Holding Up the Sky

Elephant was walking through the forest when he spied a bright patch of color on the trail before him. He stopped and looked more closely.  It was Hummingbird, lying on her back in the middle of the path, with her tiny legs high up in the air.

“Hummingbird!  I almost stepped on you!” said Elephant.

“I’m sorry,” said Hummingbird.  “But I heard the sky was going to fall today, and I wanted to be ready.”

“Ready?” asked Elephant.

“Yes.  To hold up the sky,” said Hummingbird.

Elephant laughed.  “Do you you think you could hold up the sky with those skinny little legs?”

“Not all alone,” admitted Hummingbird, “but I’m ready to do my part.”

Elephant looked down at the little bird.  And he thought.  And he nodded. Then he lowered himself slowly down onto his knees, rolled over onto his back, and into the air went four big legs, and a trunk.

–a tale from China–

“Holding Up the Sky” is retold from Margaret Read MacDonald’s Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About.

© 2016, words and photograph, Naomi Baltuck, All rights reserved; photo as indicted in the hallmark


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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