The Thorn Birds
There is a legend about a bird which sings only once in it's life, more beautifully than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves it's nest, it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, it impales it's breast on the longest, sharpest thorn. But as it is dying, it rises above it's own agony to outsing the Lark and the Nightingale. The Thornbird pays it's life for that one song, and the whole world stills to listen, and God in his heaven smiles, as it's best is brought only at the cost of great pain; Driven to the thorn with no knowledge of the dying to come. But when we press the thorn to our breast, we know, we understand.... and still, we do it.
No, not a thing to cry over; tears were for Agnes, for wounds in the fragile sheath of selfesteem, and the childhood she had left behind forever. This was a burden she would have to carry until the end of her days, and continue in spite of it. The will to survive is very strong in some, not so strong in others. In Meggie it was as refined and tensile as a steel hawser.