Once upon a time, there lived a little boy. One day, he went for a walk near his home. He looked at the birds and the flowers and at the trees which grew so high. He walked further and further into the woods. Soon it became dark. He wanted to go home, so he looked this way and that way. He could not remember the way home. He was lost! As he was very tired, he sat down under a big tree. “Perhaps if I rest for a while, I’ll be able to remember the way home,” he thought to himself. Soon he fell fast a sleep.
“Help us. Oh, please help us!” The little boy woke up with a start. He looked all around him. Who had called out? Then he saw a huge snake. It was moving slowly up the tree. It wanted to eat the little birds in a nest high up in the branches. “Help! Help!” cheeped the little birds. They were very young and could not fly. So they flapped their wings and cried out again and again. The wicked snake was creeping nearer and nearer. The little boy watched in horror as it opened its ugly, wide jaws. He picked up a heavy stick, climbed up the tree and hit the snake with it. The snake became angry. It curled up and hissed. “Hssssssst! Hssssst!” It lashed out angrily at the boy.
Again and again the boy hit it. It was a long, hard fight. The snake was long and very strong. But the boy was young, strong and very brave. Soon the snake lay dead, its jaws open and its eyes staring.
The young birds cheered. The little boy had saved their lives. He was their hero! Tired, he lay down on the ground and fell fast a sleep.
Suddenly, the wind began to blow. The trees swayed in the breeze. All the animals were frightened and ran to hide. “It’s the wonder bird. She’s coming back and we must hide or she may feed us to her young.” The animals hid in their holes and watched. Gracefully, the big bird flapped its huge, black wings. “It’s the eagle!; said the trees and bushes as they trembled in the wind.
“Mother!” called out the young birds happily. Just as she was about to land, the Wonder Bird saw the little boy sleeping peacefully under the tree.
“A human!” screeched the eagle. “I’ll tear him to pieces with my sharp claws.”
The young birds cried out, “Mummy, please don’t hurt him. He’s our friend. He killed the wicked snake and saved our lives.” The eagle looked at the little boy curiously. He had waken up. He stretched and stared at the bird. He had never seen anything so wonderful. The eagle’s wings were so wide they covered half the ground where he lay.
But the boy was not afraid. “Hullo,”saidthe boy politely. The Wonder Bird nodded. In her claws, she held huge bunches of wild berries.
“Are you hungry?” she asked. The boy held out his hand as he had not eaten since early morning.
“We’re hungry too, Mummy,” said the young birds eagerly. She fed them.
The boy thanked her for the food and because he was still tired, he feel asleep. All that night, the Wonder Bird stood guard over him, spreading her wings so that neither the wind nor the rain would disturb him.
The next morning the little boy woke up. He saw the enormous wing covering him and became frightened. “Don’t be afraid. I covered you so that you wouldn’t feel cold.” The little boy was grateful. “You saved my children from death. I’ll do anything you ask.”she said.
“Please take me home. I lost my way yesterday,” said the boy.
“Of course I shall, but first have some more of these delicious wild berries. You must be hungry.”
“We’re hungry too, Mummy,”said her children.
After breakfast, the Wonder Bird took the little boy home. “Hold on tight and don’t let go. It’s very windy today,” warned the bird, as the little boy climbed onto her back.
“Goodbye, come and see us again,” called out the young birds.
The Wonder Bird lifted the little boy high in the sky, up among the clouds. Soon the boy spied his home. “There’s my home,” he said excitedly. Gently the bird landed and he slid off her back.
“Now remember, always be kind and brave,” she said.
The boy watched as she soared into the bright blue sky, flapping her great, black wings. It was a magnificient sight. “Now I know why they call her the Wonder Bird,” said the boy.