Laos Folk-Lore of Farther India | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in December 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Fatherless Birds, The

A MOTHER bird sat brooding on her nest. Her heart was sad, for her mate had flown away in the morning and had not returned. When the little ones stirred and clamored for food, with drooping wings she flew in quest of it that they might not hunger.

               Day after day her heart grew sadder, for her mate came not, and alone she struggled to provide for her fledglings.

               When the little birds had grown strong and were able to fly, sorrow and heart hunger had so weakened the mother bird that she lay dying. The little birds crowded about her asking what they could do to aid her, and with her dying breath she cried, "Call, oh, call your father."

               The little birds, flying low over the plains, cried, "Paw hüey, paw hüey," and children, left alone in their homes, while their parents labor in the rice fields, hearing the wail of the birds, wept, crying too, "Paw hüey, maa hüey." [1]

               Never has the father bird been found, and, to this day, flying low over the plains, the little birds cry, in their plaintive voices, "Paw hüey, paw hüey," and lonely children echo, "Paw hüey, maa hüey."



[1] Paw hüey--Oh, father! Maa hüey--Oh, mother!

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Fatherless Birds, The
Tale Author/Editor: Fleeson, Katherine Neville
Book Title: Laos Folk-Lore of Farther India
Book Author/Editor: Fleeson, Katherine Neville
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Publication City: New York
Year of Publication: 1899
Country of Origin: Laos
Classification: unclassified

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