The Parrot and the Fig Tree: Friendship and Respect for Nature. A Jataka Tale, illustrated by Michael Harman

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A magnificent parrot lives in a fig tree that provides shelter and food for many birds. When the fruit is picked clean and the tree is withering, all the other parrots leave. Only the magnificent parrot remains loyal to the tree, his old friend.

The Jataka Tales celebrate the power of action motivated by compassion, love, wisdom, and kindness. The Teach that all we think and do profoundly affects the quality of our lives. Selfish words and deeds bring suffering to us and to those around us, while selfless actions contribute to a lighter, more joyful way of being that has the potential to uplift all forms of life.

The Jataka Tales, first related by the Buddha over two thousand years ago, bring to light his many lifetimes as an embodiment of great compassion, the great being appears in many forms and places to ease the suffering of living beings. Thus the Jataka Tales are filled with heroes of all kinds, each demonstrating the power of compassion and wisdom to transform any situation.

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