How to make friends and maintain friendships
Once upon a time, an old hedgehog, Mr Spikes, was taking a walk around his house in the forest. He came across a magpie Maggi sitting on a branch of a pine tree, drowning in her tears.
“Why are you crying, Maggi?” asked the hedgehog.
“How can I not cry, when no one wants to be my friend!”
“So, that’s the matter,” Mr Spikes muttered setting himself down on a tree stump, and then he started to talk more loudly and clearly, “Being a good friend is not an easy task, and the key part of being one is being able to listen.
You, Maggi, chatter all the time and butt into everyone’s conversation, without letting anyone say a word. That’s why no one wants to be your friend.”
The hedgehog paused for a few seconds and then continued, «Do not cry dear, your trouble can be helped.»
«How?» asked Maggi, wiping away a tear.
«I’ll tell you a little secret: talk less and listen more. Anyone who knows how to listen to others finds friends much easier.»
«Thank you for the secret, Mr Spikes. Goodbye,» said the magpie, happily, as she flew away.
Time past and spring had ended. The hedgehog and the magpie met again. Mr Spikes noticed that the bird was upset with something again. He wanted for the magpie herself to tell him what had happened, so he began the conversation from afar:
«Hello, Maggi! How are you?»
«I am bad, Mr Spikes,» the magpie replied with a sigh.
«What happened?» asked the hedgehog.
«Everything was good at the beginning. I learned to listen to others, and I have made friends. But yesterday I had a quarrel with the hare, my friend, because I gave her the wrong advice. But I wanted to help her. I tried to make things better,» said the bird, justifying herself.
«It is good that you wanted to help, but you don’t need to give advice. I will let you in on another secret of friendship: it’s important that your friends decide for themselves, and take responsibility for things they do.» Then Mr Spikes smiled and added, «And if you do not want to lose friends, you should not impose your own opinion on them. Remember that it is not an easy task to find friends, but to remain true friends no matter what happens and maintaining friendships is even harder.»
Soon the magpie made up with the hare, and met new friends in the forest. She often recalls the hedgehog’s wisdom and his important secrets. Now you can share them with those who have not yet understood, that the most valuable thing in a friendship is to be a good listener, and not to give advice.
How true friends act
Bear cub Barry and wolf pup Grey were best friends and went to the same school. Wolf pup Lance was Grey’s classmate and neighbour. He was a bully and a show-off, and his only friend bear Oik was also a bully. Lance and Oik often teased Grey and took him as a weakling, maybe because Grey was raised well by his parents and never responded to rudeness.
Once, the school director announced that in a month’s time, in the forest, there would be a running competition among the wolf pups. Hearing this, Lance wanted to offend Grey again, so attracting the attention of all his classmates, he said loudly, «Grey, do you really want to compete with me? You’re a weakling, and cannot even stand up for yourself! You don’t have the guts for that!»
I must say that Grey at the beginning thought of taking part in the race, but after such mockery by Lance, he began to doubt that he could win the race. Upset, Grey went home.
The words of Lance filled his mind, and he was so focused on them, that he didn’t hear Barry knock on the door. The door to the house was open, so the concerned bear went inside. He saw his sad and thoughtful friend and asked, «What happened?»
Grey did not want Barry to find out that he was being nicknamed «Weakling». He was ashamed to admit that he could not stand up for himself.
«Everything is fine. I’m just tired,» Grey lied, feeling ashamed of himself.
Barry had known his friend for a very long time and knew that something was bothering him. He decided to distract Grey from his sad thoughts and asked him, «Are you going to participate in the competition?»
«No, I won’t,» answered the wolf.
«Why not? You run fast,» the surprised bear continued to ask his friend.
“Yes, but not faster than the other wolves run,” muttered Grey.