River loves peacock feathers. She wants to wear one in her long braid down her back. The elder women tell her “It’s a bird of gratitude. Its feathers remind us to say thank you for all the beauty that surrounds us.” Each time River strolls the path to the monastery she wishes to find a feather. One day, while admiring the blueness of sky, her sandal steps over a feather. She picks it up and knows the blue and green plumage belongs to a peacock.

The elders will be disappointed if she parades the feather. River thought she’d be happy to have one, instead she was sad. Walking to the monastery with her head down, an elder sees her and asks “Why do you look so sad my little one?” River sobs in the arms of the elder woman as they sit on the grass. She hands over the beautiful feather. The elder woman wipes her tears with her lavender silk scarf and says “How did this happen?” River tells the elder “I was looking up at the sky and thought how beautiful it is today then, I stepped on the feather.”

The elder woman kisses River’s moist cheeks. She says “River this is excellent news. You’ve done well by admiring our exquisite sky. You are the most grateful.” They both get up from the grass and continue on the path to the monastery. River is overjoyed by the news and welcome of the elders.

She tells the story and they envelop her in a big warm hug. Her village has come to know her as the most grateful girl. She wears her peacock feather humbly as she admires all that surrounds her.