Lightning storms lit up the valley,
Flashing wildly all around,
Hot and dry was summer's forest
When the lightning hit the ground.

Splitting down a giant cedar,
Sending flames into the air,
Lightning brought the tree asunder
Setting fires everywhere.

All the creatures ran for shelter
With the flames in hot pursuit,
While a boy from nearby village
Gathered all he could recruit.

To the beaver’s dam they scurried,
On a hill above the roar,
Man and creature worked together
To release the reservoir.

Pouring down the flaming hillside,
Sending steam into the air,
Rushing water sent in torrents
Brought an end to fire's flare.

Then for days the embers smoldered
Spreading wide a smoky air,
Black and thick, a sore reminder
Of the ordeal suffered there.

Stood the boy among the ashes
looking with a heavy heart,
At the lightning bolt's destruction
Of beloved nature's art.

The matriarch of quails had joined him,
Deeply pained with sorrow too,
Now she, with so many others,
Must start over somewhere new.

“I can't bear this thing that happened,”
Said the boy in heavy sighs,
“All the beauty and the memories,
Up in smoke before our eyes.”

“How can nature with her one hand
Make a paradise serene,
Then with fire in the other
Bring destruction to the scene?”

The matriarch of quails responded,
Having lost all she held dear,
“Nothing earthly lasts forever,
Nature makes this statement clear.”

“Death and loss come in their season,
Part of life's eternal round,
Followed by complete renewal,
Therein answers can be found.”

“Nature will not stop the seasons
Nor demands their passing brings,
Favoring the growth from learning
Both the great and little things”.

“Watch and wait as through the seasons
More than forest is reborn,
As we grow in wisdom's reason,
Pain and doubt will both be shorn.”

Green replaced the blackened meadows,
Blossoms covered fire's scars,
Giant cedars, pines and redwoods,
Stretched their branches to the stars,

Rain and snow the pond replenished,
Merry beat the creature’s hearts,
Wiser now the young boy muses
Over nature’s greater arts.