The serpent and the nightingale

Short story; The Serpent and The Nightingale

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Once upon a time, there lived a small Nightingale in a thick bushy forest of a small village. Along with her there lived many other animals. Bunny the rabbit, Singh tiger, Little piggy poo and many more. The nightingale lived on the highest branch of a tree situated just in the middle of the forest. She sang day and night in her beautiful melodic voice! All the animals of the jungle loved to hear her sing. It was like a prayer for the jungle. Her voice brought love and harmony. Her friends would visit her often and she would sing for them too. Everything was going great. The Jungle was a Happy Home.

One Day, a wild serpent came into the jungle. His body was ugly and smelled of blood. He had orange and black patches over his body. His appearance was repulsive. That’s why the animals were reluctant to be friends with him. But when the Nightingale insisted, they all agreed to have the serpent with them. She told them “One should not be so Judgemental about someone’s outer beauty”. She thought it would not be nice to kick the serpent out. Hence, He started living with them.

Days passed and the Serpent grew his friendship with the Nightingale. The Nightingale was busy showing the Jungle to the serpent. She told him the things which he would require to survive in the place. Her inner beauty did not let the bad vibes and ill intentions of the serpent to reach her head. She was busy enjoying the new friendship she had just made.

The serpent wanted to win over the jungle. He knew he had to kick the Nightingale off if he wanted to have a hold over the hearts of the animals. He thought, by doing so, one day, he would also become the King of the Jungle. He started spending more time with the Nightingale.

On one evening, he told the Nightingale that her songs have become monotonous. Nobody likes to hear the same tunes and same songs again and again. “You have no Variations in your voice dear. Nobody likes to hear the same songs again and again. You see, no one visits you now.” Listening to the Serpent, the Nightingale became very upset. She thought that the serpent was right. For the next few days, she stopped singing. The serpent force fed these illusions in her mind that she was not good enough. The nightingale grew more and more into depression. After a few days, she stopped talking too. Though she would practice new songs and sing them in front of the serpent. The serpent, however, always pretended to dislike them.

“Oh come on dear! What are you doing? Stop irritating me! I am telling you. You cannot sing anymore.”

These words stabbed like a knife to the Nightingale. She tried a couple of times but because the serpent did not approve of her songs, she never sang them in front of other animals. In fact, after a few days, she stopped singing at all. Slowly, she confined herself to her nest only. That tiny space was the only place where she existed. She didn’t even visit the lake that she used to go every evening with her friends. The Jungle she was so fond of became alien to her. Soon, the serpent too stopped meeting her. In fact, he stopped talking to her. The nightingale was alone and tired. The solitude was very vast. She lost the courage to even move out of the nest too. Neither the jungle nor the animals changed! Everybody continued to live the way they used to, but the nightingale lost everything, the jungle and all the happiness that came along with it.

The serpent, which was initially hated by all the residents of the jungle, became a very dear friend to all of them.
The nightingale lost her voice. The only way she heard it was when she cried. Nobody was worried about her. Her name was soon lost and nobody remembered her.

After she was long been confined to her tiny nest, she lost the ability to fly too. She was failing miserably in even finding food for herself. There came a time when she could neither speak nor sing, and she couldn’t even move only let alone fly.

One Day, while trying to call out the serpent, she fell off the branch. Her head banged into another pointed branch of the tree. She bled for a long time. She recalled How the serpent’s body smelled of blood. Finally, She took her last breath. In her last moments, she tried looking for the serpent, but he was nowhere to be seen.

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