Why the bamboo tree bows its head

Long long ago, long before humans came to live on this earth, when the planet

was lush with vegetation only, there was a single bamboo tree, straighter and taller than all the plants anywhere around him.

This bamboo tree was very selfish and rude to all those living around him, he would boast about his magnificent height, and make fun of all the other vegetation living there.

He dreamed of the day when generations of his kind would spread across the earth. All the plants around him disliked his nature. They may have been small in size and less significant in shape than the bamboo tree, but they were very happy to be together all the same.

The bamboo tree so resented the other plants that he would beat them down and remove the new germinations from the ground as soon as a seedling would appear.

One day, when the bamboo tree was so involved, he suddenly spied a seedling looking quite sprightly. He stretched his hand out and gave the young sprite a tug, but to his surprise, it did not come out of the ground. All the plants around him began to laugh. The bamboo grew angry and let out a big roar. There was deathly silence around him, then the tree pulled his own legs out of the ground and stepped on the seedling, but could still do it no harm.

The bamboo tree was tired from his efforts and thought he should rest a bit, and while doing so he noticed the young seedling begin to grow. All the plants stood in hushed silence as the shadow of the seedling began to darken the ground. The bamboo tree began to sweat from fear as he watched this drastic change in the young plant.

Suddenly, from this growing seedling, a human-like form appeared. It was the Mother Goddess. With a gentle but powerful voice, she spoke to the bamboo tree: “For the longest time I have been watching you and your behaviour has saddened me. You are very selfish and rude and kind to no one, so from this day onwards, your head will no longer be tall and straight, but bent in humbleness to all the plants around you.” And with these words she suddenly vanished and all the plants lived happily ever after. And the bamboo tree bowed its head in shame as it still does today.

— Raj Kumar Shrestha,

Minar English Boarding School