By Tiffany Yip Tym Yan
A group of animals was looking for a secret that they thought would make them perfect. Each animal was not happy with who they were.
The mighty elephant complained about being overweight and slow, when in fact, he was the king of the jungle. The cheeky monkey was so playful and funny, and yet she was not happy with how she talked. The ferocious tiger was not happy with the black stripes on his body and was sad when he growled and scared other animals away when he wanted to play with them. The playful dog was not happy with how people treated him and liked to play by himself. The beautiful fish did not like their scales and desired more shiny scales.
One day, the animals decided to look for Dr Owl, who lived in an invisible tree trunk with visible leaves. They called out, “Dr Owl, Dr Owl, where are you?” Suddenly, a door opened and the animals went inside. Dr Owl greeted, “I’ve been waiting for you for a long time. What’s wrong with all of you? You look so down when you should be up. Look at me. Where am I? I’m up, up on the tree. And you should be up in life!”
The animals shouted out together, “But how?” Dr Owl replied, “I knew you would ask me how when you are supposed to know how yourself.” The wise Owl began asking those friends a riddle: “What would you do if a bull charged you?”
The elephant said, “Charge back at him!”
The monkey joked, “Swing from tree to tree.”
The tiger roared, “Growl back at the bull.”
The dog barked, “Better run away.”
The fish said “Swim for your life!”
Dr Owl teased, “Do you want to know the answer?”
They all nodded their head. The professor revealed the secret: “If a bull charged you, you’d better pay him - cash!”
“Ha, ha, ha, but the riddle had nothing to do with happiness!” laughed and exclaimed by the animals. Dr Owl continued, “Ha, ha, ha, you all laughed! That’s what happiness is about.”
So the first secret to happiness is: laugh. The animals seemed to understand a little more about how to become happier. Dr Owl asked them if they wanted to go on an adventure, a journey of discovering the greatest secret to happiness. They got really excited and said yes.
The meeting place to begin the journey was called the Lake of Mirror. Whoever could reach this point first would discover the secret first. With a powerful memory, the elephant ran with confidence. Being clever and quick, the monkey jumped from tree to tree. The dog could smell its way and had no fear of getting lost. The fish could swim fast like an arrow in the water. The tiger could run fast like a bullet in the jungle.
So who got to the lake first? Dr Owl, of course. All the animal friends reached the lake at the same time.
Dr Owl congratulated them, “You are all winners because you tried your best. Do you now want to find out the greatest secret to happiness?” The professor asked everyone to gather around the lake. He exclaimed, “You want the secret? Here it is – look into the water!”
What every animal saw was the reflection of their face. With a surprised look on their face, the animals finally understood that they themselves were the secret to being happy!”
The greatest secret to happiness is no secret at all. Just be yourself; be happy.