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The Sparrow And The Bush






Source: Cossack Fairy Tales And Folk Tales

A sparrow once flew down upon a bush and said, "Little bush, give good
little sparrow a swing."--"I won't!" said the little bush. Then the
sparrow was angry, and went to the goat and said, "Goat, goat, nibble
bush, bush won't give good little sparrow a swing."--"I won't!" said
the goat.--Then the sparrow went to the wolf and said, "Wolf, wolf,
eat goat, goat won't nibble bush, bush won't give good little sparrow
a swing."--"I won't!" said the wolf.--Then the sparrow went to the
people and said, "Good people, kill wolf, wolf won't eat goat, goat
won't nibble bush, bush won't give good little sparrow a swing."--"We
won't!" said the people.--Then the sparrow went to the Tartars and
said, "Tartars, Tartars, slay people, people won't kill wolf, wolf
won't eat goat, goat won't nibble bush, bush won't give good little
sparrow a swing."--But the Tartars said, "We won't slay the people!"
and the people said, "We won't kill the wolf!" and the wolf said, "I
won't eat the goat!" and the goat said, "I won't nibble the bush!" and
the bush said, "I won't give the good little sparrow a swing."--"Go!"
said the bush, "to the fire, for the Tartars won't slay the people,
and the people won't kill the wolf, and the wolf won't eat the goat,
and the goat won't nibble the bush, and the bush won't give the dear
little sparrow a swing."--But the fire also said, "I won't!" (they
were all alike)--"go to the water," said he.--So the sparrow went to
the water and said, "Come water, quench fire, fire won't burn Tartars,
Tartars won't slay people, people won't kill wolf, wolf won't eat
goat, goat won't nibble bush, bush won't give good little sparrow a
swing."--But the water also said, "I won't!" So the sparrow went to
the ox and said, "Ox, ox, drink water, water won't quench fire, fire
won't burn Tartars, Tartars won't slay people, people won't kill wolf,
wolf won't eat goat, goat won't nibble bush, bush won't give little
sparrow a swing."--"I won't!" said the ox.--Then the sparrow went to
the pole-axe and said, "Pole-axe, pole-axe, strike ox, ox won't drink
water, water won't quench fire, fire won't burn Tartars, Tartars won't
slay people, people won't kill wolf, wolf won't eat goat, goat won't
nibble bush, bush won't give little sparrow a swing."--"I won't!" said
the pole-axe.--So the sparrow went to the worms and said, "Worms,
worms, gnaw pole-axe, pole-axe won't strike ox, ox won't drink water,
water won't quench fire, fire won't burn Tartars, Tartars won't slay
people, people won't kill wolf, wolf won't eat goat, goat won't nibble
bush, bush won't give little sparrow a swing."--"We won't!" said the
worms.--Then the sparrow went to the hen and said, "Hen, hen, peck
worms, worms won't gnaw pole-axe, pole-axe won't strike ox, ox won't
drink water, water won't quench fire, fire won't burn Tartars, Tartars
won't slay people, people won't kill wolf, wolf won't eat goat, goat
won't nibble bush, bush won't give little sparrow a swing."--"I
won't!" said the hen, "but go to the sparrow-hawk, he ought to give
the first push, or why is he called the Pusher!"[14]--So the sparrow
went to the sparrow-hawk and said, "Come, pusher, seize hen, hen
won't peck worms, worms won't gnaw pole-axe, pole-axe won't strike
ox, ox won't drink water, water won't quench fire, fire won't burn
Tartars, Tartars won't slay people, people won't kill wolf, wolf won't
eat goat, goat won't nibble bush, bush won't give little sparrow a
swing."

[14] Shulyak means both sparrow-hawk and push.

Then the sparrow-hawk began to seize the hen, the hen began to peck
the worms, the worms began to gnaw the pole-axe, the pole-axe began to
hit the ox, the ox began to drink the water, the water began to quench
the fire, the fire began to burn the Tartars, the Tartars began to
slay the people, the people began to kill the wolf, the wolf began to
eat the goat, the goat began to nibble the bush, and the bush cried
out:

"Swing away, swing away, swi-i-i-i-ing!
Little daddy sparrow, have your fli-i-i-ing!"





Next: The Old Dog

Previous: The Story Of Unlucky Daniel



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