A Story Especially for Boys Based on Azerbaijan’s Proverb:
Secure and Insecure

Mama and Papa Squirrel have two little squirrels:
Secure and Insecure.
Secure thinks, “How can I make the world better? What is the right thing to do? How can I help?”
Insecure always thinks, “What will everyone else think of me? How can I be popular? Am I smart, good looking, and ahead enough?”

Grandma and Grandpa Squirrel give Secure and Insecure each a brand new hammer, building kit, and nails for their birthdays.
Secure says, “Thank you! I can’t wait to build.”
He starts reading the directions, putting the pieces together, and using the hammer with Papa’s help. His hammer is well used and what fun they have!

Insecure says, “Thank you!”
Then he puts his hammer on display in his room.
“I don’t want to use the hammer so it stays new.”
He doesn’t want anyone to scratch or break his hammer so he never shares it.
Insecure’s hammer is still beautiful, shiny and brand new.
Did he learn anything?
Did he have any fun?

Mama and Papa Squirrel give both Secure and Insecure garden tools and seeds.
Secure plants cucumbers, tomatoes and strawberries.
He invites his friends over to use his garden tools too.
Insecure doesn’t want his beautiful garden tools to get dirty, chipped or broken.
He puts them on display next to his hammer.

Secure and his friends have such a big harvest, they decide to share the cucumbers, tomatoes and strawberries with less fortunate squirrels.
Papa takes Secure and his friends to deliver the produce.
Insecure doesn’t want to be seen in the poor neighborhood or with his Papa, so he sits at home.
He wonders, “What does everyone think of my papa’s ugly red arms?”
Mama finds him on the couch and asks, “Why aren’t you out with the others?”
“I’m embarrassed to be seen in the poor neighborhood and with Papa.”
“With Papa? Why?”
“His arms are so ugly. No one else’s Papa has such ugly arms.”
“My dear little Insecure, do you know why Papa’s arms are the way they are?
Shortly after you were born, Papa risked his life saving you from Yanar Dağ!
Papa knew the Azerbaijan Proverb: Beauty without virtue is a curse.

Tears spill out of Insecure’s eyes.
“Mama, he never told me.”
“He loves you so much; he didn’t want you to know.”

Insecure decides, “I’m going to spend the rest of my life imitating Papa! I will do what’s right and not think of what others think.”

And do you know what? All his plans to do good, banish all anxious, nervous, and embarrassed thoughts from Insecure’s mind. He uses his hammer and garden tools to bring joy to others. And he isn’t Insecure anymore. He is Mr. Confident.