The Armadillo's Song
An armadillo once lived in the Bolivian rainforest. The armadillo lived alone and was lonely much of the time. He tried to make friends, but other armadillos thought he was stranger. This was because more than anything, the armadillo loved music. He tried to sing, but the other armadillos did not like it. He may have had a beautiful voice, but no one knows. "Armadillos DO NOT SING!" the other animals said. They did not even listen to him.
After a sweet, soft rain the frogs would gather on logs in the pond. They called to each other in musical voices and harmonized together. "Can you teach me to sing like you, please?" the armadillo asked.
"Armadillos DO NOT SING!" they croaked. Then all the frogs laughed at him.
This would have discouraged a lot of animals. But the armadillo loved music. He sat at night under the open sky and listened to the crickets in the grass. The crickets rubbed their wings together making beautiful music like a high pitched violin. "Can you teach me to sing or play beautiful music like you?" asked the armadillo.
The crickets just laughed. "Armadillos DO NOT SING! Armadillos DO NOT PLAY MUSIC." they said.
The armadillo sadly walked into the woods. There he heard the songs of birds in the trees. The hummingbirds hummed. The Martins and parrots sang their own songs. Lovely singing canaries chirped in beautiful tones. The armadillo listened happily for a long time. In a moment of silence, he asked, "Can you please teach me to sing? I want to sing."
The birds looked down at him with cross looks on their faces. "Armadillos DO NOT SING!," they said. "Everyone knows that Armadillos can't sing, There is no point in you trying to learn," they teased. Then they laughed at the thought of an armadillo singing. Yet no one knew whether he could sing or not. They never gave him a chance. How sad! The armadillo began to walk away in tears.
A musician was listening to the birds at the same time the armadillo was. He understood how even an animal could have a love of god music. "How badly do you want to be able to sing or play beautiful music?" asked the musician.
"I would give my life to have one day of being able to sing or play music," said the armadillo.
The musician knew that the armadillo would never be happy until it could make the same beautiful music it heard throughout the rainforest. "I know how to help you make lovely music," said the musician. "But you will have to wait a very long time. I do not know the way of the animals to help you learn to sing. But when you are old and at life's end, I can help you make music that others will love."
The armadillo was excited. "I do not care how long I have to wait. I just want to add to the music of others and prove that armadillos can make beautiful music."
"I cannot help you make music until it is the time of your death. You are too beautiful of an animal to hurry through life. No one should die before their time. Come to me in your old age when you think your end is near. I will help you add to the music of the world. The world will know that armadillos can make lovely music."
The two talked for a long time. The armadillo agreed to enjoy the music of others until he was near the end of his life. At that time, he would come to see the musician again.
The armadillo enjoyed a long and happy life. He listened to beautiful music of the other animal and dreamed of the time when he could add to the music. When the armadillo believed he was close to death, he returned to see the musician once again. The musician welcomed the armadillo. "Please stay with me," said the musician. Be my friend. I will share your love of music. When you die, I will make a wonderful stringed instrument from your shell. I will travel throughout the land playing beautiful music for all the people and animals."
The words of the musician made the armadillo very happy. He died with a smile on his face. He knew he would attain his greatest wish. The musician kept his promise. He made a beautiful harp from the shell of the armadillo and traveled all over the land playing sweet music in the name of the armadillo. He played his instrument near the pond, "Listen," said the frogs. "The armadillo learned to sing."
The musician played his instrument under the open shy where the crickets played. "Listen," said the crickets. "The armadillo has learned to make music."
The musician played his instrument near the trees where the birds sang. "Listen," called the birds. "The armadillo has learned to accompany us and make lovely music." The musician kept his word. He made sure the whole world knew that the armadillo could play beautiful music.