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The Brothers Grimm
The Dog and the Sparrow
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THE DOG AND THE SPARROW

A shepherd's dog had a master who took no care of him, but often let
him suffer the greatest hunger. At last he could bear it no longer; so
he took to his heels, and off he ran in a very sad and sorrowful mood.
On the road he met a sparrow that said to him, 'Why are you so sad, my
friend?' 'Because,' said the dog, 'I am very very hungry, and have
nothing to eat.' 'If that be all,' answered the sparrow, 'come with me
into the next town, and I will soon find you plenty of food.' So on
they went together into the town: and as they passed by a butcher's
shop, the sparrow said to the dog, 'Stand there a little while till I
peck you down a piece of meat.' So the sparrow perched upon the shelf:
and having first looked carefully about her to see if anyone was
watching her, she pecked and scratched at a steak that lay upon the
edge of the shelf, till at last down it fell. Then the dog snapped it
up, and scrambled away with it into a corner, where he soon ate it all
up. 'Well,' said the sparrow, 'you shall have some more if you will;
so come with me to the next shop, and I will peck you down another
steak.' When the dog had eaten this too, the sparrow said to him,
'Well, my good friend, have you had enough now?' 'I have had plenty of
meat,' answered he, 'but I should like to have a piece of bread to eat
after it.' 'Come with me then,' said the sparrow, 'and you shall soon
have that too.' So she took him to a baker's shop, and pecked at two
rolls that lay in the window, till they fell down: and as the dog
still wished for more, she took him to another shop and pecked down
some more for him. When that was eaten, the sparrow asked him whether
he had had enough now. 'Yes,' said he; 'and now let us take a walk a
little way out of the town.' So they both went out upon the high road;
but as the weather was warm, they had not gone far before the dog
said, 'I am very much tired--I should like to take a nap.' 'Very
well,' answered the sparrow, 'do so, and in the meantime I will perch
upon that bush.' So the dog stretched himself out on the road, and
fell fast asleep. Whilst he slept, there came by a carter with a cart
drawn by three horses, and loaded with two casks of wine. The sparrow,
seeing that the carter did not turn out of the way, but would go on in
the track in which the dog lay, so as to drive over him, called out,
'Stop! stop! Mr Carter, or it shall be the worse for you.' But the
carter, grumbling to himself, 'You make it the worse for me, indeed!
what can you do?' cracked his whip, and drove his cart over the poor
dog, so that the wheels crushed him to death. 'There,' cried the
sparrow, 'thou cruel villain, thou hast killed my friend the dog. Now
mind what I say. This deed of thine shall cost thee all thou art
worth.' 'Do your worst, and welcome,' said the brute, 'what harm can
you do me?' and passed on. But the sparrow crept under the tilt of the
cart, and pecked at the bung of one of the casks till she loosened it;
and than all the wine ran out, without the carter seeing it. At last
he looked round, and saw that the cart was dripping, and the cask
quite empty. 'What an unlucky wretch I am!' cried he. 'Not wretch
enough yet!' said the sparrow, as she alighted upon the head of one of
the horses, and pecked at him till he reared up and kicked. When the
carter saw this, he drew out his hatchet and aimed a blow at the
sparrow, meaning to kill her; but she flew away, and the blow fell
upon the poor horse's head with such force, that he fell down dead.
'Unlucky wretch that I am!' cried he. 'Not wretch enough yet!' said
the sparrow. And as the carter went on with the other two horses, she
again crept under the tilt of the cart, and pecked out the bung of the
second cask, so that all the wine ran out. When the carter saw this,
he again cried out, 'Miserable wretch that I am!' But the sparrow
answered, 'Not wretch enough yet!' and perched on the head of the
second horse, and pecked at him too. The carter ran up and struck at
her again with his hatchet; but away she flew, and the blow fell upon
the second horse and killed him on the spot. 'Unlucky wretch that I
am!' said he. 'Not wretch enough yet!' said the sparrow; and perching
upon the third horse, she began to peck him too. The carter was mad
with fury; and without looking about him, or caring what he was about,
struck again at the sparrow; but killed his third horse as he done the
other two. 'Alas! miserable wretch that I am!' cried he. 'Not wretch
enough yet!' answered the sparrow as she flew away; 'now will I plague
and punish thee at thy own house.' The carter was forced at last to
leave his cart behind him, and to go home overflowing with rage and
vexation. 'Alas!' said he to his wife, 'what ill luck has befallen me!
--my wine is all spilt, and my horses all three dead.' 'Alas!
husband,' replied she, 'and a wicked bird has come into the house, and
has brought with her all the birds in the world, I am sure, and they
have fallen upon our corn in the loft, and are eating it up at such a
rate!' Away ran the husband upstairs, and saw thousands of birds
sitting upon the floor eating up his corn, with the sparrow in the
midst of them. 'Unlucky wretch that I am!' cried the carter; for he
saw that the corn was almost all gone. 'Not wretch enough yet!' said
the sparrow; 'thy cruelty shall cost thee they life yet!' and away she
flew.

The carter seeing that he had thus lost all that he had, went down
into his kitchen; and was still not sorry for what he had done, but
sat himself angrily and sulkily in the chimney corner. But the sparrow
sat on the outside of the window, and cried 'Carter! thy cruelty shall
cost thee thy life!' With that he jumped up in a rage, seized his
hatchet, and threw it at the sparrow; but it missed her, and only
broke the window. The sparrow now hopped in, perched upon the window-
seat, and cried, 'Carter! it shall cost thee thy life!' Then he became
mad and blind with rage, and struck the window-seat with such force
that he cleft it in two: and as the sparrow flew from place to place,
the carter and his wife were so furious, that they broke all their
furniture, glasses, chairs, benches, the table, and at last the walls,
without touching the bird at all. In the end, however, they caught
her: and the wife said, 'Shall I kill her at once?' 'No,' cried he,
'that is letting her off too easily: she shall die a much more cruel
death; I will eat her.' But the sparrow began to flutter about, and
stretch out her neck and cried, 'Carter! it shall cost thee thy life
yet!' With that he could wait no longer: so he gave his wife the
hatchet, and cried, 'Wife, strike at the bird and kill her in my
hand.' And the wife struck; but she missed her aim, and hit her
husband on the head so that he fell down dead, and the sparrow flew
quietly home to her nest.


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From "Fairy Tales" by Jakob Grimm (1785 -1863) and Wilhelm
Grimm (1786-1859) -- translated from "Kinder und Hausmarchen"
by Edgar Taylor and Marian Edwardes.
 

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