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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
this translation narrated with native pronunciation:
There once was a wren who had made his nest in a garage. He lived there with his family. One day he and his mate went out to look for some food to bring their chicks, leaving the young birds all alone.
After a while the father wren returned home.
“What’s been going on here?” he asked. “Has something happened? You children look scared to death!”
“Dad!” they said, “a big monster just came by. He looked so scary! He glared into our nest with his big eyes! That scared us to death!”
“I see,” he said, “Where did he go?”
“He went that way!”
“You children wait here,” said the father wren, “I’m going to teach him a lesson
he won’t soon forget! Don’t worry, children. I’ll get him.” So he chased after
He turned a corner and saw a lion walking along, but the wren wasn’t afraid.
He landed right on the lion’s back and started shouting at him. “Who on earth
do you think you are coming to my nest and scaring my children to death?!”
The mountain lion didn’t listen to the wren though, but just kept on walking.
That annoyed the wren even more, and he started really shouting at the mountain
lion. “You have no reason coming to my nest, and if you come back,” he said,
“then you’ll really live to regret it! I don’t want to get violent,” he said
lifting one of his legs into the air, “but I’ll break your back in a heartbeat!”
Having said that, he flew back to his nest.
“There’s nothing to worry about now, children,” he said, “I’ve taught him a lesson. He won’t be coming back.”