The Peacock and Juno

Don’t discount your strengths

Jane Lynch

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In a previous article, I wrote about the benefits of taking a slow approach to our writing, and I illustrated my point with Aesop’s fable of The Hare and the Tortoise:

Another of Aesop’s fables, The Peacock and Juno, has much to inform us about how to negotiate life in our 21st-century world. Here is a link if you are interested in reading it:

What image do you conjure up in your mind when you hear the word peacock? I think firstly of the magnificent green and gold feathers dotted with striking eye patterns, and then the vibrant blue colour of the bird. I picture the creature strutting about showing itself off, perhaps to attract a mate.

The peacock’s colours and patterns have inspired fabric designers and artists through the centuries. But if you google its song, you will hear that it has an ugly screech. Somehow the voice doesn’t quite match the image!

By contrast, the nightingale is an ordinary-looking little brown bird that you wouldn’t give a second glance to, but it has a hauntingly beautiful voice that has inspired many poets, songwriters and classical composers through the ages.

Photo by Andrey Gulivanov on Unsplash

The peacock is discontented in this fable because he has a terrible voice. He complains that it makes all the other birds laugh. The goddess Juno tries to appease him by telling him his best attribute is his beauty. She says that fate has allotted different gifts to different creatures: the nightingale has her song, the eagle strength and so on. But the peacock is still not happy.

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Jane Lynch

A woman of faith, balancing bookkeeping with book-writing. Occupying that beautiful hiatus in time between the cares of parenting and the advancement of age.