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About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...


Eastern American Standard Dialect

Listen to this translation narrated with hypothetical pronunciation:

[Download mp3]

Translation: Reinhard F. Hahn (License)

Location: Seattle (Dzidzalal’ich), Washington, USA

Narrator: Glen Shannon, Buffalo (Kyodró:wë), New York, USA

Language information: [Click]Click here for different versions. >

Click here for different versions. >[Orthographic] [Phonetic]

The Wren

The wren used to have his nest in the car shed. Once the old ones had both flown out—they had wanted to get something to eat for their young—and had left the little ones all alone.

After a while, Father Wren returns home.

“What’s happened here?” he says. “Who harmed you, children? You are all terrified!”

“Oh, Dad,” they say, “some big bogeyman came by just now. He looked so fierce and horrible! He stared into our nest with his big eyes. That scared us so!”

“I see,” Father Wren says, “where did he go?”

“Well,” they say, “he went down that way.”

“Wait!” Father Wren says, “I’ll be after him. Don’t you worry now, children. I’ll get him.” Thereupon he flies after him.

When he comes around the bend, it is the lion who is walking along there.

But the wren is not afraid. He alights on the lion’s back and starts scolding him. “What business do you have coming to my house,” he says, “and terrifying my children?!”

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The lion pays no attention to it and keeps walking.

That makes the little loud-mouth berate him even more fiercely. “You have no business being there, I tell you! And if you come back,” he says, “well, then you’ll see! I don’t really want to do it,” he says and finally lifts one of his legs, “but I’d break your back with my leg in a second!”

Thereupon he flies back to his nest.

“There you go, children,” he says, “I’ve taught that one a lesson. He won’t be back.”

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
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