The Nightingale Sings No More

He got home late that night. Normally he got home around five or six, but tonight Norman got home from work at eight. Work had run long for him that day, and somewhere between the meetings and the seemingly endless pile of work, he had gotten very frustrated. He came home in a huff, flicked on the T.V. and went to the small kitchen. He fumbled around in the cabinets to find some food with the news humming in the background about all of the horrible things that had happened that day. After a few minutes of searching he realized that needed to go to the store, but today he was too tired, too frustrated and it was too late for him to go.
Tomorrow is Saturday, he thought. I’ll go tomorrow. He grabbed two pieces of bread from the dwindling loaf and spread some peanut butter and honey on it, since he did not have any jelly. He went and flopped down in his comfy chair to watch the news before bed. All he wanted was to relax, but he grew more and more frustrated as the news covered politics and crimes. After a while he turned the T.V. off, got up and put his dish into the sink.

He looked out the window of the little town home into the back yard. It was a beautiful night. The stars were twinkling and joyfully twirling. They sent their light from millions of light years away, but all Norman saw was the darkness of the night. He washed his dish, put it away and sauntered off to his room. On the way he heard

By Ron Knight (Flickr: Common Nightingale) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ron Knight (Flickr: Common Nightingale) [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
a small, sweet noise from outside. Originally he ignored the sound. When he had gotten to his room, though, the noise had grown louder. He attempted to ignore the joyful little sound while he changed into his night clothes. He tried even harder to ignore the sweet song while he climbed into bed. He lay there for some time trying as hard as he could to ignore the happiness that was emanating from outside. After a while he could not ignore it any longer. He went over to the window, opened up the blinds and immediately saw the little noise maker, a nightingale.

It sat in a tree that grew right outside his window singing about the joyous wonders of the world; serenading the night with its cheerful song. He smacked the window hoping to scare it away. It was too happy, and he was frustrated. He wanted nothing to do with that bird. He closed the blinds back, thinking it had flown away. And good riddance you, you happy little nuisance, he thought. He closed the blinds.

Right as he was about to crawl into bed he heard it again. What should have been beautiful sounded like a car alarm to him. He marched over to the window, opened the blinds and slammed on the window as hard as he could. The little bird flew farther up the tree and within seconds it was again tweeting its joyous little song.

Right as he was about to crawl into bed he heard it again. What should have been beautiful sounded like a car alarm to him.

“Can you stop? Why do you have to be so happy?” He shouted at the bird through the window. The bird did not flinch. It’s joy caused him grief. He ran out into the back yard and under the tree flailing his arms in the bird’s direction. It only flew a little higher and did not even stop singing.

He grabbed a low branch on the tree and shook it as hard as he could causing the tree to sway slightly. Again the nightingale did not stop. He tried yelling at it, he tried climbing the tree, he tried throwing pebbles at it, but nothing would stop its sickeningly happy song. He tried one last thing he could think of to stop it from singing. He grabbed a soccer ball that one of the boys from the family upstairs had left out, and in the sheer rage of the moment he kicked it high into the tree. The noise abruptly stopped. The night became silent. A small thud sounded from under the tree. He smiled. Good riddance, he thought.
He walked back inside the house and went into his room. He was proud of his accomplishment. Now he could be frustrated without the annoyance of happiness to stop him. He walked over to the window to close the blinds, but before he did so he noticed something in the tree outside the window. Several feet off there were three white, little spheres sitting in a clump of twisted up twigs and leaves. He had never noticed that there before. He closed the blinds without a care and crawled into bed.

He laid there for five, ten, twenty minutes and longer until he just could not take it anymore. His mind would not rest. He could think of nothing other than the little nest and the bird he killed. After long deliberation he came to the conclusion that he had killed the eggs mom. The thought sickened him. Even though they were birds, he had made them orphans. He had killed their mom simply because she was happy, he was not, but he wanted the world to be unhappy with him.
These pervasive thoughts kept him up all night, but he knew even if he wished for the little bird to be alive again it would not happen. The happy little nightingale would sing no more, he thought. It’s joy would be lost forever, because I, in my anger, wanted all joy dead.


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