Vicious Bird Fairy Tale

Vicious Bird Fairy Tale

There once lived a Vicious Bird who had a splinter in his claw. He flew hither and thither from place to place until finally he saw an old woman. The old woman was gathering wood for her stove to bake some nice, fresh bread.

The bird said:

-‘Oh my sweet grandmother. Please take this splinter out of my claw and then continue your work. If only I could peck at some grain in peace, with out pain, then I wouldn’t die of hunger.’

The old woman took pity on the bird and took the splinter out of the bird’s claw. Then she returned to her task. She took the wood home and started a fire in the stove. Meanwhile, the bird hopped about. Finally, the bird returned to the old woman and began wanting his splinter back. 

Old woman said:

-‘I threw your splinter into the oven.’

 The bird said angrily:

-‘Give back my splinter, if not I’ll take away your bread.” 

What could the old woman do? There was no help for it. She had to give the bird the bread. The bird took it and flew away. The bird flew on and met a shepherd who was dining on milk with out any bread. 

The Bird said:

-‘Oh, shepherd, why are you dining only on milk, without any bread? Here, take my bread. Crumple the bread and put it into your milk and eat. I’ll just peck at a few bread crumbs so that I won’t die of hunger.’

 The shepherd accepted the generous offer happily. Meanwhile, the bird began hopping about. Finally, the bird returned to the shepherd and began wanting his bread back. 

The Stephard said:

-‘But I’ve already eaten it.’ 

The bird:

-‘Well, since that is the case, give me a lamb in exchange.’

What could the shepherd do? He gave the bird the lamb, and the bird flew away. The bird flew on until he met some people who were gathered to celebrate a wedding. The bird noticed that there was no meat on the table. 

The bird said:

-‘Don’t worry. Take my lamb. Slaughter it and prepare something tasty for the celebration. I’ll just peck at a small piece of lamb so that I won’t die of hunger.’

The celebrants did as the bird so graciously proposed. After they had eaten, the bird hopped here and there. Then the bird returned and demanded that the people give back his lamb.

The celebrants said:

But we’ve already eaten the lamb. How can we give it back to you?’

The bird said angrily:

-‘Either return my lamb, or I’ll take away your bride.’

After uttering these words, the bird grabbed the bride and flew away. The bird flew on until he saw an Ashug, a wandering minstrel beloved by the people, walking down the road.

The bird said: 

-‘Ashug, oh ashug! Take my bride. Meanwhile, I’ll go peck at some grain so that I won’t die of hunger.’

Then the bird began hopping about here and there. Finally, the bird returned and demanded that the minstrel give back the bride.

The ashug said:

 -‘But the bride has gone home to her fiancee.’

The bird angrily said:

-‘Either give back the bride, or give me your saz (A saz is a musical instrument used by minstrels to accompany their songs)

 The ashug had to give the bird his saz. The bird threw the saz over his shoulder and flew away. The bird searched for a comfortable little spot. He looked around and lighted on the branch of a tree. There the Vicious Bird took the saz and began playing saz and singing. 

He sang: 

Chirp-cheep! Chirp-cheep!

I swapped a splinter for bread, 

And for the bread I got a lamb, in stead. 

I swapped the lamb for a bride, 

And the bride for a saz. 

Now I carry a saz by my side, 

And I sing songs ever so sweet, 

Chirp-cheep! Chirp-cheep!

From Bonnie C. Marshall’s The Flower of Paradise and Other Armenian Tales

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