Once upon a time there was a girl with a very generous heart. She was not very pretty, nor was she very lovable, but she was clever and loyal. However, she was not wise. And so she gave her heart away too often and foolishly.
One day the girl met a bird. The bird was very pretty, but he had a crooked wing and could not fly. The girl with the generous heart took the bird in and fed him and protected him from the things that prey on the weak and the lame.
The girl kept the bird near her, sharing everything she had. Many people asked the girl why she cared for a bird that could not fly, and the girl with the generous heart always responded the same way: ‘This bird is my friend. Yes, he cannot fly, so I protect him. His friendship is more than enough repayment for the little things I share.’ The girl with the generous heart worked hard, making sure that there was always enough so that the bird with the crooked wing was well cared for and happy.
The girl saved every penny she made and eventually she had enough to buy the bird a new wing. She went to a shop where she could purchase a new wing, and she picked out one that was beautiful, like the bird who was her friend. The new wing was very expensive, but the girl with the generous heart did not hesitate to buy it. It was perfect and she was so excited to get home to show the bird his new wing.
However, when the girl with the generous heart got home and showed the bird what she bought, the bird with the crooked wing flew into a rage. He said terrible, hurtful things to the girl with the generous heart. The bird with the crooked wing accused the girl of secretly hating him, of being ashamed of him, and of wanting a new friend, because the only reason to give the bird a new wing would be so he could fly away. The bird said that the girl with the generous heart must not really love him, and that she must think he is not good enough to love with his crooked wing. He said that if she really loved him she would accept his crooked wing and that the new wing she bought for him was just a way of saying that he would only be lovable if he were not broken.
The girl with the generous heart did not know what to do; she had only wanted to give her friend a gift, a beautiful gift that would make him happy. She left the new wing on the table near where the bird was perched in the corner, glaring at her, and she left the house. She hid for a time in the woods and she cried. When she could cry no more, and the sun was starting to set, the girl went back to the house.
The bird with the crooked wing was gone. As was the new wing the girl had bought for him. There was no note, no explanation. The girl with the generous heart would never see the bird again. But she could not forget all the terrible things the bird had said to her.
The girl with the generous heart was clever enough to know that it was her heart that had gotten her into this trouble. And so the next day, the girl with the generous heart went deep into the woods. She took her heart from her chest and buried it at the foot of a tree.
Ever since that day, the girl no longer had a generous heart. She became reclusive and lonesome, and she always remembered what the bird had said to her. She never looked for the tree where she buried her heart, and she lived a long and lonely life, her one small comfort the knowledge that she could never be so foolish again as to give away her heart where it would not be reciprocated.