Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lessons from a Swan

This week I've been reading The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White to my girls.

If you aren't familiar with the story, it's about a trumpeter swan named Louis who has a defect. He has no voice. Because of this, he learns to read and write and thus carries a slate and piece of chalk around his neck. He also carries a trumpet, which he uses to communicate with other swans and to earn money (the trumpet is stolen and he is earning money to pay for it).

It's such a fun story and a couple passages have stood out to me, both regarding possessions and stuff.

Flying was not as easy as it once had been. If you've ever tried to fly with a trumpet dangling from your neck and a slate flapping in the wind and a chalk pencil bouncing around at the end of its string, you know how hard it can be. Louis realized that there were advantages in traveling light and not having too many possessions clinging to you. Nevertheless, he was a strong flier, and the slate and the chalk pencil and the trumpet were important to him. 

Animals and birds are lucky. They don't keep acquiring things, the way men do. You can teach a monkey to drive a motorcycle, but I have never known a money to go out and buy a motorcycle.

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