Long ago, there was a bird who sang just once in its life.
From the moment it left its nest, it searched for a thorn
tree and it never rested until it found one. Then it began
to sing more sweetly than any other creature on the face
of the earth. And singing, it impaled its breast on the longest,
sharpest thorn. But as it was dying, it rose above its own
agony to out-sing the lark and the nightingale. The thorn
bird pays its life for that one song and the whole world
stills to listen and God, in His heaven smiles. As its best
was bought only at the cost of great pain. Driven to the
thorn, with no knowledge of the dying to come. But when
we press the thorn to our breast . . .
And still... we do it.
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough