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The Hidden Beauty; The Rabbits lesson and the Cardinals Truth.
Once, long ago, there was a Cactus sprout. He knew nothing of the world or his place in it, but he knew one thing for certain, he wished to be loved. As he grew a bit bigger, he met a beautiful rabbit as the rabbit passed by on his way to his burrow.
"Hi Again!" The cacrus would say, and the rabbit would stop to chat for a bit. Their friendship flourished as the weeks went on. The cactus felt the love and companionship he had always wanted. But the rabbit wasn't a very good friend, he would only stop by to chat when he had something to say, and then leave the cactus before he could reply. the cactus didn't mind it as long as he had a friend.
as the months went by the Rabbit became cruel, and didn't stop to chat with the cactus anymore. He would even insult the cactus as he would hop passed him. One day without noticing how big the cactus had gotten, the rabbit accidentally ran into the thorns of the cactus and let out a cry of pain.
"Your thorns make you unlovable." The rabbit said to the cactus.
"But all I want is to be loved." Replied the cactus.
"Who could love you? No one can get near you without being hurt by your thorns." Said the rabbit as it hopped away.
The cactus thought of the rabbits words, and day and night played them over and over again in his mind. His thorns grew sharper and longer the more he grew bitter by the rabbits words. Then, one day a cardinal landed atop the cactus.
"Wow! Look how beautiful your thorns are!" The Cardinal exclaimed.
"They aren't beautiful, they are dangerous. All they do is hurt anyone who comes near." The cactus replied.
"But if that was true how would I be able to perch on you?"
That begun a long friendship between the cactus and the cardinal, and day after day the cardinal would come back and perch atop the cactus. One beautiful spring day, the cactus bloomed, and all the creatures came to see its beauty, but one, the Rabbit.
The Rabbit watched as the animals praised his blooming flowers.
"Be careful! His thorns will hurt you!" The rabbit cried to the other animals. But none listened. The rabbit, being ignored became angry. And started to insult the cactus. The other animals started to back away from the cactus as the rabbits insults became worse. "He's not beautiful! He loves to hurt others!"
The rabbit was saying as the Cardinal flew towards him.
"He is beautiful!" The cardinal yelled.
"No, I am beautiful. Anyone can love me and I would never hurt them with thorns!"
The rabbit replied.
"He might be hard on the outside and his thorns may be sharp, but his heart is so full of love and beauty that it ran over like a cup being overfilled. The only thing for the extra love to do was bloom, and that it did. But you, you are beautiful on the outside but your thorns lie within yourself and that makes you unloveable"
The rabbit had no response, and stood there quietly.
The rabbit felt hurt by the Cardinals words and hopped away. "How could he say that? I am very beautiful. how could he make me feel bad about myself like that?" The rabbit thought. He hopped to his burrow sadly, but stopped by a puddle of water. Looking in he saw his reflection, and he was beautiful! "That cardinal knows nothing of beauty!" He exclaimed. "But the Cactus' flowers were beautiful as well" he said in realization. he thought back to when the Cactus had just been a sprout, and his heart hurt, for he realized the pain he must have put his once friend through.
The Rabbit rushed back to the cactus, and when he got to him, he saw the cardinal perching on him. "Have you come to try to hurt the poor cactus with your thorns Rabbit? The cardinal asked. "no, i have come to apologize for everything I've said. Cactus, you are beautiful, and not at all unlovable. I was the one that was unlovable." The cactus grew so happy, that more of his flowers bloomed until he was covered in yellow and Orange flowers. "I've missed you old friend." Said the Cactus with joy.
The Cardinal was right. No matter your thorns on the outside, if you have enough love, it will bloom and everyone will see it, and the beauty in you.