A bird in the bush

When I was in 7th or 8th grade, we had an art assignment: each of us was to render in calligraphy a favorite saying of ours. I dutifully set my pen to parchment, and worked hard for what I remember as weeks.

The calligraphy was perfect, beautiful. While I was good at many things as a child, art hadn’t, theretofore, been one of them. When I finished, I proudly brought home my work.

“A bird in the bush is worth two in the hand,” my piece said.

I was devastated to realize that this, in fact, was not an accurate rendering of the aphorism.

In retrospect, my error captured something essential in my nature – in human nature? – about how compelling is that which we lack, about how easily bored we become with what we have.

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