Crow and Little Bird
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Crow and Little Bird
A Punjabi Story by Mohindro Ram Thaper & Kamleish Ram Parfect
One day, Little Bird invited Crow for dinner. Little Bird had spent the day preparing the meal, and when it was ready she waited for her guest to arrive.
Some time passed, but Crow did not arrive. So Little Bird called out, ‘Where are you Crow, dinner is getting cold?’
‘I am coming, I am coming,’ replied Crow. ‘I am just having a bath, and then I will put on my red shoes and I will come tum, tumming along and we will eat dinner together.’
So Little Bird waited some more, but still Crow did not arrive. Eventually, Little Bird called out again, ‘Crow, Crow, where are you? The dinner is getting cold and I am getting very hungry. Are you going to join me in my kitchen and eat dinner with me?’
Crow replied, ‘Yes, yes, I am coming. I am just finishing my bath, and then I will put on my red shoes and I will come tum, tumming along to your kitchen and we will eat dinner together.’
So Little Bird waited some more, until she thought to herself, ‘I have had enough of waiting. I am hungry and want my dinner.’
And so Little Bird began eating the meal alone. And it was so tasty that she ate it all up until the pot was empty… ‘Oh no!’ thought Little Bird. ‘There is none left for Crow because I have eaten it all.’
Greedy Little Bird became very nervous when she realised that she had eaten all of the dinner and had left none for her guest. ‘What if Crow comes and finds out that there is no dinner to eat,’ she thought to herself. ‘He might eat me instead!’
So Little Bird decided to turn the pot upside down and go and find herself a place to hide in the kitchen.
Suddenly, Crow came tum, tumming along into the kitchen. ‘Little Bird, Little Bird,’ called out Crow, ‘I have come for my dinner. Where are you?’
But Little Bird remained in her hiding place, all the time thinking to herself, ‘Oh no, what am I going to do now that I have eaten all of the food?’
Crow looked all about the kitchen but could not find Little Bird. He called out once more, ‘Little Bird, Little Bird, I am here. Where is the dinner that you promised me?’
But Crow soon realised that the pot was empty and that there was no dinner because Little Bird had eaten it all. Crow was very angry and picked up a hot poker from the fire beneath the stove and shouted out, ‘Little Bird, Little Bird, come out wherever you are or I shall hit you on the bottom with this hot poker!’
Little Bird let out a tiny yelp of fear and Crow found her hiding beneath the kitchen table. Little Bird wanted to escape, but she was unable to fly away because her belly was so full of the dinner she had promised to share with Crow.
Crow did not hit Little Bird on her bottom with the hot poker, but he did say to her in a very stern voice: ‘Little Bird, Little Bird, why did you invite me to dinner when you have eaten it all? Why did you leave none for me? Do you not know that it is very bad to say things that you do not mean?’
Little Bird felt very guilty indeed, and from that day on she never ate any of the dinner before her guests had all arrived. And she never, ever said anything that she did not mean with all of her heart.