THERE WAS ONCE A KIWANO that came from Africa who had a really hard time making friends. “Maybe it’s my fault for having thorns all over my body that scare others away…”, he mumbled and blamed himself for being like that. So, the days went by, and when another fruit or vegetable approached him to become friends, he became suspicious as he found it hard to believe their intentions.
Until one day, when he was sitting near a lake and crying by himself, the wise owl heard him, flew over and asked him what his troubles were. As soon as he explained her his problem, she told him: “I want you to go deep into the forest, find me the flower that smells best and bring it to me.”
The Kiwano accepted the challenge, as he really loved flowers and their smell.
First, he came across a daisy. After pulling off the flower’s leaves one by one, the Kiwano closed it on his nose to smell it. “There should be a flower that smells even nicer than this”, he thought and moved forward.
Second, he found a chrysanthemum in full bloom, with bright yellow petals covering its body. Without much thought, he cut a twig and brought it close to him. “What a nice smell! Is it really the best smelling flower in the whole forest, though?”, he thought and moved forward.
Third he found a tulip and was really impressed by the flower’s colors and appearance. He cut the flower from the stem and smelled it, as he did with the other two flowers. “Great smell, but definitely not the best in the forest”, he thought and moved forward.
Last he found a rosebush, whose flowers had big thorns and a beauty that could not be compared to any other flower in the world. With great caution so as not to be pinched by its thorns, the Kiwano reached out and cut a single flower, then brought it back to the owl.
“As soon as I saw its thorns, I was so scared I wouldn’t come closer. But when I finally touched it and brought it close to my nose, it rewarded me with the most intoxicating smell in the whole forest”, the Kiwano told her.
“That’s how you should treat those who want to become your friends then”, the wise owl replied, then grabbed the rose from his hands and flew away into the blue sky.
From that day on, and after pondering over the wise owl’s words for hours, our good Kiwano made lots of new friends, as he realized that those wanting his friendship despite of his hard thorns were far more worth it than those who didn’t....