Burmese Mermaid

Burmese Mermaid

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Burmese Folk Tale - The Raven and The Wren



On this chilly September night, gentle readers old and young, I want to tell you a story about a raven and a wren.

One day the Raven caught Mama Wren and said to her, "Now I will eat you."

Mama Wren looked down at her baby daughter and cried to herself, "Oh, my child, my child, who will take care of you when I am dead?"

Then the Raven thought, "This wren is old and tough, but her daughter is young and tender." So he made Mama Wren an offer, saying "I will let you go if you promise to let me eat your daughter, seven days from today."

Mama Wren promised and the Raven let her go.

On the seventh day, the Raven went to ask Mama Wren for her daughter, but she replied, "You eat all kinds of filthy things and you have a dirty beak. My daughter is sweet and clean, and unless you wash your mouth in my presence, don't even think about me giving you my daughter!"

"Okay," replied the Raven, "I'll be right back with some water." And he flew away.

So the Raven went to Water and begged her. "Water, Water, come here, so I can wash my beak, to eat the little wren."

"I will come willingly," replied Water, "but how will you carry me without a pitcher? Go and get a pitcher first."

"Okay," said the Raven, and flew away.

Next, he went to Pitcher and begged him: "Pitcher, Pitcher, come here, to carry water, to wash my beak, to eat the little wren."

"Sure, I'll come with you," replied Pitcher, "but I have a hole in my side. So please, go first and get some clay to close the hole."

"Okay," said the Raven, and flew away.

He went to Clay and begged her: "Clay, Clay, come here, to repair the pitcher, to carry water, to wash my beak, to eat the little wren."

"I would love to come with you," replied Clay, "but I am too dry to be able to repair the pitcher. Please go ask a buffalo to come and remix me."

"Okay," said the Raven, and flew away.

He went to Buffalo and begged him: "Buffalo, Buffalo, come here, to remix the clay, to repair the pitcher, to carry water, to wash my beak, to eat the little wren."

"I really would come," replied the Buffalo, "if it weren't for the fact that I am too hungry and weak to go and mix the clay. Please get me some grass to eat."

"Okay," said the Raven, and flew away.

He went to grass and begged her: "Grass, Grass, come here, to nourish the buffalo, to remix the clay, to repair the pitcher, to carry water, to wash my beak, to eat the little wren."

"I would do as you ask," replied Grass, "but the buffalo is a big eater and I will not be enough for him. Go and get some fresh earth so I can grow more of myself to satisfy the buffalo."

"Okay," said the Raven, and flew away.

He went to Earth and begged her: "Earth, Earth, come here, to grow more grass, to nourish the buffalo, to remix the clay, to repair the pitcher, to carry water, to wash my beak, to eat the little wren."

"I would come if I could," replied Earth, "but as you can see, I am covered by the forest. How can grass grow on me if the forest isn't first cut down?"

"Okay," replied Raven, and flew away.

He went to forest and begged her: "Forst, Forest, go away, to free the earth, to grow more grass, to nourish the buffalo, to remix the clay, to repair the pitcher, to carry water, to wash my beak, to eat the little wren."

"I'd go away, except that I can't move," explained Forest. "The roots of my trees are tangled in the land. If you would be kind enough to find some fire you could burn me down until the earth is free."

"Okay," said the Raven, and flew away.

He went to Fire and begged: "Fire, Fire, come here, to burn the forest, to free the earth, to grow more grass, to nourish the buffalo, to remix the clay, to repair the pitcher, to carry water, to wash my beak, to eat the little wren."

"Sure, I'll come," replied Fire.

Very pleased with himself, the Raven flew back towards the forest with Fire in his beak.

But before he could get there, his beak got so badly burned he had to let go of Fire.

Disgusted, the Raven flew home and thought no more of eating the little wren.

Mother Wren and Baby Wren lived happily everafter.

No comments:

Post a Comment