A feather for protection and a kiss for joy is a healing story (for anxiety) that I wrote for my daughter when she was about five years old. I narrated this story during bedtime when I sensed she felt anxious to go to her school. This simple story is apt for children aged between 4  to 6 years.

This story is about a Peacock family and how the parents ease their anxious young peahen forms the crux of the story. I had chosen peacock as the character only because my daughter loved this bird. You can pick out any other bird or animal to suit your child’s interest and love. This is how the story flows:


In a jungle very close to our home, there once lived a beautiful peacock called Piku. He had the most brilliant Bluethroat and a long metallic blue-green tail. Each tail tip had an eyespot that was bright blue and bronze color. He was the most magnificent bird in the Indian Forest that all the birds crowned him the king. He was married to Neela – the Peahen.

healing story for anxiety - peacock Piku

One day, Piku was excited and happy.  His wife, the beautiful Neela, had hatched an Egg in the wee hours of the morning, and out of the egg emerged the most beautiful baby peahen he had ever seen. The baby resembled so like her father. Both Piku and Neela held their baby in their arms and planted a firm kiss on her forehead. They wondered what to name their precious child.  In the evening, they organized a Naming ceremony and invited all the birds living in the jungle. They named their daughter Sundari (which means – beautiful).

Piku was a wonderful father. Every day, he would wander through the jungle looking for food and always got some seeds, grains, or small flowers for his beloved daughter.

Neela – the Peahen, was the kindest and the most knowledgeable mother bird in the jungle. She was also the magic doctor.  All the other birds would visit Neela and Piku and sometimes bring their young ones if they were sick. Neela would make a concoction from the herbs and fruits found in the jungle and administer it to the sick birds. The birds heeled quickly afterward. 

Sundari would be looking at her mother making the concoction. Sometimes she would run and get fruits/herbs from the storeroom nearby.  Sometimes, young birds and animals would accompany their parents. Sundari loved to play with them. She had so much fun in the jungle atmosphere. The young baby Sundari felt secure and protected when she was with her parents. As days turned into months, Sundari began to grow into a young peahen. True to her name, she was the most beautiful peahen in the jungle. She slowly started to follow her mother around while foraging for food.

Now Sundari was a year old.  There was a law in the jungle. Every bird turning one should visit  a special place called ‘Jungle camp.’ This place taught the young birds everything they needed to know. The young peahen knew that she was about to be sent to this special place. She was feeling uneasy about going to a new place and leaving her home. She also dreaded the thought that she would be away from her father and mother.

Sensing that her daughter was uneasy going to the jungle camp, the mother spoke to her daughter. Stoking her daughter and looking kindly at Sundari, she said, “Sometimes we need to do things that we don’t want to do even if it makes us scared. Eventually, you will start liking the very same things that first scared you”.

The night before the school began, the young peahen’s father plucked the most beautiful feather from his tail and gave it to his daughter. He said, “You shall carry a part of me every single day to jungle camp” and further added, “Whenever you miss me, you can open your book and look at my feather – this feather will serve as a reminder that I am there with you every step of your journey. 

Piku healing with his feather for anxiety

Now it was mother Peahen’s turn to give something to her daughter. Neela taught her a special secret handshake. She further added, “I’m going to share with you a secret now – the secret that my mother taught me. It is called the power of a mother’s kiss.” She leaned forward, scooped the young peahen’s head in her warm arms, and planted a firm kiss on her forehead. The young peahen felt very warm immediately. She further added, “whenever you feel lost or long to be close to your mother, just think about this kiss, you will immediately feel warm as I am with you always. I always reside in your heart”.

The young peahen felt rested and happy that night. She had a good night’s sleep and woke up chirpy and happy the following day. Piku, the peacock, and Neela the peahen were now happy as well. As a result, they watched their daughter hop happily the next day.

Young children with separation anxiety can be narrated this simple yet powerful healing story. Sometimes, repeating the story couple of times helps in taking home the message.

For tips and tricks that worked for me in easing my daughter’s anxiety, Read the article named:  Simple steps to easing your pre-schooler’s separation anxiety.

I would love to hear from you. Do share your thoughts and comments below. Also, Let me know how your child received this story in the comments section below.

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