The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

The Raven and The Peacock

The colors of the peacock were something to adulate,
And the animals in the forest were delighted by their luster;
All animals except the raven, who this beauty could not celebrate,
And in his heart, toward this brilliance, only jealousy could muster.

“Why can’t I be as colorful as the peacock?” he would brood.
“I am good at solving mysteries, I need to learn her secret.
The goal is very simple, to go from feathers black to multi-hued.
There has to be some trick, some magic little trinket.”

One day the peacock’s radiance began to slowly fade.
She then began to hunt for something that was distinctive.
It was a cruel and deadly snake of which all creatures were afraid,
But the peacock showed a bravery that was surely part instinctive.

The fight was wild and ghastly, but the peacock’s bravery prevailed.
The fierce and cruel snake lay lifeless in her claws.
When she began to feast upon this creature a miracle entailed
And her colors quickly restored due to secret ancient laws.

The raven had discovered the age-old secret practice.
With his intelligence and courage he could this thing repeat;
And so he plotted out some clever little tactics
To make sure he’d soon be eating some magical snake meat.

Yes, the raven went hunting for the same type of beast,
And attacked one in a manner that was simply quite vicious.
Nothing could stop the raven from enjoying his own feast.
His bravery was not from instinct; he was just quite avaricious.

He looked down upon the snake as its life helplessly vanished,
And with a sense of victory and pride he contemplated his cuisine.
The long, tough and risky fight had left him clearly famished.
Without hesitation he picked the snake’s skeleton clean.

The raven wondered how it would feel to be transformed.
He sauntered to a pond to watch his feathers refashion.
But he grew weaker and more dizzy as his body greatly warmed.
The raven died, his eyes going from sparkling bright to deadly ashen.

Sometimes children would pass by and see the raven lying still.
They would say, “What a beautiful bird this was, it is so sad he died.”
They lovingly touched his rich dark feathers, but only felt a chill;
And many sat down next to the poor bird and cried.

The animals had loved the raven, he was usually so smart and witty;
But, he had wanted the beauty and grace that another had possessed.
They did not blame him, from their love they felt great pity.
The raven had touched each of them and from this they all felt blessed.

“We will bury the raven under the tree he loved the most.
Let’s all go through the woods and find only the best that can bloom.
Plant these over him so no area greater beauty can boast,
And we can remember his life in a garden not a tomb.”

One day the peacock passed the place where raven calmly slept.
A gentle fragrance had led the bright bird to go that way.
And seeing all the beautiful colors the peacock sadly wept.
“Only these flowers are more beautiful than the feathers I display.”

About the Writer

Daniel Gauss

Daniel Gauss is a graduate of Columbia University and has worked in the field of education in New York City and China for over 20 years. He has been published on numerous platforms dealing with art, mythology, the environment and how to be a good person.