A miser died, leaving a pot full of coins, buried in a secret place. Some time after his death, his son saw him in a dream. His appearance was completely metamorphosed, so that he looked like a mouse, and streams of tears were flowing from his eyes. In this state of agony he was going round and round the place where the treasure lay buried. “My sire,” asked the son, “what has transformed your features thus? Wherefore this deformity?”

“Whosoever’s heart is so attached to riches as was mine,” replied the father, “will have his face deformed like mine. Therefore, beware, my son. Take a lesson from this.”

Sage counsel such as this had its effect. The Hoopoe’s words instilled courage and enthusiasm into the hearts of the birds, and they resolved to embark on the journey, perilous though it was. Before starting, however, they asked her to expound to them their relationship with His Majesty the Simurg, a point that was by no means clear to them.

“Know ye then,” said the Hoopoe, “that the Simurg once removed the veil from His face, so that it shone resplendent like the sun and cast millions of rays around. By his grace, these rays were turned into birds. We are, therefore, the sparks of the Simurg. When you realize this mystery, your relation­ship with the Simurg will be as clear to you as day-light. But, beware, my friends, do not reveal this secret to others. It is not a matter to be divulged to all. Well, now that you have learnt whose reflection or shadow you are, you will understand that to live or to die is one and the same thing for you.”

This, however, was a metaphysical subtlety too difficult for the bewildered birds to comprehend. The Hoopoe, therefore, gave an illustration.