An ancient legend tells that many years ago, parrots and cockatoos, despite being close relatives and living in the same forest, got along very badly. Nobody remembered the reason for the conflict, but the fact is that they could not see each other and often there were very disagreeable arguments and fights between them.
So serious was the matter that on one occasion the leader of the great family of parrots and the leader of the great family of cockatoos made a decision: to divide the territory into two. By mutual agreement, the northern part of the forest was left by the parrots and the southern part by the cockatoos. This allowed both sides to continue with their lives ignoring each other, and logically the fights disappeared.
At that time, a young green parrot with a yellow neck decided to take a two-month trip to see something of the world. Eager to live adventures, he planned to cross the forest to see the beach, and once there, decide which direction to take. There were several ideas in his head, but the one he wanted most was to sneak into some ship and sail towards an exotic and distant destination.
The problem was that to get to the coast he had to cross the southern part, and that could have serious consequences. He weighed advantages and disadvantages and won the advantages by a landslide, so in the end, he chose to take the risk.
He left his home on a warm summer morning, just after dawn, and flew through his beloved northern forest. He realized that he had reached the border because he came across a long wooden fence. On it had braced several posters with large red letters that sent a threatening message:
“ATTENTION PARROTS: PROHIBITED TO GO TO THE SOUTH AREA. RISK OF PRISON “
From the nerves their little feet began to tremble as if they were jelly. He took a deep breath and tried to relax by turning his neck in circles and drinking a little of the canteen. When he felt calmer, he wiped the sweat from his forehead with a handkerchief, checked that his compass worked, and said to himself:
– I’m afraid that the most complicated part of the trip begins here. As it is already midday, I will take advantage of the fact that all the animals are eating at home to overcome this challenge as quickly as possible and without making any noise.
The parrot was in shape and jumped the fence with ease, but once inside strange territory he thought that making the route flying would make him an easy target to detect. It was safest to go on foot and use the plants to camouflage as he went.
This part of the forest seemed more leafy and much quieter than the northern half, always full of parrots, come to chatter all day long. Cautiously, he walked for a long time without seeing anyone and not perceiving anything other than the sound of his footsteps on the crisp stubble.
Suddenly, he came to a stream.
– ‘How good! With the heat that it makes, it will come in luxury to get wet a little before continuing. ‘
He introduced a little foot into the water, which by the way was frozen, and when he went to put the other noticed that a chill ran down the spine. His intuition told him that someone, hidden somewhere nearby, was staring at him.
– ‘Oh, no, this is the end! … As I have caught a cockatoo I am lost.’
What could I do?! Unfortunately, only one thing: face the situation in the most courageous and dignified way possible. He turned very slowly with his wings up, and asked:
– Is there … is there someone there?
He saw a bushes shake like a rattle and, after a few tense moments, he watched hallucinated as from its branches came a white bird that wore a coquettish yellow plume on his head. Our friend felt that he had not seen anything more beautiful in his life.
– ‘Oh, what a beautiful girl! … Am I dreaming?’
He was so still and so stunned that it was she who had to approach. When they were facing each other, the two young men looked at each other enraptured.
– You must be a green parrot with a yellow nape, those who live on the other side of the fence, right?
The parrot made a stupid face and said:
– And you’re a galerita cockatoo! … Do you know you’re beautiful?
She also blushed.
– Thank you, you are very kind, but do you want to explain to me why you are in our forest? You already know that the law forbids us to step on your land and you to ours.
The poor man shook his head to return to reality and became nervous again.
– I know, I know … My goal is to reach the beach before nightfall. It is risky, but if I want to travel by boat I have to go through here because our part of the forest has no coast.
– Well, you were lucky to meet me and not with a vigilante! In the afternoons they usually patrol this area, so as you do not hurry it will be a matter of minutes getting caught.
– I see … What do you advise me to do?
– I’m afraid that your only alternative is to disguise yourself as a cockatoo and make yourself look like one of us.
– Are you kidding? … Do not make fun of me, please.
The cockatoo lowered her voice.
– I’m serious! You follow me, but keep quiet so they do not discover us.
The cockatoo walked on tiptoe in a straight line and the parrot, confident, followed her. When arriving at a place of the forest that seemed like any other, the beautiful guide gave a smile to him and said:
– Here it is!
– Here it is … what? … I do not see anything!
The cockatoo looked up and pointed to a gigantic tree in whose trunk there was a gap half covered with leaves.
– Let’s go up there. You will understand it right away.
They spread their wings and flew into the hole. The parrot was amazed at what he saw.
– It looks like a flour store!
The cockatoo made a small correction.
– No, it does not look like it: it’s a flour store, one of the many in this part of the forest. The flour is stored up here so that the rodents, who are gluttons, do not eat it. Come on, let’s not waste time: go over it as if you were a croquette!
The parrot instantly understood what she intended. He picked up momentum, threw himself on the iron to the flour pool, and smeared himself until his green plumage became a completely white plumage. The cockatoo was very funny to see him with that look.
– Oh, how handsome you are!
The parrot laughed too.
– Hahaha! This is crazy, but if you think it can work …
– Of course I believe it! We just need to make a plume like mine and I can think of … I’ve got it, let’s go!
Stealthily they approached a lagoon covered with strange aquatic plants completely unknown to the parrot.
– See those floating flowers? They are called water lilies and their leaves are as yellow and as long as the feathers on my head. With a few I will make a headdress for you. You’ll be cute, you’ll see!
Said and done. The resolute cockatoo went into the lagoon and took seven or eight sheets of water lily. In less than singing a rooster made a duster of the most chic and placed it on the head of the parrot.
Once the attire was complete, the young man approached the edge of the water to see his reflection.
– But I do look like a real cockatoo! Thank you very much for making it possible.
– It has been a pleasure to help you. Now you can follow your path without anyone stopping you, but please, go now! Nap time is coming to an end and from one moment to another the south forest will be filled with animals. As one discovers the deception, you charge it!
– I … I … Will I see you again?
The green, yellow-naped parrot had fallen head over heels in love with the sweet cockatoo galerita, so he almost fainted when he heard her answer.
– Of course! Look for me on the way back because I’ll be waiting for you.
Realizing that she felt the same, she dared to give him a kiss of love in the beak.
– I promise you I will do it!
Amidst a confused mixture of joy and sadness, the parrot and the cockatoo said goodbye.
After the break of the meal and the siesta, the forest returned to full of life. As his new friend had predicted, beings of all kinds began to appear in the shadows, including dozens of cockatoos. A great commotion was formed and the disguised parrot had to make an effort to stay calm and bring out his acting skills. Without erasing the smile from his mouth and imitating the gestures and the graceful way of moving of the white birds, he went through the forest without anyone noticing that he was an impostor.
His disguise was so good and he did it so well that many cockatoos greeted him thinking he was one of them. He had no choice but to correspond with a “Hello” or a “Good afternoon” to avoid suspicion.
And so, controlling his fears, he managed to dominate the situation and reach the wall that put an end to the southern forest. When he saw it, his heart began to beat at full speed.
– The wall! … I have reached the wall! … One last effort and I will be out of danger!
He was so tired to fly that he preferred to climb over it as if he were a climber. A minute later he reached the top and poked his head out. Although the light was already scarce, he could see an immense beach and in the background the sea, infinite and blue.
– Bravo, bravo, I’ve got it! The plan has worked!
He went down the opposite side like a slide, and stumbled across the golden sand until he threw himself into the water. Nothing else to submerge, the flour that covered its body dissolved and the sheets of water lily of the headdress removed dragged by the breeze. It was an incredible feeling to see that his feathers recovered the magnificent green color of which he was so proud.
Once clean and dry, he looked for a sheltered place to spend the night. It had been a day full of emotions and he needed to rest to start the new stage of his trip with encouragement! Lulled by the sound of the waves he reflected on how lucky he was to fulfill his dream of traveling, but his last thought, the most emotional and profound before falling asleep, was for the beautiful and loving cockatoo that had captivated his heart.