One day the little bird flew low, close to the tree tops. As he flew in and out among the trees, he spied a man dressed in black strolling down a little country lane.
"Earthworms for sale. Earthworms for sale," the old man sang.
The little Blue Jay thought, "Oh, how I love earthworms! I wonder how much they are."
Landing on the old man's shoulder, the little bird asked, "How much do you want for your earth worms?"
"Oh, they're cheap," the old man answered. "Just one feather for one worm."
"Oh, how I love earthworms," the little bird thought. "No one would notice one little feather missing."
He plucked out one of his beautiful blue feathers and handed it to the old man in return for a delicious earthworm. Then he soared into the clouds, happy and content.
The following day the Blue Jay heard the old man again singing his song,
"Earthworms for sale. Earthworms for sale."
"Oh, how I love earthworms," the little bird thought. "That worm tasted so good yesterday, and no one even noticed that I had a feather missing. Maybe I'll have just one more."
So again he plucked a feather and traded it for another earthworm.
The same scene was repeated the next day, and the next, and the next--until he plucked one feather too many. After he'd purchased a final earthworm, he could no longer soar into the sky. No matter how hard he flapped his wings, no matter how high he jumped, he couldn't catch the wind in his remaining feathers. He was so dejected over what he had done, he crawled into the tall grass beside the road and died.
Another Blue Jay flying overheard found his little friend, buried him under a giant oak tree, and placed the following on his headstone:
Here lies a poor lost Blue Jay,
Hush your note each bird that sings.
Here lies a poor foolish Blue Jay,
Who for earthworms sold his wings.
There are only two choices in life. You can either soar with the birds that go after their goals and dreams or sell your feathers for second best and live in mediocrity. The interesting part of this story is when you "sell your feathers" you don't even know you are until you can't fly anymore. There is only one way to excellence, and that is to make a decision to never sell another feather. I mean never.
There will always be chances here or there to sell a feather, but know, every time you do, you are farther from where your success lies. The only way I know to avoid selling feathers is to avoid having a plan B because no one has the feathers I have, and I was born to use those feathers to follow my God-given dreams. I don't care what other featherless birds say, and I don't want to taste the earthworms of mediocrity. My family has one plan, and we will keep our feathers to ourselves!
What about you? Have you sold out to an earthworm-at-a-time philosophy or is it time for you to soar? My only advice if you choose to fly is to surround yourself with the right birds, and never look back to the ground-just soar to new heights! There is no plan B!!!
If you choose not to fly, I hope the earthworms were worth it...