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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
Dialect of Northern Hampshire, England
this translation (with native pronunciation):
Once there was some wrens who nested in a car shed. The elder wrens knew they
must find some food to feed their young, so off they went leaving the young on
Father Wren returned after a short while only to find the young terrified.
“What has happened here, who has harmed my children?” he asked.
The young explained to their father that none other than the big bogeyman
came by, looking fierce and horrible. They described to their father how he
stared into their nest with his big eyes, scaring them all.
“Right”, said Father Wren, “where did he go?” The children pointed in
the direction the bogeyman left. Father Wren flew off to find the bogeyman,
reassuring the young he would catch the bogeyman and they would not have anything
After flying a short distance, Father Wren came across the lion walking
Fearless as ever, the Father Wren flew onto his back and shouted to him,
“What right do you have coming into my home and scaring my young?”
But the lion ignored Father Wren’s anger and simply kept on walking.
angered Father Wren even more.
“You have no business to enter my home, and if you ever enter there again
I will make you regret it,” he shouted at the lion.
As a final warning Father Wren lifted one of his legs and shouted to the
lion, “I could break your back in a matter of a second!”
Off Father Wren flew, back to his nest, where his young were waiting:
“No need to worry my children,” Father Wren explained, I have taught the bogeyman
a lesson he will never forget. He will never scare you again.”