When I was a fledgling pilot in the USAF in the 1970’s, the following morality tale was very popular.
Once upon a time, there was a newborn sparrow nestling happily with his brother and sister. Every time he got hungry, mama would come by to regurgitate pre-digested worms into his mouth.
Life was good.
But there was a squirrel who used that tree as part of his highway and did not like having a nest in his way. He waited for mama bird to go dig up some worms and then he scampered to the nest. Brother and sister were napping, so the squirrel smiled said to the little fledgling: “My! What a magnificent creature you are! Why are you not flying about like your fellow birds?”
Little sparrow knew he shouldn’t talk to strange squirrels, but her said: “Mama says I am too young. She will teach me how to fly soon enough!”
“Oh! I hate to be the one to tell you this, but mamas never want to let their babies go. You are quite ready to fly. I have lived in this tree for months. I know these things.” Of course, the squirrel could easily see that the little bird was recently hatched and had no real flying feathers.
The squirrel continued with this and other lies: “Your mama loves you of course. If anything untoward happened, she would certainly rescue you.”
After more urging, little bird scooted as best he could to the edge of the nest, spread his tiny naked wings, and lunged into the great blue sky.
The shock of hitting the cold ground was damped by tall grass and leaves. But he was still in quite a pickle. He waited for mama to rescue him. But he was getting colder and colder. He could not see mama up above in the nest. Mama was there. But she was worried and unable to do anything. If she left her other babies alone and in danger to swoop down to the little bird, she would still be unable to help him back to the nest.
Things were looking very bad.
Then a great shadow covered him and he saw nothing but a huge mouth and great big teeth.
Mama burro had a bigger brain than mama bird, but still she didn’t know what to do to help the shivering baby bird. Finally, an idea came to her. She turned around and took a huge, wet, loose steaming dump on the bird.
The whole experience left little sparrow in quite a state. What an awful world with such awful four legged creatures in it! Then, he started to feel the warmth and felt a little better. Soon he was chirping away, happy that he would not freeze to death. He could even see above him one of his fellow birds swooping down to help.
He greatly appreciated the bath in the nearby creek, but before he could ask politely to be placed back in his nest, the hawk ate him.
There were several morals to this story:
Not everyone who smiles at you and speaks sweetly has your best interests at heart.
Not everyone who dumps on you is trying to hurt you.
And when you are up to your neck in shit, don’t sing.
Don’t expend so much energy getting upset with your current troubles, in a few minutes they will get worse.
Let me know which version of this tale you heard and the morals of the story that you were told.