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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
long time back, a song bird with the name “wren” made his nest in a little house
lived there with his family. One day he and his wife went away from the nest.
They wanted to find food and give it to their children. Because of this, the
young birds were alone in the nest.
After a while, the father wren came back to the nest.
“What happened here?” he asked. “You children look so afraid!”
“Oh, daddy!” they said, “a big monster came here a short time ago. He looked
into our nest with his big, wild eyes, and
now we are very much afraid!”
“Ah,” the father wren said, “To what place did he go?”
“He went in that direction!”
“Wait here, children” the father wren said, “I will teach that monster
something that he will not forget. Do not be afraid now, children! I will catch
him.” Then he followed the monster.
He flew around a corner and saw a lion walking there. But the wren was
not afraid. He sat down on the back of the lion and shouted, “Why did you come
to my nest and make my children so afraid?!”
The lion did not listen to the wren. He only walked and walked.
The wren became even angrier because of that. He shouted at the lion even
more loudly, “You have no right to come to my nest, I tell you! If you come
back,” he said, “then you will see what happens! I do not want to do it,” he
up one of his legs, “but I will break your back without a problem!”
Then he flew back to his nest.
“I have done it, children,” he said, “I have made him afraid. He will
not come back.”