Table of Contents
Wangjia: The protagonist of the story who was chosen to find the Bird of Happiness
First monster: One of the monsters whose duty is to protect the bird of happiness.
Lousang’s mother: The character whom the first monster asked Wangjia to kill.
Second Monster: The other monster who is supposed to protect the bird of happiness.
Silong: An old gaffer who was supposed to be poisoned by Wangjia as ordered by the second monster.
Third Monster: The monster of the last phase who is supposed to protect the bird of happiness.
Bhima: A character whose eyeballs were supposed to be brought by Wangjia to the third monster.
Bird of Happiness: The bird that brings happiness to the people and is a very rare creature around which the story revolves.
This narration is about a poor area in Tibet. The people there did not know what happiness was like and suffered from cold and hunger. The old folk believed that happiness was a beautiful bird. Wherever the bird flew happiness went with it. The Bird of Happiness was said to be guarded by three old monsters who could kill a man by simply blowing through their long beards. Whoever went to look out for this bird never returned.
Wangjia is chosen to find the bird of happiness by the villagers
‘The Bird of Happiness’ is a folktale about the people of a poor area in Tibet who despite their unimaginable hardships firmly believed that happiness existed somewhere in the world. The old folks believed that happiness was a beautiful bird living on a snowy mountain, far away in the east. However, many people who went in search of the bird never returned, increasing the mystery surrounding the bird. It was said that the bird was guarded by three old monsters who could kill a man by simply blowing through their long beards.
So, when Wangjia, a bright boy, was chosen to undertake the task, people wished him by offering him a number of things for the way. Wangjia started his journey walking eastwards. There were three phases to his journey and in every phase Wangjia’s hardships increased. In the first phase when Wangjia refused to carry out the command of the first monster to kill Lousang’s mother, the smooth road turned into vast scree and every stone on it was as sharp as a knife.
The hurdles that are faced by Wangjia in his journey
After the first hundred miles, the soles of Wangjia’s boots were ripped apart by the stones; after the second hundred miles, his feet were cut to pieces; and after the third hundred miles, his hands were torn to shreds. Since the going was so tough, Wangjia had moments of doubt and he wondered if he would ever make it. In the second phase, when Wangjia refused to obey the second monster’s command-to poison old gaffer Silong, the monster blew away Wangjia’s bread-bag and turned the blue mountains and green rivers into a boundless desert with no food to be found anywhere.
Wangjia traveled 300 miles without food with his head reeling and with sharp pain in his guts, as if they were being cut by a knife. This was not all. The last phase of his journey was even worse. When Wangjia refused to carry out the command of the third monster to bring Bhima’s eyeballs, the monster gouged out Wangjia’s eyeballs. The rest of the journey had to be carried on by Wangjia in his blind state. He groped his way with his hands on the ground. Yet he continued his journey resolutely in the direction of the sun as he believed that the bird must be in a place in that direction.
Wangjia didn’t lose hope to find the bird
All this Wangjia did because he honored his promise to his people and he remembered the hope of his people that he would bring with him the bird of happiness. At last, Wangjia’s determination and goodness were answered when he found the Bird of Happiness and the bird spoke gently to him. As soon as the Bird of Happiness caressed Wangjia gently, his eyeballs flew back to their sockets, and he could see much more brightly than before. All his wounds were healed and he was stronger than ever.
Thus, magical changes came over Wangjia as the Bird of Happiness caressed him. It took him back to his place and asked him what he wanted. Instead of asking anything for himself, Wangjia replied that his people wanted warmth and happiness, forests and flowers and rivers. The Bird of Happiness gave three cries and with the first cry, the golden sun broke through the clouds and a warm breeze came down from the sky.
Wangjia finally accomplishes his goal
At the second cry, stretch upon the stretch of the forest appeared all over the mountains, mountain peach and other mountain flowers bloomed together and thrushes and larks led a chorus of birdsong. At the third cry, green rivers and fields came into view and little white rabbits danced merrily on the grass. The people of the place never suffered hardships again. From all this, it’s clear that happiness means being blessed by nature to enjoy the natural pleasures of nature.
The lesson clearly shows that when one is blessed with the bounty of nature, one will be happy. Happiness is not depicted as the possession of material wealth. In the first paragraph, it is given that the people of the poor area in Tibet, suffered from hunger and cold as the place had no rivers or good land, no warmth or fresh flowers, no trees or green grass. In the story, we see that Wangjia asks for warmth and happiness, forests and flowers, fields and rivers. After these details, it is also given that the people of the place never suffered hardships again. From all this, it’s clear that happiness means being blessed by nature to enjoy the natural pleasures of nature.