18 July 2024

I.1. The Prosperous Brothers

Once upon a time, in a far-off land, there lived two brothers. They were as different as night and day. The elder brother, Fidelio, was kind, obedient, and hardworking. The younger brother, Cunegund, was lazy, disobedient, and always seeking shortcuts to wealth and fame.

I.2. The Envious Brother

One day, a merchant visited their village, bearing a splendid golden bird in a cage. Cunegund, captivated by its beauty, begged his brother to let him buy it. Fidelio, knowing they could not afford such a luxury, refused. Enraged, Cunegund vowed to get the bird no matter what.

The Wise Old Man

Cunegund's journey began with heavy steps, for his heart was light on love. Fortune smiled on him one brisk morning when he stumbled upon an old man, leaning on a gnarled staff, his eyes twinkling with the wisdom of ages. "Seeking the golden bird, are you? Not an easy task, lad. But I know the secret," he whispered, his voice like leaves rustling in the wind. "That bird won't sing in any cage, not unless it hears a song of true love and devotion." Cunegund blinked, puzzled by such a riddle. True love? That was a song he'd never sung. But with a determined nod, he thanked the old man and set off, his mission clear but the path uncertain.

The Search for Love

Days turned into weeks as Cunegund roamed from village to village, asking everyone he met if they could sing a song of true love. Musicians, poets, even a princess he encountered, but their songs, though beautiful, lacked the depth of feeling the wise old man described. Each night, under a blanket of stars, Cunegund pondered over what true love truly meant, feeling further from his goal than ever. Yet, he pressed on, for the glimmer of the golden bird's promise drove him forward, beyond mountains, rivers, and fields that stretched like endless green seas.

The Selfless Act

Exhausted and disheartened, Cunegund's journey took an unexpected turn when he found an old woman stranded by the roadside, her eyes filled with years of sorrow. Without a second thought, Cunegund offered his hand, leading her to safety, sharing his meager food, and listening to her tales of days gone by. In those moments, something within Cunegund shifted; the act of giving without the thought of reward filled his heart with a warmth he had never known. Weeks passed, and the bond between them grew until one evening, as the sun dipped below the horizon, bathing the world in gold, the old woman sang. Her voice, frail yet clear, carried a melody so pure and sincere that tears sprang to Cunegund's eyes. It was the song of true love, born not of romantic dreams but of genuine, selfless care and devotion. And in that instant, somewhere far off, a golden bird began to sing in response, its song a mirror to the melody of true love that had finally been found.

III.1. The Golden Bird Sets Free

Cunegund, his heart brimming with newfound joy and love, hurried back to the wise old man, eager to share the magical song. Upon hearing the melody of true love, the old man smiled kindly and opened the golden bird's cage. Like a shimmering streak of sunlight, the bird soared into the sky, its melodious song echoing through the air. As it vanished into the horizon, a single golden feather drifted gently down into Cunegund's open hands. This feather, glowing softly, was a symbol of the journey he had embarked on and the lessons he had learned.

III.2. The Transformation

With the golden feather as a reminder of his journey, Cunegund made his way back home, his steps light, his spirit lifted. He realized that the wealth he had sought was not in the form of gold or material possessions, but in the love and kindness he could give and receive. Upon his return, he found Fidelio, who noticed immediately the change in his brother. Cunegund shared his adventure and the priceless feather, expressing his gratitude and newfound understanding of what truly matters in life.

III.3. The Brothers' Bond

This experience bonded the brothers like never before. Cunegund's transformation and the lessons he learned about love, kindness, and the joy of giving resonated deeply with Fidelio. Together, they vowed to live their lives valuing these principles above all else. Their relationship, now stronger than ever, became a testament to the power of change and the beauty of a selfless heart. In harmony and happiness, they forged a path forward, their lives enriched by the magic and wisdom of the golden bird.

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