With humans, I have noticed that the third child is often less confident than the older siblings, perhaps closer to the mother, and more of a loner. Also I have noticed more empathy in third children. Perhaps with more health issues as well. Again, this is just my observation, but it has intrigued me and led to the following tale and poems. Read, enjoy, ponder and come to your own conclusions. And if you are the third child, welcome to the club!
(JM is not a third child and Píccola has no idea if she is, so they are both taking a rest this month.)
The third child
Meek and mild
Then goes wild.
Do not be afraid to try,
Do not be afraid to fly.
Let yourself go,
Just free your wings.
Sooner than you know,
You'll take to the sky.
What does that mean for you?
Do you go to bed first?
At games are you the worst?
You have a sister or a brother,
And you'll always have one another.
Sometimes a bother but a help too,
Help when you're hurt or to tie your shoe.
Sometimes they might tattle on you,
But then they will protect you too.
And if you want to be alone,
You must seek a place all your own.
When you grow up and you leave home,
You will soon come into your own.
You can shine as much as they do,
Show them that you have talents too.
And feel secure knowing that they
Will be there at the end of day.
“Greetings, my son,” his father exclaimed, hugging his son tightly. You must be tired. Sit down and rest. Have some soup and bread.”
His son gladly took the chair and soup bowl he offered. While he was eating, there was a knock at the door and in walked the second son. He too, sat down to eat. And then, just as the sun was setting, in walked the youngest brother. When they had all finished their soup, the father spoke.
I will ask you each three questions,” he said. "After you have all three answered, you can tell us of your adventures."
.He turned to his oldest son.
“What did you achieve?”
“ I became a scientist and made a great discovery."
“What do people say?”
“They acclaim me far and wide. I have become famous.”
“And how do you make them feel?”
“Oh, they admire me for what I have done.”
The father turned to his second son.
“And you my son? What did you accomplish?”
“ I became an artist. I am employed by a large and famous company and earn good money.”
“What do others say about you?”
“They love my art and pay good money for it.”
“And how do you make them feel?”
“My art brings them pleasure whenever they look at it.”
Now the father turned to his youngest son.
“And you, my son? What did you accomplish? Which path did you choose?”
The youngest son hung his head. “I tried science but it was not enough. So I tried art. But I wanted to play my fiddle. So I played music. I just couldn’t choose. I wanted to do them all. In the end, I chose to teach. Then I could do all three.”
“Well, then, what did people say?”
“I don’t know, father.” He hung his head.
“And how did you make them feel?”
“That I don’t know either. My students seem to like me but they don’t really tell me how they feel. Perhaps I have not accomplished anything of great worth. Perhaps I am a failure. No one has ever acclaimed me as they have my brothers.”
“Not so!” the other two spoke at the same time.
“One day I was walking through a town,” the oldest brother said. “I heard two young men talking. They were talking about their favorite teacher. One liked his science teacher the best.
‘He makes learning science such fun,’ the man said. ‘And I learn ever so much.’
‘My music teacher is the same,’ the other said. ‘What is your teacher’s name?’
“Well, it turned out they both had the same teacher and that teacher was you.”
He clapped his brother on the back. “You are famous, my brother.”
“And I,” added the second brother. “I came across an art show. The artists were all magnificent. I asked how they had learned. They all said they had the same teacher. And that teacher not only taught them well, he encouraged them and made them feel successful, so they kept at their art until they had perfected it. And guess who that man was?”
“I don’t know,” the youngest brother answered.
“You, of course.”
“So you are a successful teacher,” the father spoke quietly. "You help others to be successful. You make them feel capable and good about themselves. I would say that you have achieved much, my son. As much as your two brothers. You only need to apply that to yourself as well.”
He looked at his three sons.
“I am well pleased with all three of you. You have taken what you have learned and used it to make the world a better place. You have accomplished something and helped others in return. Stay here a while and keep me company, then go out again and continue along your paths.”
The brothers nodded. Then the oldest spoke.
“If we have done so, father, it is because of your example. You gave us the tools to achieve and the knowledge that we must help others as well as ourselves. Thank you.”
The three brothers stayed with their father for a while then each set off again. But the youngest found a job teaching nearby so that he could visit his father often and continue to learn from his wisdom. And all lived in happiness and fulfillment.
Wrong Way Gamma
Last born, third child, different
From the very onset.
Smallest, weakest, struggled
Tried to hold your head up,
Get fish but faced backward.
Looked to Dad, not at fish.
Mother Rosie always
Made sure you got your bite.
But one night, four days old,
You were left in the rain,
Alone, bedraggled, wet.
Was it chance that left you
Out there in the dark cold?
Or was it meant to be?
Were you about to die?
We will never know why.
Your parents frantically
Brought sticks, nestorated.
Richie brought a blanket,
Belated help for you,
Comfort for the others?
They dug you into the nest
To your eternal rest.
Then went on with their life.
Gamma's Unsung Song
I have a song unsung
Never from me wrung
A story never told
For I have grown cold.
But in my short life
Free of danger and strife
I was well-loved and known
The seeds of loved were sown.
Now my spirit may rise
Into heavenly skies
Where I will be free,
Free just to be me.
But always to belong
In memory and song.
Tam, the Third Chick
You were the last to hatch, third child,
You learned to push to get a bite,
Or wait until the time was right.
You were spunky but also mild.
You conquered every milestone,
Walk on knees, then stand on your feet.
How to flap your wings, learn to eat
And to feed on a fish alone.
You watched your brother on nest’s edge
As he flapped his wings, tried to fly,
Hopped up then hovered in the sky
As he finally managed to fledge.
Saw him land on the Whirley Crane,
And you called, I want to fly too.
But your wings would not carry you
And you hopped up and down in vain.
But you tried and tried and tried again,
You hopped and pedaled and hovered,
Tried so hard to reach your brother,
Then landed on the lower crane.
Still you wanted to go higher,
Finally reached the top of the crane,
Then you tried again and again.
You wanted to be a flier.
But suddenly all went awry.
You fell and we’ll never know why.
Slipping down the crane you went,
Bumping in a deep descent.
You were found by a woman there
Who took you where you could get care.
Huddled in peopled place unknown
Forlorn, confused and all alone.
The people tried, oh they tried to
Save you but nothing they could do
Worked. All went awry. Now we sigh
And cry and forever ask why.
I wanna fly, I gotta try.
I don't want just to always hover.
I want to go way up there on high,
Way up there to join my brother.
Take me wings, take me way up there.
I want to fly just like the others.
Help me so I can fly everywhere.
I don't want just to always hover.
Help me, wings, now help me to fly.
Let me be an adult osprey.
Teach me to fly so high in the sky,
Teach me to fish in this Great Bay.
Now you are up in the sky,
Can fly high and even higher.
You can fly to the sun,
Without ever getting tired.
To stars in heavens above,
Blown by our sorrowing sighs,
Carried on our wings of love
High into welcoming skies.
Above mountain in the west,
Fly into flaming sunset sky,
While we remember on the nest,
Tam, the chick, who wanted to fly.