In a far off land where the days were hot and the sun set each evening into a blue velvet sea, there was a grove of silk cotton trees. High up in those trees lived thousands of parrots. Among them, there was a pious couple who had a baby bird. And that little bird was the most beautiful parrot of all. As he grew older, he proved to be as kind and gentle as he was handsome. The years went by and the parents became old and feeble. One day the young parrot said, "My dear parents, for so many years you looked after me and gave me food and shelter. Now it is my turn to look after you. Do not worry, I will bring you food every day."

Every morning as the sun was rising, the magnificent parrot flew up into the sky and away to a rice field to find food. The whole flock of parrots went with him. He would return a little later with his beak full of food, which he gave to his parents.

A worker who tended the rice field went to tell his master, a rich landowner, that a large flock of parrots came and ate his rice everyday. "Among them," said the worker, "is the most beautiful bird I have ever seen. Every day that lovely creature leaves the field with his beak full." The landowner told the worker to go back to the field and set a trap without delay. The next day as the birds were eating, the parrot's delicate little foot was caught in the trap. But he didn't call out to the rest of the flock, for he didn't want to disturb them before they had finished their meal. When they had all stopped eating, the parrot finally called for help. But his friends were so alarmed by the news that one of them had been trapped that instead of helping him they flew away. The poor parrot was left behind, caught in the trap and all alone. He felt sad and very frightened. Before long, the worker returned to the field and was happy to discover that he had caught the very bird that he wanted. Gently he freed the parrot's foot and carried the bird to his master. The landowner was thrilled when he saw the beautiful parrot. He said to the bird, "O beautiful one, why do you take so much rice with you every day?"

The parrot replied, "A duty I fulfill each day; a treasure do I store away."

"Explain what you mean," said the man.

"My duty is to feed my aged parents. The treasure is the treasure of love, whereby the weak are helped by the strong and the hungry are given food."

The owner of the field was delighted by those noble words. He told the parrot that from now on the rice field belonged to the parrots, and they were welcome to come and eat there every day. The young parrot flew away with his heart full of gratitude, eager to tell everyone the wonderful news.

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