Black Bear came to a meeting late and said, “I’m feeling frazzled after dealing with my cubs.
What if I don’t feel compassionate?
Raven said, “Fake it.”
“That doesn’t seem honest,” said Black Bear.
“It doesn’t begin with honesty,” said Raven.

The Goal
Gray Wolf made one of her rare visits to the circle, and after a talk by Raven she remarked, “The goal of practice seems to be just more practice.”
Raven bobbed his head. “Well?”
Gray Wolf hesitated, and then asked, “So there’s no end to it?”
Raven hopped down from his perch to a little hummock beside Gray Wolf, put his beak
to her ear, and murmured, “Thank goodness.”

At a private meeting Grouse said, “I’m not sure that I am dedicated enough to my practice.”
Raven said, “Never mind about being dedicated.”
Grouse said, “The truth is, I haven’t the foggiest idea of what the practice really is.”
“Me, either,” Raven said, “but aren’t you curious?”
Grouse said, “Fascinated.”
Raven said, “There you go.”

— © Tricycle magazine, Fall 2017, by Robert Aitken