(Re)telling the tale of the white parrot

Oh little parrot

Why do you cry?

Asked the Bodhisattva

Although (she/he) already knew the answer

.

Dear Bodhisattva

While searching for healing fruits

For my sick mother

I have been poached by

By vicious hunters

Now here I am

Prisoner of this golden cage

Forced to sing poetry

And entertain

Officials and the Tang Emperor

When I sing well

They throw me a bowl of cherries

I used to enjoy it

But now I feel like

Vomiting

All the cherries I’ve eaten

.

I’m sick of this

Please help me Bodhisattva

I want to go home

And see my mother

.

Oh little parrot

Your filial devotion

Touches my Heart

I’ll free you

Go home

But be ready

.

I’m home

But where is everyone?

Why?

Where is my parrot mother?

Where is she?

Oh no, why?

Why am I

So unfortunate

Not fated to meet my mother again

Death seems less painful

Than my present suffering

So much pain

Stabbing me

I wish I was the one dead

Instead of my beloved ma

.

Help me Bodhisattva

Please help me

Compassionate One

Please guide me

Ease me from my terrible suffering

Save my mother’s soul

.

I’m here for you

Little parrot

I’ll assist your parents to Pure Land

Let go of your pain

Worries and worldly desires

And become my disciple

.

Come to the South Sea

And follow me

Cultivate the Dharma

Dwell in the Prajna-Paramita

Sing if you feel like

Little parrot

Listen with your Heart

Can’t you hear peoples’ cries of suffering?

Your work has just begun

Let go of all

Fly, little parrot, fly

Fly and go ease peoples’ sufferings!

.

.

ps. If you would like to read the actual tale just search for “Tale of the Filial Parrot”, it’s an inspiring old Buddhist tale.

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