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The Crane And The Hummingbird


Source: Indian Legends Retold

Once there was a beautiful girl who had many suitors, and among the
most persistent were the Crane and the Hummingbird. She rather fancied
the latter, since the Crane was a long-legged, awkward fellow, not at
all to her taste. In order to rid herself of his pretensions once and
for all, she told them that they might fly round the world, and the
first one to return should be her husband. As the Hummingbird is very
swift, she had no doubt of the result.

At the end of the first day, he had indeed a long start. Well
pleased, he tucked his head under his wing and went to sleep. About
midnight, the Crane overtook him and flew on. The Hummingbird passed
him at breakfast time and again secured a long lead. But in the night
time, while he slept, the unwearied Crane flew on, each night
overtaking him earlier, till he had gained a whole day and won the

After all, he did not win a wife, for the maiden was so much chagrined
by the failure of her plan that she has stayed single to this day.

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