Unique, the outcast tiger cub, cheerfully jumps off his flattened thick grass bed and greets the baby goats good morning.
The kids, with their unkempt clumpy fur, look at each other and laugh at Unique in chorus.
Unique was found by mother goat alone, wounded, and helpless in the prairie, so she decided to bring him home and to raise him well like her own.
It's been months already since unique lived, played, and worked with them but the goat's ways just fail to be imprinted upon him.
He cannot bleat like how the goats bleat. He doesn't like the taste of the meals of the goats, but he just keeps it to himself. His coat and body structure is different from the goat kids he plays with.
The kids always make fun of Unique because he is different—big and guttural voice, stripy fur, thick but few whiskers, big paws, sharp claws, stocky body. So Unique thinks that he is ugly; he is unacceptable; he is weak; he is cursed. Unique becomes the laughing stock in the prairie.
Unique starts to develop self-pity and inferiority complex, and other self-images that breed negative attitudes. The once cheerful and friendly unique now becomes aloof and insecure.
One day when the goats and Unique go up the mountain to play. Each brings a bag full of leaves and grass since the season is dry.
The goats laugh at the way Unique walks and the way his tail moves. Unique cannot talk back since they will just keep on laughing, this time at the way he bleats. So Unique contains the anger in his throat. When the goats start to get tired from playing on their way up, they start eating their food. Unique, on the other hand, is still full of energy and his food still untouched, partly because he doesn’t like it.
When they are halfway through up, the goats' bags are already almost empty. They ask Unique for some food as his bag is still full. Unique refuses to share his every time they ask him for some food.
Unique's back is starting to ache while the goats are starting to feel hungry and weak, yet the goats keep playing and laughing on their way up as they keep on making fun of Unique's manners of walking and bleating and his seemingly unflagging strength. The heavy throb in his chest makes him want to tear them apart; but the voice of his mother goat talking in his mind stops him so.
Seeing a river, they all stop for a drink. Unique sees his reflection on the glaring, clear, slow running water. He realizes not only are his voice and coat different from theirs but also his face and size. Unique feels even uglier and more insecure after seeing his reflection. He feels so inferior and unblessed.
To make himself feel better, he seals his bag so tightly so the leaves and grass will not fall from it as they climb and so the goats will feel the pain he feels even just by means of hunger. Unique feels bad about what he is doing to his brothers and friends; but his anger and insecurity shoot up that he'd rather see them hungry than share food with them.
Some of the goats faint as they move up the hardly trailed ridge; others stop at some point to find food; until only Unique remains walking up with aching back and all alone.
Unique reaches the pinnacle, and no-one else.
Unique looks around. He stares at the vastness of the field below. He realizes how big the world is and how ugly and weak and different and lonely he is.
In his sadness, Unique sobs. Until he cries so hard that his voice trembles til it cracks a roar. Unique is surprised of what he hears. He gets scared of the voice coming from within. Another roar comes out of his throat. He chuckles in curiosity and fear. He thinks the monster inside him is coming out due to his uncontained anger. He just cannot control it, he keeps on roaring as he cries in pity and fear.
To his surprise, a bleat fades in with the gush of the wind from behind. It is mother goat trying to comfort him and thank him. All the while, mother goat was following them as they played and climbed unaware.
"Don't be sad because you're different," quips mother goat. "Unique, you are special. You will never be like any of us no matter how hard you try because you were born bigger, stronger, and faster. Thank you for doing your best to be one of us."
Unique’s sadness now melts to confusion as to why his mother goat is saying he is special and is thanking him. Before he talks in disbelief and further skepticism, mother goat tells him the truth—how she found him and who he really is.
"I love you that's why I brought you home and cared for you. I saw your goodness and potentials that's why I trusted you in a lot of things, including how gently and carefully you treat your brother goats, who belittle you and laugh at your differences," says mother goat.
Unique brushes his face on the face of his mother goat. He is moved by the sincerity of his mother goat's words and the love she has shown him since the day he can remember.
Now Unique forgives his brother goats and friends, and most importantly, he forgives himself. He now embraces who he is and starts to unlearn his unfounded self-image as he begins to build a new self-image established on acceptance(of who he is), gratitude(for what he has), and forgiveness(for what his self-pity and insecurity made him to be).
"Go out in the open field, my son. Discover your voice, your strength, your beauty, and your role and place in the field," mother goat encourages Unique.
In gratitude and respect, Unique thanks mother goat and kisses her goodbye.
Still in awe of his abilities and potentials, he realizes that the reason why his back ached as they climbed the mountain is not because he was lacking energy but because he never unloaded his "baggage" due to trumped up self-pity, insecurity, anger, and selfishness.
Now, as Unique accepts his whole being—both what he can and cannot do—he also gains self-respect.
Friends, go out, experience the world, and push yourself to the limit... Perhaps the reason why you feel awkward or your voice cannot be understood or others see you differently or you don't fit in is simply because you are different... Be bold. Your "bleat" will never be good enough if you are meant to "roar." Discover what you are made of, treat yourself as how you are to the eyes of your Creator, and grow where you should be. Seize the day as how He sees you!"
I am so happy I am here again! I have been very busy, happily busy, for the past few months that I was not able to write an article... I have a list of entries to write, though. I just need to buy time to sit and type. For now, enjoy the fable :-)