alive. If she says the bird is dead I will open my hands and the bird will fly away. She will be proved wrong. If she says the bird is alive, I well crush the bird with my hands and show her the dead bird. She will be proved wrong. I wonder what the smart old lady will say. Whatever she says, she will be wrong. She can’t win!.”

The other children listening were very impressed with this clever plan to show the famous old lady could be wrong. They all trooped along with the two boys and the little bird to watch the old lady being caught out.

The two boys with the bird arrived at the old lady’s cottage. Plenty of other children were watching.

At the door of the cottage, the two boys presented their challenge to the old lady: “Tell us if the bird is alive or dead”

There was a hush. The old lady looked carefully at the two boys.

One of the watching children whispered, “She doesn’t know”.

At last the old lady spoke. “It is completely in your hands whether the bird will live of die. I repeat: The bird’s life is completely in your hands. It is your choice.”

There was just silence.


The two boys and the watching children were amazed at the old lady’s wise answer. It is a story they remembered and spoke about for the rest of their lives.


The take away

We all have great trans-formative power. When faced with a situation, good or bad, we have a choice. By what we do, we can make a situation better or worse. How a situation evolves is very much in our hands. Such is our power of transformation.Take care. Be safe.

Source: The story is an adaptation by me of a story which is all over the internet in different forms.


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