Once upon a time, a serene but rather small and unnoticable bird spotted a cactus in it's flight. It wasn't the first cactus it had seen, but it seemed unique and new to it, and besides the bird was for one quite curious and for the other in general a lover of plants of all kinds, and so it landed next to it.
Having a closer look at it, the cactus made the bird even more curios. As it had expected, and as the fact it was a cactus suggested, it had quite a lot of thorns. But those thorns didn't look all the same. Each of them was unique, and beautiful, and strong in it's own way. And so the bird was caught in looking at them.
After a while, it started to hear the thorns' voices. And now it was sure that they did not only have all different appearances, they had their own voices and their own personalities, as well. That was the point at which the little bird was lost, although it didn't know that yet. But it's curiousity had now completly caught it, and even if it had tried to, it couldn't have flown away anymore.
Some time past, and the bird had now found a way to talk with the thorns, and was quite happy to do so once in a while. From time to time it would hop away from the cactus, to get some food or water, but it never went far. And every time it returned, it ended up standing a bit closer to the cactus.
One day, a strong wind rose up, and it was strong enough to make the thorns ruwtle against eachother, causing an uncomfortable sound, that became an uncomfortable tone in their voices. The bird might not have cared much about that, but by now it was standing close enough to the thorns that they, moved by the wind, had scrached it. So the bird spread it wings and did it's best to shelter them from the wind. And it worked, the wind couldn't blow them into each other anymore, and so they didn't scratch the small bird.
What neither the bird nor the thorns knew, was that there'd be a season of windy weather. For now they were just happy, the bird still coming closer to them. By now there were a few thorns it was more interested in than into others, and there were also thorns it had lost sight of, since it was too close to still see all of the cactus. The bird started to really like those few thorns, although it still liked all others, too. They were all just too interesting, and it was too curious, so it didn't even notice that by now it was dangerously close to them. And every time a wind rose up, it would do it's best to spread it wings and shelter them, getting more or less scratches, depending on how strong the wind was. But it realized it probably could do better than that, if it were only a little closer...
And so the bird stabbed itself on the thorns, who couldn't do anything but go as straight through it as possible. The bird hadn't really thought about what this could mean for it, it just had thought that, if it was between them, they couldn't be blown into each other, couldn't hit each other and therefore wouldn't fall back into that, to it, so uncomfortable sound. And when the bird pierced itself on the thorns, they did stop to sound that way, even if only for a short moment, being surprised by it.
Now everyone would expect the little bird died. After all, it was spiked with thorns. But it had been lucky, because, as it turned out, the thorn that had been driven straight through it's heart was able to keep the bird alive, and most of the other thorns were able to not cause it pain. And for a short while, the bird was happy thinking that now they'd never again cause that sound that was so strangly uncomfortable for it. But as a new wind rose up, it turned out that the thorns had been long enough to pierce through the bird and still rustle, now behind it's back and wings and legs. Most of the time, being attached to them, the bird could calm them down, though.
And so some time went by, and the bird was still happy. That was, until another problem turned up. The cactus grew, as time makes all plants grow. And whilst it hardly grew any new thorns that would have stabbed the bird, by growing it moved the thorns away from each other. For a while, the bird managed to keep the thorns it was attached to together. But then one wing became tired, and the thorns there left the group. And then another wing became tired, and then a leg, and then the other leg, and soon the bird was under a lot of tension. But nothing could be done, and so the bird was slowly torn apart.
And again, it would only be logical to think the little bird died. Now it was not only pierced, but also torn apart. But it had grown some close relationships to the thorns just underneath it's body, and together they kept it's mind from leaving it. And the relationship with the thorn that had pierced it's heart was the closest one, and the birds heart stayed alive, while the rest of it's body died.
After a while, the bird was nothing more than some bones, spread on the cactus in a way that made it hard to tell what it had been, one heart, still pearced by that thorn, and a mind held in place by a small group of thorns. Now, of course, in that appearance the bird couldn't do anything to shelter the thorns from wind, but they themselves had, in the time the bird had stopped them from rustling as good as it could, grown a more or less strong dislike to rustling. And so they had started to learn how to evade one another when wind rose up, and how to keep the rustling short if one hit another one. And, what also was of use, the windy season had nearly passed, and so there were less and less occasions for them to rustle.
And so, for most of the time, what had once been a bird was happy. For even if it wasn't a bird anymore, and some would have said it wasn't even alive, it still could be around those thorns that had made it so curious, and try it's best to keep them from causing unlovely sounds when rustling, or to keep them from rustling at all. Just sometimes, it would remember that it had liked to be a bird. And then it would notice that now, the thorns were sometimes rustling against it's bones, and it would wonder about what it had become. But most of the time it was just happy around them, and if neither the cactus with it's thorns nor the heart and mind of the bird died, their story is still continuing.