The Rock and the Firework

A Short Fable

He was the rock.  He was small and grey and ugly.  He had been living underground, until he felt himself lifted, and something was leaned against him.

The rock looked up and spoke in his slow, deliberate manner.  “And what are you?”

The stick quivered with excitement.  “I’m a firework.  I fly into the sky and glitter with the brightest light.  I’m the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.”

“I don’t doubt that,” said the rock.  “But of what use are you?”

“I’m beautiful,” said the firework.  “I glitter. I fly.  I inspire all those who view me.”  He looked down.  “But what are you?”

“I am a rock.  I lay on the ground.  I am grey.  I am reliable.  I can be used to hold things down and prop things up.  I am not beautiful, but I am useful.  Are you useful?”

The firework was silent for a second.  “Yes,” he said thoughtfully.  “Beautiful things are useful.  But you are wrong. “

“I am?”

“You are beautiful. Useful things are beautiful. You prop me up.  You are my foundation.  If it weren’t for you, how would I fly? I would be lying on the ground.”

The rock considered that.  “ Perhaps you are right.”

“I am.  I am.  I am!”  The firework quivered.  “ I go now!  See my beauty.  Goodbye.”

The rock watched as the firework rose into the sky, bursting into cascading bits of light of beauty.  He felt sad as his short lived friend fulfilled his destiny, but proud that he could help in his small way.

He was the rock. He was small and heavy and grey, but, for the first time in his long life, he was beautiful.

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