by Vanita Moore.
About ten years ago when I wrote this story, I never dreamed I’d find myself back in Indiana, working beside my husband in his family’s funeral home or using a story to help a grieving widow. But one day, as we sat in her farmhouse living room and talked about how hard it was for her to wake up alone, I found myself sharing…
Rooster was the proudest animal in the barnyard because when he crowed, he made the sun come up!
He would strut and sing, “Good morning, good morning, thank me for the morning.
Today is gonna be a great day. Good morning, Mrs. Hen and Mrs. Cow! =”
“Cluck, cluck, cluck, thanks for making the sun come up, ” said Mrs. Hen.
“Moo, thank yoou, Rooooster, added Mrs. Cow.
“You’re welcome. Good morning, Little Colt.”
But Little Colt neighed, “Naaay, it’s a gray day. I don’t see the sun, only the clouds.
“Little Colt, ” replied Rooster, “I think you’ve been around the humans too long. Let’s think about it. Was it dark last night?”
“And is it light now?”
“Then the sun must be shining some place, so you should thank me.
“Oh! Yaaay. Thank you, Rooster, for making the daaay.“
Then Rooster was sick and slept for three days, but the sun came up anyway. The next morning, the animals reproached him for making them thank him for something he did not do and mocked him for crowing.
“Cluck, chick, cluck, you didn’t make the sun come up.”
“Moo, no thanks to yoou, Rooooster. Why should yoou even crow?
“Naaay, you didn’t make the day. Why should we thank you?”
Rooster was so upset. But during that quiet time just before he fell asleep…you know, that time that some of us pray or take time to quietly reflect…he realized the answer.
The next morning he crowed, was reproached and explained he knew didn’t make the sun come up, but he crowed to say thank you to the one who does. He revised the song and invited everyone (all the animals, big ones and smaller ones) to join him in singing and crowing.
“Good morning, good morning, thank You for the morning. Today is gonna be a great day… ER – ER – ER – ER – OOO!
In the car on the way home, I briefly thought about my telling her the story, hoped it was appropriate and reassured myself that she seemed to enjoy it. We talked occasionally over the next few months.
Many months later, she was in our funeral home for a service and asked if I had told ‘‘that story” to any of the other women we had helped.
When I said no, she told me that I certainly should, she thinks of it every morning when she hears her Rooster crow and she remembers to give thanks for another new day.
Ahh, the power of story. Take it, tell it, and may the next one tell it even better.
Originally published in the Spring 2004 issue of the HSA Newsletter.
Vanita Moore ‘s storytelling career began almost 20 years ago while living in the San Francisco Bay Area and continued in Cincinnati, Atlanta, and now Brazil, Indiana. She sends greetings and appreciations to the many tellers who have journeyed with her.