AN: This story is dedicated to a person whom I care alot about. It is sort of a confession, but not really. Anyways, his reaction should be interesting.
Once upon a time, there was a crane, stalking the plains. His wings were open, as if to shield others from the Sun’s heat, but nobody was interested in taking the refuge offered. The crane, while not especially kind hearted, nonetheless felt the duty to do that, and kept his wings opened, inviting everyone. Some had taken the offer, and shielded themselves from the heat, but it was always brief, and they left thankless. The crane didn’t say a word, keeping his wings open for all. He was too proudful to care about the ungrateful animals, but his honour made him altruistic regardless.
One day, the crane spotted a hare, badly wounded and with a broken leg. Feeling an ounce of sympathy, the crane came to the hare, and shielded him from the Sun. The crane lowered his head, and gently nuzzled against the hare with the beak.
“Thank you” the hare muttered softly, words bleeding into the winds.
“How did you get wounded?” the crane asked.
“My kind betrayed me.I was different, so the elders attacked me and tore me to pieces. My own family turned a blind eye and wished I was never born.”
Needless to say, the crane felt very sad, and wanted to help the hare recover. His emotions saw someone who needed love, but his pride saw glory through charity, his honour saw fullfillment through remedy, his spirit saw purification through affection, and his ego saw someone who would finally reward him properly.
So, for the following days, the crane stood alongside the hare. He spent all the time tending to his needs: he shielded him from the Sun, he drank water from a pure fountain and regurgitated for the hare, he grabbed weeds and berries to feed him. It was hard work, and took a toll on the crane’s health, but his emotions, his pride, his honour, his ego and his spirit kept him going even when he should rest and feed.
And yet, through all of those days, the hare did not say a word, besides some grunts and nodding “yes” or “no”. The crane thought it was very strange, but that did not bother him at first. As the hare began healing and the time of the reward was nearing, however, began to seriously worry the crane.
“Hare, are you not going to thank me?” the crane asked, without malice in his voice, but nonetheless clouded.
“Crane, do you ever wonder why nobody thanks you when you do something for other people?” the hare asked.
“It’s because nobody wants what you’re doing. Everyone wants shade in the Sun’s heat, but nobody wants that shade to come from someone that burns with his own fire. You may have duty and honour, and you may care for others, but you’re blinded by your own light.”
“I never asked for you to heal me. I never asked for you to devote your energy into keeping me alive. For all you knew, I might had wanted to die. I thank your concern, but in the end, no matter how much you thought otherwise, the only person you actually helped was yourself, not me.”
Saying that, the hare bowed and left towards the forest. The crane was very confused and shocked, and broke into a depression. Never before had someone made him feel depressed, no matter how many times other thankless occurences happened before.
Desilusioned, and broken emotionally, in terms of pride, ego, honour and spirit, the crane bashed his head against a rock seven times, until he collapsed and died.
And that is how our land’s soil is red.