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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
Canadian English, Waterloo, Southern Ontario Dialect
this translation narrated with native pronunciation:
There once lived a wren that made its nest in a garage. One time, the father
wren and mother wren flew out looking for something for their young to eat,
and left them there all alone.
After a while, Father Wren returned home.
“What’s going on here?” he asked. “Who got you all riled up like this,
huh? You’re all scared senseless!”
“Oh, dad,” they said, “some big monster just came by. He was really awful
and scary! He looked right into the nest with his big eyes and we got really
“Is that right?” Father Wren asked, “Where’d he go?”
“Well.” They said, “He went down over there somewhere.”
“Hold on,” Father Wren said, “I’m gonna go after him. Don’t you kids worry
about a thing. I’m gonna get him.” And with that said he flew off after the
When he came around the next corner, he saw a lion walking along.
But the wren wasn’t afraid. He landed on the lion’s back and started harassing
him. “What business do you have coming to my house,” he said, “and scaring
my kids half to death, eh?! You’ve got some nerve.”
But now the wren was really ticked. “You have no business going there,
you hear me? And if you dare set foot near my nest again,” he said, “you’ll
be sorry! I don’t really wanna do it,” he said while lifting one of his legs,
“but I’ll break your back with my leg in a flash if you make me!”
And with that he flew back to the nest.
“There you go, kids,” he said, “I’ve shown that old lion who’s boss now.
It’s not likely we’ll se much of him anymore, eh?”