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Why does the mosquito live in the well?

The Story of King Pic, Lady Mary and the Sun.

ONCE upon a time St. Mary talked with the sun about the sins of this world. They also talked about the wicked deeds of the Emperor Pic among others, of whom an evil report had spread on account of his cruelty. The sun talked to her about all that he had seen, and St. Mary, weighing up all his sins, came to the decision that he should be thrown into the depths of the sea, so that even his memory should be lost to the end of days.

               But before she had time to pronounce her judgment, up came the Emperor Pic himself in mighty wrath. He caught hold of St. Mary by the hair of her head, for was he not the emperor, and was there anyone of whom he should stand in awe? He feared no one, and cursing as fast as he could fill his mouth with blasphemous words, he started fighting the sun. When St. Mary wanted to remonstrate with him he gave her a blow on her mouth, so as to stop her from speaking. The sun, seeing this infamous conduct, got angry, and catching him by the throat, hurled the Emperor Pic into a well with the intention of drowning him before he could utter a single word. The only sound which he made before sinking was Zi Zi Zi. St. Mary, having pity upon him, wanted to save him from drowning, and tried to draw him out of the water. But she looked in vain for him. Instead of finding Pic in the well, she only found a little insect that was shivering with cold and was hiding under one of the beams of the well. God had no doubt punished Pic for his impudence. The mosquito (Culex pipiens) does not leave his hiding place until the sun disappears, for he is frightened of him, and this fear has remained with him. For this reason no mosquito will come out during the daytime: he will wait until it gets dark, then he will come out and, sitting on the edge of the well, sings Zi, Zi, Zi.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Why does the mosquito live in the well?
Tale Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Book Title: Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories
Book Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1915
Country of Origin: Romania
Classification: unclassified

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