Gavin, the grouse, annoyed
everybody. He boasted and bragged constantly about how beautiful his
feathers were, how they shined, how they were perfectly shaped and how
they had just the right amount of speckles on them. Nobody in the meadow
could stand being around him. If any of the other animals did something
wonderful, Gavin had done it better. He was simply annoying.
One sunny summer morning
Gavin was strutting about, stopping to preen his feathers and boasting to
every animal that was about, whether it was a ladybug, a salmon swimming
in the stream, or another bird. He heard a strange noise off in the
distance. Heíd never heard it before. He could tell it was a bird of some
sorts, but didnít know what type. He listened carefully. The strange bird
made another noise. It wasnít an eagle, it wasnít a crow, and it certainly
wasnít a robin! What was it? Gavin headed toward the noisy bird. He was
curious and wanted to know what on earth was making all that racket.
As he passed behind a
rather large patch of yellow gorse, he saw the bird. Gavin gasped. It was
a beautiful bird. Its feathers were blue-ish green and its tail feathers
were nearly five feet long. It had a crest, or crown of thin feathers on
its head, that danced around when he moved and some of its feathers seemed
to have beautiful golden eyes in them. Gavin was frightened. Heíd never
seen a bird like that before, nor one so beautiful and magnificent. "You
can come out from behind the gorse," the peacock called to Gavin. "Iím
Preston," the bird cawed loudly.
Gavin came closer. "Youíre
beautiful," he said to the peacock.
"I know," boasted the
peacock. "Iím the most beautiful bird in the glen. Iíve got the prettiest
color of feathers and isnít my tail just splendid."
Gavin looked at the
peacock. It certainly was beautiful, but he didnít like the way Preston
was talking. "Yes, your tail is rather lovely," he replied.
"Lovely? Yes, Iím lovely.
See how the sunlight makes my feathers so shiny? They sparkle like
emeralds. Iím quite, quite beautiful," Preston bragged.
Gavin listened for a while
to the peacock, then said, "Iím sorry, Preston. It was jolly good meeting
you, but I must be off. Cheerio." He quickly ran into the meadow, heading
as far away from the peacock as he could. As he was running he spotted
Laura, the ladybug sitting on top of a thistle. "Laura, you must stay away
from that peacock. Heís simply horrid. All he does is talk about himself.
His feathers are beautiful, they sparkle, his crown is beautiful, and his
beak is beautiful. Itís utterly sickening the way he boasts."
Laura looked up at Gavin.
"It is sickening, isnít it, Gavin. Now you know what we have to listen to
when you do the same thing."
"Me? I donít boast and
brag! Of all the nerve," Gavin said, feeling rather annoyed.
"Believe it or not, itís up
to you. But itís true," Laura said and then flew off.
Gavin stood there for a
moment. "Imagine that. Me boasting? Never," he said. Just then he heard
Preston cawing. "Oh dear, time to run." He ran through the meadow as fast
as he could.
He spotted Bridget Bee
flying around a hawthorn bush. She was taking pollen from some of the pink
flowers growing on it. "Bridget. Bridget. You must stay away from Preston,
Bridget landed on a leaf
and asked, "Whyís that, Gavin? What did he do?"
"Itís simply annoying. All
that peacock does is boast about how wonderful he is and how magnificent
his tail feathers are. Youíd think he was the only beautiful bird in the
Bridget made a few buzzing
sounds. "Itís not fun listening to someone like that, is it, Gavin?"
"Not at all!" he replied.
"Now you understand what we
have to listen to all the time when you come around. You are a boaster and
bragger, just like the peacock!" With that, she flew away.
Gavin stood there, shocked.
"Me? A boaster? Me? Like Preston? Never!" That was two times he was told
he was like that. They were mistaken. He never sounded that annoying, did
Prestonís ear-piercing caw
reached Gavin. "Oh dear. I must hurry off, far away."
Gavin ran and ran and ran
until he was in the other side of the meadow. "Iím safe now. Of all the
nerve, boasting and bragging like that! Iíve never heard such nonsense."
Max, a furry brown mouse,
was sitting on a hollow log. He saw and heard Gavinís words. "Say, Gavin,
are you talking about yourself?" he asked the annoyed grouse.
"Whatever do you mean? Iím
talking about that annoying peacock, Preston. I canít bear to be around
him. He does nothing but talk about how wonderful he is, how pretty his
feathers are. Itís simply annoying. I must say," Gavin explained.
"Ah," Max replied. "I donít
know if anyoneís mentioned this to you, but you are as annoying as the
peacock. You do the same thing. None of us want to be around you. We run
when we see you coming."
"What? Me?" Gavin said,
"Yes. You! Weíre as tired
of hearing you as you are of hearing the peacock," Max explained. "Nobody
has prettier feathers than you do. Nobodyís feathers are as perfect as
yours. Nobodyís feathers shine like yours. Itís tiring, Gavin."
Gavin sat down on the log
next to Max. "I didnít realize I sounded that way. Iím so sorry. Well,
from now on, there will be no more of that. No more boasting or bragging
from Gavin, the grouse!"
Just then a loud caw echoed
through the meadow. "Oh no. Heís coming!" Gavin said. "Weíve got to hide!"
He and Max crawled inside the hollow log and hid. Preston the peacock ran
by, cawing and mumbling to himself about how beautiful he was. Gavin and
Max started giggling. It sounded so funny, so silly. They didnít come out
until they knew Preston was gone.
From then on, Gavin never
boasted again. In fact, he told the other animals how pretty their
feathers, or fur, or scales were. It didnít take long for every animal in
the meadow to become friends with Gavin. Whenever they heard Preston
nearing their meadow, they all went into hiding. Never being able to find
anyone to brag or boast to, Preston soon stopped coming there. It became a
peaceful meadow once more.