A very, very, very long ago and very, very, very far away from here lay a large village in the middle of the desert. Imagine: a village on the banks of a lake, in an oasis full of fruit trees and date palms, where people live in houses of loam and where you hear birdsongs everywhere. And that in the middle of barren desert!
In that village also lived a rooster – an arrogant rooster who found himself extremely important. When the sun just started to rise, he jumped proudly on a wall and thought: now I will wake everything and everyone! And then he crowed ‘cock-a-doodle-do!’, He looked around and thought: how special am I! Without me, everything and everyone would stay asleep.
Every day the rooster jumped up on that wall and woke every body up: Every day he threw up his colored feathers and walked between his chickens with his beak held high. Every day he ate the fruit that fell from the trees and the bread that people gave him.
Until one morning, the farmer grabbed him, put him in a cage and tied him on the donkey to sell him in the city.
From the cage the rooster looked in horror at how the village became smaller and smaller. What will happen now? he thought. Who should wake everyone up?
They spent the whole day traveling trough the desert and only arrived late at night in the city. Early the next day they arrived on the market, where the farmer tried to sell his rooster. But what do you think? Nobody was interested in him!
Why does nobody want to buy me, the rooster thought arrogantly. Do they not know that without me no one wakes up? That I am even the one to wake up the morning twilight?
But as the day lasted longer he became increasingly sad. He remembered his village. The trees, the blue sky, the walls of loam where he could always jump on. He thought of his chickens and the shadow of the date palms and of the tasty fruit that fell from the trees.
Here in the city it was dirty and noisy. He was in a cage to be sold. And what then? Would he be eaten? Put in a dirty shed? Would it be allowed crow in the city or would the neighbors start complaining that they wanted to sleep even though the sun was already up? The rooster became more and more sad …
When the day was over, the rooster still wasn’t sold. The farmer slept in the city for another night and the next day returned to the village with the rooster on the donkey.
At the end of the afternoon they saw the village and the oasis in the distance. As they got closer and closer, the rooster was getting happier. But when they arrived in the village he was very surprised. The whole village was awake! The people, the children, the goats, the donkeys, the birds in the trees and all his chickens … How is that possible? He thought. How could they have woken up without me?
The farmer released the rooster at home. Pleased with his return his chickens came to greet him, because even though he was arrogant, they kind of liked him.
“Say, chickens,” the rooster crowed, “How did the morning twilight actually come here without me?”
“Ah, like every day,” a chicken clucked. “With you, without you, that really does not matter to the morning twilight.”
“And besides,” said another chicken, “you are not the only rooster in the village.”
Shocked by this news the rooster went to sleep and he was still not feeling quite himself when he woke up in the morning. Tis time he decided to pay attention. He jumped on the wall, but instead of immediately opening his beak, he listened.
In the distance he heard the other roosters crowing one by one.
What was I stupid, the rooster thought. I am not the only one! I was so busy with myself that I did not even hear all those other roosters. Listen to all that cock-a-doodle-do. How beautiful it sounds!
He took a deep breath and crowed hard. Not to wake everyone up, but just to let the other roosters know that he had heard them.