The Story of the Kite and the making of Rivers.
The same story is told of the kite in the following version:
WHEN God made the world, he called all the birds together to help him to dig wells for the water and beds for the rivers. All the birds came except the kite, which, looking at its claws, said, "See how beautiful and dainty they are! I am not going to soil them with the mud of the rivers and wells." Then all the other birds cursed her, that she might never be able to drink water out of wells and rivers, and should slake her thirst only with the dew and rain from heaven, nor should she be able to drink by lifting her beak and catching the falling rain, but she would only be able to drink the rain-water which was running down her wings. Therefore, in time of drought, the kite flies high up to God and prays for rain and dew, for if she drinks of the water of rivers and wells she dies.
A remarkable parallel to this story has been given by Grimm in his D. Mythologie, 4th ed. p. 561; and for a Russian parallel, v. Ralston, Russian Folk Tales, p. 331.
An oriental version substitutes the raven for the kite as the bird whose piteous cries bring about the breaking of the drought. It is said that when Adam beheld his dead son Abel, he did not know what to do, for he was the first man to die. A raven dug a hole and put into it his companion who had died.
Adam saw this and followed his example. God therefore granted to the raven that henceforth when there would be drought in the world, his cry would bring about the breaking up of the drought and a downpour of rain (Chapters of Eliezer, ch. xxi.).
Why does the kite cry in dry weather?
Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories
Sidgwick & Jackson
Year of Publication:
Country of Origin: