The game of give and take

Once upon a time there were a chicken and a sheep. The chicken escaped from a farm where he had been treated in a very cruel way. The farmers pinched out all his feathers and ever since that moment, he had always felt cold and naked. One day he met a very nice and kind sheep. It was winter and sheep felt sorry for chicken he was cold and naked. She gave him some of her own wool. There was enough after all.

Every morning and every evening chicken returned to sheep and asked her for more of that cosy, warm wool. Without questioning she give him more and more every day.

Till one day… Chicken came to see sheep to ask her if he could get some more wool. But sheep was nowhere to be found. Where did she go? How would he survive without her?!

After a long walk, he finally found her.

‘Where were you? You left me here in the cold, all alone. How could you do this to me?!’

Chicken hadn’t realized where the two of them were. He was only frustrated.

Sheep was barely able to speak, but tried anyway. ‘I got a cold and I’m very sick now. That’s why the farmer brought me inside to rest and wait for the summer to come. He hopes I’ll make it, but isn’t sure about it.’

‘But sheep, please, give me some of your wool. I need it to stay warm. You are so selfish and only care about yourself. That’s so unfair.’

Never enough

‘Chicken, I gave you all I had and it was never enough. Now I’m sick and you are asking me to give you even more? Who is selfish now? You know, while I was laying here, I questioned myself; how can such a small chicken still not have enough wool to keep him warm after all the wool I gave him? What did you do with it?’

‘I burned it to make a fire. It helped to keep me warm for a while, but to keep the fire burning, I need more.’

‘Oh chicken’, sheep said, ‘you could have done so many things with that wool. You could have made a coat, a warm bed, a blanket, anything. But you burned it?! If I would give you my last wool, what would you do with it?’

‘I would burn it. I can’t make a coat, nor a blanket. I only know how to make a fire.’

‘And so, it is a waste of my wool if I give you more, because you will never have enough…’

What’s the lesson?

‘You know Barbara, some people are so terribly hurt, they don’t know how to deal with all your loving words, listening, presents or whatever you do for them. It will never be enough. It is a waste of your own energy. You have to protect yourself, because otherwise you will end up like sheep. Or worse. Look after yourself first and when you have more than enough, then you can give to others. But only to those who use it to really help themselves. Otherwise it is just a waste of your love, time and energy. What you cán do however, is teach them how to love themselves. Live a positive example and show them how to feed themselves. Bring them joy by enjoying your own life.’

Want to read more?

The story above is a fragment from The Truth – Angel’s story, a fairy tale about the consequences of childhood trauma and the way to heal from it. If you like this chapter, maybe you should check out the book. Until 29-9 there is a €5,- discount. Order your copy by clicking here.

The Truth - Angel's story