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Once upon a time there lived a bird of fire. It laid no eggs and had no young. It lived in peace in a far away desert land. It was here when time began and is still living today hidden in a far away land living its life in peace. Its name is the Phoenix, the bird of fire and the bird of the sun. And that is where our story begins when the sun called out to it and saw its shimmering fathers of fire red and golden, Royal blue, and forest green yet silver as a still lake all at the same time. As bright and beautiful as the sun itself .seeing all its glory the sun called out to it “Phoenix bird of fire, you shall be my creature and live for ever as I shall.” Live forever the phoenix was overjoyed and through back his head proud and strong and sang “Sun glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone as long as we both live bright and glorious!"

But the Phoenix’s feathers were far too extraordinary. All the creatures from the smallest insect to the odd creatures on two legs that called themselves humans wanted to have some.

"I cannot live here. Not like this." thought the phoenix and it flew off toward the east, where the sun rises.

The Phoenix flew for a long while, and eventually came to a hidden desert where no humans lived. And there the phoenix remained in peace, flying freely and singing its songs of praise to the sun above.

Five hundred years passed and yet the Phoenix was still alive, but it had grown old. It was often tired, and it had lost much of its strength. It couldn't soar so high in the sky, nor fly as fast or as far as it did when it was young.

"I don't want to live like this," thought the Phoenix. "I want to be young and strong."

So the Phoenix lifted its head proudly once more and sang, "Sun, glorious sun, make me young and strong again!" but the sun didn't answer. So the Phoenix decided to return to the place where it had lived before and ask the sun one more time.

It flew across the desert, over hills and green valleys as green as its own beautiful feathers, and high mountains. The journey was long, and because the Phoenix was old and weak, it had to rest along the way. Now, the Phoenix was given the gift of a keen sense of smell at the beginning of time and is particularly fond of herbs and spices. So each time it landed to rest, it collected pieces of cinnamon bark, leaves from a nutmeg tree, ginger roots and all kinds of fragrant leaves. It tucked some in among its feathers and carried the rest in its claws.

When at last the bird came to the place that had once been its home, it landed on a tall palm tree growing high on a mountainside. Right at the top of the tree, the Phoenix built a nest with the cinnamon bark and lined it with the fragrant leaves and roots. Then the Phoenix flew off and collected some sharp-scented gum called myrrh, which it had seen oozing out of a nearby tree. The Phoenix molded the myrrh into an egg and carried it back to the nest.

The Phoenix sat down in its nest, lifted its head noble and proud, and sang, "Sun, glorious sun, make me young and strong again!"

This time the sun heard the song. And it swiftly chased the clouds from the sky, stilled the winds and shone down on the mountainside with all its power and beauty.

All the animals hid from the sun's fierce rays; in caves and holes, under shady rocks and trees. Only the Phoenix sat alone upon its nest looking up at the sun and let the rays beat down upon its beautiful, shimmering feathers.

suddenly there was a flash of light, of fire, of flames, leaping and dancing from the nest, and the Phoenix became a blaze of fire.

After a while the flames died down. And all could see the tree was not burnt, nor was the nest and egg. But the Phoenix was gone and in its place was a heap of silvery-gray ash.

The ash began to tremble and slowly heave itself upward. From under the ash there rose a young Phoenix. It was small but soon grew, till it was the same size as the old Phoenix. The young strong Phoenix lifted its head loyally and sang, "Sun, glorious sun, I shall sing my songs for you alone! Forever and ever!"

When the song ended, the wind began to blow, the clouds came scudding across the sky, and the other living creatures crept out of their hiding places.

Then the Phoenix flew up and away. At the same time, a cloud of birds of all shapes and sizes rose up from the earth and flew behind the Phoenix, singing together, "You are the greatest of birds! You are our king!"

The birds flew with the Phoenix to the, city of the sun, Heliopolis. "Now," he said "I must fly on alone." And while the other birds watched, the phoenix flew off toward the faraway desert to the east where he lives still.

Every five hundred years, on the same day, when it begins to feel weak and old, it flies west where the sun sets. On the same mountain it builds a fragrant nest on top of the same palm tree, and there the sun once again burns it to ashes. But each time, the Phoenix rises up from those ashes, fresh and new and young again to sing its song of beautiful to the sun.