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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Home Is Where the Heart Is

“Sigh. I wonder what it is like living on a tropical island, or in the desert. I've lived here in these mountains my whole life and I'm bored.” Inga chewed on tall green grass, munching as she looked around at the valley and mountains. “Green, green, green. I'd like to see something new.” The cow let out a loud moo.

An eagle flew high above. He flew down to Inga, landing near her feet. “Inga, you look sad. What's wrong?”

“Rolf, I am feeling bored. You fly around. Tell me what it's like in other places.” The cow bent over and ripped some more grass up.

“Is that what's bothering you? You want to know what it's like outside this lush green valley?” The eagle shook his head. “Inga, I've been everywhere. You would never want to live in the desert. There's nothing to eat. It's hot and dry and there are sandstorms. Lizards, snakes and scorpions crawl all over and so do the flies.”

“Oh. That doesn't sound fun to me. I don't want to starve or be bitten by a snake,” Inga said.

Rolf opened his beak wide and yawned. “You wouldn't want to live on a tropical island either, Inga. There are a lot of palm trees and coconuts, but there is nowhere to go. You have to stay on the island. It's too far to walk, or fly. Everyone lies about on the beach and nobody would feed you because they're more worried about their sun tan than you.”

“I don't think I'd want to be on an island either.” Inga looked at the mountains. “Maybe it's not so bad here after all. There are mountains and rolling hills. In the spring and summer there are so many flowers that I could eat for a lifetime. Farmer Assa feeds me and milks me and takes good care of me.”

“That's what I'm trying to tell you, Inga. Sometimes we think things are better in other places, but there's no place like home,” Rolf said. “Home is where the heart is.” He flew off, leaving Inga with her thoughts.

She walked over the hill and came to a patch of edelweiss. After taking a deep sniff, she nibbled away.

Later that day Farmer Assa came to milk her. “I'm going to make cheese from your milk.  You're a good cow, Inga. I'm happy to have you here.” Farmer Assa stroked her cheek.

Inga never complained again. After hearing all the things Rolf told her, she knew she had a good life right where she was.

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