A Story from the Aztec People of Mexico
It is said by our Grandparents that a long time ago there was a great fire in the forests that covered our earth. People and animals started to run, trying to escape from the fire. Our brother owl, Tecolotl, was running away also when he noticed a small bird hurrying back and for the between the nearest river and the fire. He headed towards this small bird.
He noticed that it was our brother the Quetzal bird, Quetzaltototl, running to the river, picking up small drops of water in his beak, then returning to the fire to throw that tiny bit of water on the flame. Owl approached Quetzal bird and yelled at him: “What are you doing brother? Are you stupid? You are not going to achieve anything by doing this. What are you trying to do? You must run for your life!”
Quetzal bird stopped for a moment and looked at owl, and then answered: “I am doing the best I can with what I have.”
It is remembered by our Grandparents that a long time ago the forests that covered our Earth were saved from a great fire by a small Quetzal bird, and owl, and many other animals and people who got together to put out the flames.
Quoted in M.Wheatley, turning to one another. (2001)